How Does Russia Find Its Insiders in American Politics?

Jake Neher/WDET

Aaron Retish

In an extraordinary story late last week, the New York Times revealed that the FBI began an active investigation into President Donald Trump after he fired then-director James Comey.

The FBI wanted to determine whether Russian leaders had tapped Trump to work for them, or if he had been the unwitting target of Russian manipulation.

Questions about Russian interference in our politics are difficult to answer without considering the role of Paul Manafort, the president’s one-time campaign chairman. How did he get into his relationship with Russia? And how likely, or even believable, is it that he was a lone actor on behalf of Russian interests?

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson talks with Aaron Retish, history professor at Wayne State University with a specialization in Soviet and Russian history, about how Russia finds and cultivates its insiders in American politics.

Henderson also speaks with Sharon LaFraniere, investigative reporter at The New York Times and lead author on a recent piece titled, “The Rise and Fall of Paul Manafort: Greed, Deception, and Ego.” LaFraniere is also a Detroit native.

Click on the audio player above to hear those conversations.

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Detroit Today

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