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An official with the Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the Ukrainian government of trying to take down President-elect Trump during his campaign by insinuating his then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved with a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

An official with the Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the Ukrainian government of trying to take down President-elect Trump during his campaign by insinuating his then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved with a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.

“Ukraine seriously complicated the work of Trump’s election campaign headquarters by planting information according to which Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, allegedly accepted money from Ukrainian oligarchs,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday, according to transcripts.

By showing Manafort was affiliated with a political group of oligarchs, Zakharova said the western country was trying to dirty Trump’s name and maintain their favorable standing with the U.S.

Manafort was fired by Trump in August after his portfolio of work in Ukraine came under speculation and distracted voters from the campaign’s message. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had also questioned the interests of Trump’s aide.



Trump’s press secretary Hope Hicks told Politico on Thursday that Manafort is not presently consulting the transition team formally or informally.

Russia has been dealing with its own international dilemma after U.S. leaders alleged it was the culprit behind hacks into Democratic organizations and individuals’ email servers. The FBI said Russia may have been to blame for the spring and summer attacks, which Democrats said indicated the country was trying to rig the election in favor of Trump.

Trump confirms 'Mad Dog' Mattis is his pick for secretary of defense

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President-elect Trump will nominate legendary retired Marine Corps Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as his defense secretary, despite a law barring recently retired generals from running the Pentagon, Trump announced Thursday at a rally in Cincinnati.

He said he will officially make the announcement Monday next week.

Mattis, beloved by his troops and widely respected by military and civilian leaders alike, is expected to easily get a waiver from Congress to the federal statute that requires the defense secretary to come from civilian life, or be out of uniform seven years.

12/01/16 8:18 PM

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