Fox News show host Tucker Carlson said on Tuesday evening that a source has provided revelations that rock the persistent narrative of then-candidate Donald Trump's supposed involvement with Russian operatives before and during the 2016 presidential campaign. According to Carlson, a reliable source told him that evening that press reports seeking to implicate President Trump in a collusion with Russian oligarchs and government officials are exaggerated. It is the role of former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort that has been found questionable. The source had worked with Hillary Clinton's political allies, John and Tony Podesta. 

The unnamed source told Carlson that he worked for the brothers' Podesta Group, and had information from the current investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director. Media reports have long tied Manafort's "Black, Manafort & Stone" group to Trump in the ongoing investigation. However, the unidentified source said that Manafort's role as a liaison between Russian clients and the Podesta Group that is drawing scrutiny.

Carlson said that the "vehicle" for which Manafort worked was a "sham" company with a headquarters listed in Belgium but whose contact information was linked to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. At that time, Manafort -- a veteran political operative -- represented Russian political and business interests in Washington during the Obama era. The source said the Podesta Group was in regular contact with Manafort while Hillary Clinton was Obama's secretary of state. The source said that Manafort came to the Podesta Group headquarters at least onfce per month.

The Podesta Group hired a Clinton deputy, David Adams, in 2013 and thus established a contact with Clinton at the State Department. The source said that Tony Podesta personally hired Adams. It was at that time that the controversial Uranium One deal was being negotiated by the Obama White House.

According to Carlson, "Manafort was clear that Russia wanted to cultivate ties to Hillary" because she was predicted to succeed Obama as president. The source told Carlson that the media's contention that the Mueller probe is focused on Trump is "mostly bogus." According to Carlson, the source's information has proved to be accurate thus far. 

John Podesta was Clinton's campaign chairman, and Manafort served as Trump's campaign chief during the summer of 2016. Special Counsel Mueller is now investigating Tony Podesta. On Tuesday, House Republicans announced new probes into several Obama-era controversies, covering both the Justice Department’s 2016 handling of the Clinton email case and the administration’s 2010 approval for the sale of a mining company (Uranium One) that gave the Russians partial control over American uranium reserves.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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