What happened to the 2016 polling data that Manafort shared with Konstantin Kilimnik?

Jennifer Cohn
7 min readMar 6, 2021

By Jennifer Cohn
March 5, 2021

On March 28, 2016, soon after Donald Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination, the Trump campaign announced that it had hired a political operative named Paul Manafort to assist with the campaign.

Before joining the Trump campaign, Manafort had for years worked for a Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska, one of Putin’s closest allies.

In 2005, Deripaska had dispatched Manafort to Ukraine to serve as a key advisor for a pro-Russia politician named Viktor Yanukovych. Deripaska bankrolled much of Manafort’s work in Ukraine.


Ukrainian oligarchs named Rinat Akhmetov and Serhiy Lyovochkin also funded Manafort’s work in Ukraine.

In 2004, Lyovochkin had been caught on tape conspiring to hack Ukraine’s presidential election for Yanukovych. When the plot was exposed, there was an election re-do that Yanukovych lost.

Yanukovych eventually won Ukraine’s presidential election in 2010 after an “extreme makeover” provided by Manafort.

By the time Manafort joined the Trump campaign, however, the Yanukovych regime had stolen $40 billion, Yanukovych had been ousted and was living in Russia in exile, and Russia had illegally annexed a portion of Ukraine called Crimea and attacked Ukraine’s 2014 election.

The U.S. and EU had, in turn, implemented sweeping sanctions on Russia in response to its aggression toward Ukraine.

Moreover, Manafort’s relationship with Deripaska had apparently soured. In 2015, Deripaska had sued Manafort for $20 million over an allegedly bungled business investment.

On April 11, 2016, two weeks after joining the Trump campaign, Manafort emailed a Deripaska associate named Konstantin Kilimnik, who had worked for Manafort in Ukraine.

“I assume you have shown our friends my media coverage, right?” Manafort wrote.

“Absolutely,” Kilimnik responded a few hours later from Kiev. “Every article.”

“How do we use to get whole,” Manafort asks. “Has OVD [Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska] operation…

Jennifer Cohn

Attorney and Election Integrity Advocate #ProtectOurVotes #PaperBallotsNow @jennycohn1