Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) rejected a bid from Paul Manafort, President Trump‘s former campaign chairman, to manage the 2008 Republican National Convention because of concerns over Manafort’s association with Russian oligarchs.
The Atlantic reported that McCain’s 2008 campaign manager, Rick Davis, worked with Manafort for years at a lobbying firm. One of the firm’s top clients was Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was recently the subject of U.S. sanctions.
McCain grew concerned after he learned Manafort was entangled with Russian oligarchs. He then ordered Manafort and Davis to cut ties with pro-Russia clients.
In the months that followed, Manafort wanted to head efforts to organize the Republican National Convention. However, McCain turned him down amid evidence of his ties to individuals with Kremlin links.
Trump did not share those concerns and hired Manafort to lead his campaign.
Manafort was convicted last week on eight charges of bank fraud and tax fraud. The charges were largely connected to his income from pro-Russia lobbying work in Ukraine.