Paul Manafort laughed off questions about any ties that either he or the Trump campaign had with Russia or Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos nearly eight months ago.
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The question arose days after the Republican National Convention concluded, when Manafort was still the Trump presidential campaign chairman.
"Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin and his regime?" Stephanopoulos asked on "This Week" on July 24.
"No, there are not," Manafort said with a chuckle. "It's absurd and there's no basis to it."
Such denials are in contrast to the latest allegations about ties between Manafort and Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska
Manafort's name was mentioned multiple times when FBI director James Comey spoke at a House Intelligence Committee hearing Monday where he revealed that the agency is investigating alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and the possible involvement of Trump associates.
And The Associated Press reported this morning there was a $10 million annual contract between Manafort and Deripaska that is believed to have started in June 2006. The business relationship lasted until 2009, the AP said, citing a source.