Donald Trump campaign chief 'offered to brief' Russian billionaire on presidential race

Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort reportedly offered "private briefings" about the presidential race to a Russian billionaire considered close to the country's president Vladimir Putin.

The Washington Post reports that in a July 2016 email exchange, Manafort wrote to a former employee of his political consulting firm about offering to brief Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, confirmed the exchange to The Associated Press, but he said no briefings ever materialised.

The Post reports that there was no evidence Deripaska received the offer.

Congressional committees have the email exchange, as does special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into Russia's election interference.

They are looking at whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the outcome of the election.

- AP

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