Mueller met with Trump campaign pollster last year: Report
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team met with one of President Trump’s campaign pollsters who is connected to former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to a report Thursday.
Mr. Mueller’s team met with pollster Tony Fabrizio in February, CNN reported. The meeting may now have larger implications after Manafort’s attorneys this week accidentally revealed that he shared polling data with an associate who has ties to Russian intelligence.
Mr. Fabrizio was observed by CNN reporters leaving the special counsel’s office in February and he has since confirmed that he met with Mr. Mueller’s team, the news outlet set. The meeting was about the same time Manafort was under investigation by Mr. Mueller for financial fraud crimes.
Mr. Fabrizio had worked with Manafort on Ukrainian elections and later became the Trump campaign’s chief pollster in early 2016. CNN said Mr. Mueller questioned the pollster about his work with Manafort in Ukraine, rather than his time with the Trump campaign.
But Mr. Mueller’s interest in the pollster could also be connected to a disclosure that was mistakenly unredacted in a court filing this week. In the filing, Manafort’s attorneys revealed that the longtime political operative had shared 2016 presidential election polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a former business associate with ties to Russian intelligence.
At the time, Manafort was running Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.
Mr. Trump said Thursday he was unaware Manafort shared data with Mr. Kilimnik.
“I don’t know anything about that,” Mr. Trump said in response to a question from a reporter.
Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign in August 2016 amid revelations he did lobbying work in Ukraine on behalf of pro-Russian associates. He was convicted in August on eight counts of financial fraud by a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, and later pleaded guilty to violating foreign lobbying laws in D.C.