Let's spin the wheel of indicted or soon-to-be-indicted Trump associates and see who's in the news today. Oh look, it is Paul Manafort again! And his indicted Russian spy friend and business partner Konstantin Kiliminik, whom the AP reports has been running Russian ops to benefit the Russian government with Manafort for-fucking-EVER!

Kilimnik, an elusive figure now indicted alongside Manafort on witness tampering charges, was far more involved in formulating pro-Russia political strategy with Manafort than previously known, according to internal memos and other business records obtained by the AP. [...]

More than a decade before Russia was accused of surreptitiously trying to tilt the presidential election toward Trump, Manafort and Kilimnik pondered the risks to Russia if the country did not hone its efforts to influence global politics, the records show.

"The West is just a little more skillful at playing the modern game, where perception by the world public opinion and the spin is more important than what is actually going on," Kilimnik wrote to Manafort in a December 2004 memo analyzing Russia's bungled efforts to manipulate political events in former Soviet states. "Russia is ultimately going to lose if they do not learn how to play this game."

Poor Russia just didn't know how to do propaganda back in the old days, SADFACE. So, according to AP, Kilimnik "helped conceive strategies that Manafort sold to clients" -- strategies for teaching Russia how to fuck around in other countries' sovereign democratic processes, we guess. The AP isn't all that specific.

And he was doing this for super-rich Kremlin-connected clients like Putin's favorite oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the one who paid Manafort many millions of dollars -- or maybe Manafort laundered or stole or "borrowed" it from him -- and to whom Manafort ended up owing so much money that during the 2016 election, he was offering to give the Russian oligarch secret sexxxy briefings on the Trump campaign, as a way to "get whole" with him. AP further reports that Kilimnik was doing his secret work for Manafort at the same time that he was working for the International Republican institute, a nonprofit led by John McCain that supported actual democratic movements in that part of the world, like for instance the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004. When Kilimnik's Manafort work was exposed, Kilimnik's ass was YOU'RE FIRED from the IRI.

Because, you see, Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik were actually working against those Democratic movements, all the way back in 2004!

Thank God Paul Manafort and his Russian spy friend were there to help Russia get better at LITERALLY MEDDLING IN FOREIGN ELECTIONS. And oh, how their work has paid off!

This is all totally normal.

Read the AP for more names and dates and faces, but it sounds to us like Paul Manafort has had a little habit for well over a decade of working as a foreign agent against the United States and the greater western world, in service of his masters in Russia. And then somehow by some stroke of serendipity, he ended up running the Trump campaign for free, a campaign that is under investigation for conspiring with Russia to steal the American election.


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Welcome to another edition of Yr Sunday Nice Things feature, where we take a break from the daily craziness so we can decompress for a little while. Today, we're going to relax with the ineffable mental calm that comes from an oddly rectangular English cow. It's really beautiful to see what can happen when people all over the internet come together to collaborate on a little art project. We call it...

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