Oleg Deripaska has slammed an AP report claiming he had dealings with former Donald Trump aide Paul Manafort in order to “benefit the Putin government.” The Russian tycoon says he’s ready to take part in “any hearing” in the US Congress on the subject.
The AP report claims that Paul Manafort, the former national chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign, “secretly worked for Russian billionaire” Deripaska.
In a statement published in the Wall Street Journal...
Deripaska, the president one of the largest aluminum companies in the world, RUSAL, said:
"In recent days I have been the subject of a massive and misleading campaign generated by an ‘AP exclusive’, which alleged my involvement in a plan 'to greatly benefit the Putin government.'"
AP assumed that Manafort had initiated the strategy back in 2005 to “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin’s government.” The AP exclusive also claimed that Deripaska had signed a $10 million annual contract with Manafort.
“I want to resolutely deny this malicious assertion and lie. I have never made any commitments or contacts with the obligation or purpose to covertly promote or advance ‘Putin’s government’ interests anywhere in the world,” Deripaska said.
According to Deripaska, the AP report “falls into negative context of current US-Russian relations and causes fresh unfair and unjustified concerns and alarm in the US Congress about Russian involvement in US domestic affairs.”
He slammed the information presented in the reports as “based on complete lies.”
“I demand that any and all further dissemination of these allegations by the AP or any other media outlet must cease immediately.
I am ready to take part in any hearings conducted by the US Congress on this subject in order to defend my reputation and name,” Deripaska added.
Additionally, Manafort called those allegations a “Democrat Party dirty trick and completely false.”