The late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., turned down a proposal from Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, to run the 2008 Republican National Convention due to Manafort’s ties to Russian oligarchs, according to The Atlantic.
McCain, who died on Saturday from brain cancer, met Manafort through his former aide and 2008 campaign manager, Rick Davis. The two were partners at lobbying firm Davis, Manafort, where their clients included Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Deripaska was recently named along with dozens of other Russian oligarchs in the latest series of sanctions that took effect in April. Davis and Manafort introduced McCain to Deripaska in 2007, and the oligarch threw McCain a party for his 70th birthday about seven months later, according to The Nation.
McCain eventually grew concerned about the two’s connections to Russian oligarchs and ordered them to end their firm’s relationship with pro-Russia clients, and later denied Manafort’s attempt to organize the Republican National Convention the year McCain was the GOP nominee.
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