Manafort suspected of borrowing extra $26mln from Russian oligarch

Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, appears to be linked to a $26-million loan from a firm owned by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, US media reported Friday.

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Manafort’s financial dealings as part of a probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race.

NBC News claimed it obtained company documents in Cyprus that showed how the money was transferred from Deripaska’s Oguster Management business to Yiakora Ventures, which is a “related party” to Manafort’s financial interests.

If confirmed, the loan would bump up the total amount of funds to $60 million that was allegedly exchanged between the two businessmen.

Last March, the Associated Press broke a story about Manafort’s purported work for the Russian aluminum magnate to advance Russia’s interests abroad. It claimed their history together went back to the early 2000s. Deripaska has denied this and sued the agency in May.

The latest reports add to the claims that Russia colluded with the Trump team to help him win the election. Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations, calling them absurd, while the White House has described the investigation as a witch hunt.