Draft Preview: Three Games You Have to Watch.
This is the big one. Ton of prospects. Penn State has a great D-end. He
has everything you want in a D-end,
but just has to find the QB a little better. He is finding QBs better this
season than last season, which is a good sign. It would have been nice to
compare him to Young in this game. However, it will be fun to watch him
against Munford. But this is a grudge match that should be fun as hell to
watch. Plus, this is the first game that Ohio State is playing where the opponent
actually has a chance to beat them. It will be interesting to see who
steps up and who disappears a little.
ST @ Ohio ST:
6-5, 264, EDGE, Penn State,-
He was my favorite
edgerusher to watch last season. He just need to hit the QB a few
more times. He could end up being the top edgerusher in this Draft.
He has the speed to run the arc. He can bend the corner. Nice Rip to
the QB. Great technique. Knows how to use his hands and long
'I think he’s going to have a really big year for
us. As the year went on last year, he really started to kind of separate himself, I think, into one of the more elite defensive ends in college
Penn ST HC Franklin said. "We’re very pleased with him and his development, and his appreciation for being at Penn State and his appreciation for being a part of our football program and his attitude and approach. He’s always been a guy that always has a smile on his
He likes to turn
inside as he rushes and go upfield sideways a lot so he can see the
QB and the RB. Very quick twitch with fierce hands. He wins hand
fights. He is so good at powering through the OLT and grabbing the
RB on the edge.
"We’re very pleased with him and his development, and his appreciation for being at Penn State and his appreciation for being a part of our football program, and his attitude and approach,"
said. "He’s a mature guy. He’s had a great summer, from what I see. He looked great. I know he’s appreciative of being back. I think he’s going to have a really big year for us; as the year went on last year, he really kind of separated himself into one of the elite ends of college
is having a good season.
Season: 2018: Became
the 11th Nittany Lion to record 20 tackles for loss in a season
(12th time)...Tied with Bruce Clark (1978), Todd Atkins (1994),
LaVar Arrington (1999) and Aaron Maybin (2008) for No. 8 on Penn
State’s season tackles for loss list.
• SOPHOMORE SEASON: Season:Made
13 starts...One of 20 players to make their first career start...Had
at least a half-sack in five-straight games from Michigan State
(10/13) until Wisconsin (11/10)...Had at least a full tackle for
loss in eight-straight games, from Ohio State (9/29) through
No. 2 in the Big Ten and ranked No. 12 in the nation with 1.5
tackles for loss per game...Finished No. 8 in the Big Ten and No. 47
in FBS with 0.62 sacks per game.
6-4, 285 Rs-Sr,
DT- The Penn State Defense count on him inside. When he
is out they struggle. He is more of a quick and fast 3-Tech
disruptor than a space eater.
• JUNIOR SEASON: Season:
Made 12 starts. Rankings:Finished
No. 6 in the Big Ten and No. 42 in the FBS with 0.63 sacks per game.
6’, 198, Rs-Sr,
S- He is a converted Corner, so he has played
well on passing downs. He could be a surprise early pick. This is
his first season starting. So he just has to show some consistency.
He has the athletic ability. It's all mental for him.
• JUNIOR SEASON:Season:Appeared
in 13 games, making 12 starts...One of 20 players to make their
first career start. Rankings:Ranked
No. 8 in the Big Ten with three interceptions.
5-10, 181, RS-SR, CB-
He has to show he can consistently play his techniques to get
drafted early. When he losses his technique he struggles.
11 starts...Finished second on the team with eight pass
breakups...Was third on the team with two interceptions.
6-5, 233, LB- Physically he has want you want as an NFL prospect.
Mentally? He is putting it together this season. The faster he reads
it, the higher he'll go.
• JUNIOR SEASON: Season:Made
13 appearances, including 12 starts...Led the team with three forced
fumbles...Finished fifth on the team with a career-high 63
tackles...Was fifth on the team with a personal-best six pass
6’, 197, Jr,
CB-He has the physical tools, but has to show he has it mentally
this season. How smart can he play?
• SOPHOMORE SEASON: Season:Appeared
in 13 games, making three starts...One of 20 Nittany Lions to make
their first career start...Tied for second on the team with seven
6-6, 310, OLT- Munford
vs Yetur Gross-Matos is the match up of the game. Munford has been impenetrable
on the edge this season. But he has not faced a legit NFL Edge guy
yet. This will be his biggest test of the season.
is not giving up anything this year. He does not let average rushers
turn in the arc at all. He is moving better this season backwards.
He is one of the strongest OLT I have seen moving backwards. When he
gets his hands on the DE’s shirt he stops and freezes him in the
6-4, 199, WR,- He
has been very disappointing this season. He has not stepped up his
game at all. He has the physical ability to be as good as he wants,
which doesn’t seem to be as good as I want. It is all mental for
him. #2 J.K Dobbins-
5-10, 217, RB,– He has that knack for finding yards on
every carry. He is near impossible to get him behind the line. He
runs with elite vision behind his eyes. He is amazing how he bounces
off defender and pinballs forward. HE was terrific last season, but
he has been so much better this season. He is so much tougher to
tackle this season. He won't get out of the 2nd. #11 Austin Mack-
6-2, 215, WR–
#14 KJ Hill-
6’, 195, WR,– Great job catching the ball through
contact. He can read the safety and fill the deep hole when he moves
#73 Jonah Jackson-
6-4, 305, OC/OLG- He has been a solid OLG for them
this season. He is a draftable OG. #76 Branden Bowen-
6-7, 325, ORT- Very good ORT for Ohio State this
season. He can struggle to get forward and outside to block on the
Chase Young- 6-5, 265, EDGE-Ouch! #4 Jonathon Cooper- 6-4, 257, DE- #53 Davon Hamilton- 6-4, 308, DT,- He is playing
better than expected. When he guesses the count, he can rip to the
QB. He gets too high in his get off, but he has great quick hands.
They try to use him like Dre'Mont Jones from last year's Draft. #67 Robert Landers- DT, 6-1, 285–
6-3, 240, LB,- Great
job getting gin the passing lane and leaping up to knock the pass
down. I have been very impressed with him this season.
Jeffrey Okudah- 6-1, 200, CB- I
mean, you just can’t throw to his side on 3rd down. He can make a
play on the ball more aggressive than the WR. When he sees the QB
throw, he is flash going from one side of the WR’s body, to slap
the ball down on the other side of his body.
Jordan Fuller- 6-2, 205. FS,– He
has become a star this season. He is making plays all over the
field. A true FS who can stuff the run, and read the QBs eyes and
cover deep. He looks like a solid Day Two Safety in this Draft. #24 Shaun Wade- 6-1, 194, CB, -
#95 *Levi Onwuzurike- DL, 6-3, 293, Jr-
- 5-9, 185, Nickel- He is a heck of a hitter.He can hit like a Safety, which is so impressive for his
size.He makes huge hits
all over the field. They will put him in the middle of the field to
spy the QB, and follow his eyes on the 2nd level.
6-6, 227, QB, Rs-Jr-
He steps up in big games. He was great in the Oregon game. He was 20
of 25 with 3 TDs going into the 4th quarter. He finally started
showing his inexperience late in the 4th against Oregon. Then he had
to shift to the left due to pressure, and threw a dart to the WR fir
20-yards, on 3rd and 23.
OLT, 98, 6-8, 314- He is really blocking great out in space this
season. He can still bend his knees and get low. And loves the
physical stuff. He can get outside and up to the 2nd level and block
the LB out in space. Good cut blocker. I was doubter about him
coming back, but he looks great this year.
#56 Nick Harris-
6-1, 302, OC, 133- It is amazing how they run behind him in the
4th, and he is still bullying the bigger DLs. Looks like the best
zone-blocking OC in the Draft to me.
#70 Jared Hilbers- ORT, SR-
#1 *Hunter Bryant-
H-back, 6-2, 239, Jr- He has some great speed with the ball in his
hands. He can leap out and scrap it off the turf.
#2 Aaron Fuller- WR, 5-11, 188,-
He is their top WR. He was injured for the Oregon game.
Andre Baccellia- WR, RS SR-
#26 *Salvon Ahmed-
RB, 5-11, 196, Jr- He is so good at weaving through traffic and keeps
slashing forward when their aren’t any lanes. He is a great
weaving runner. But he knows when to lower his head and try to reach
6-2, 220, #2, WR, Colorado- He is the most dangerous WR in
the Redzone. The QB puts it up, or high and outside, or low and
outside and goes up, out, or under to get it for the TD. Great hands
and great at adjusting to the ball in the air. Great blocker. He
looks to hurt DBs when he blocks for teammates.
Career: He became the fourth player in CU history to accumulate 7,000 career passing yards against Colorado State (8/30) and has since moved over 8,000 yards (Arizona State in the fourth game). He moved from fourth to second and currently has 8,005 yards. He trails only Sefo Liufau (9,568) while passing Cody Hawkins (7,409) and Joel Klatt (7,375) this season.
He moved into second place for career total offense and currently has 8,828, trailing only Liufau (10,509).
He now has 55 career touchdown passes, third in CU history behind Hawkins and Liufau, who both had 60.
He has 823 career rushing yards and 1,330 yards of adjusted rushing taking out sacks.
He has set 35 school records, 26 outright and nine tied. He has two of the four seasons in CU history with 3,000 yards of total offense.
He has started 30 games at QB including 27 straight, tied for the third-longest streak nationally behind Jake Fromm (Georgia, 30) and Nate Stanley (Iowa, 28). Ohio's Nathan Rourke also has 26 straight starts. This Season (Sr.): Broke the school record for the longest scoring pass with a 96-yard pass to K.D. Nixon against Nebraska (9/7).
Through the first three games of the season he sits in 3rd for most passing yards in the Pac-12 and 4th for total offense in the Pac-12.
Completed 23-of-30 passes for 337 yards, three touchdowns, and added two carries for 10 yards against Arizona State. He moved past the 8,000-career passing yard mark against the Sun Devils.
Completed 26-of-43 passes for 220 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and an interception against Air Force.
Completed 28-of-41 passes for 375 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and an interception against Nebraska.
Completed 13-of-20 passes for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Colorado State to open the season.
Surpassed the 7,000-yard passing mark against the Rams and moved past Kordell Stewart into second place on CU's career total offense chart.
On five preseason watch lists for postseason trophies, including the Maxwell Award (national player of the year), the Manning Award, Davey O'Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, all for the nation's top quarterback, and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award (top player from
Texas). Named the No. 4 quarterback nationally in the preseason by Lindy's/NFLDraftScout.com, No. 12 by Phil Steele’s College Football, No. 21 by Lindy's College Football and No. 41 by Athlon.
Named the No. 18 player out of the Pac-12 in the preseason by
collegefootballnews.com. Attended the Manning Passing Academy for the second straight off season.
Should have a healthy hold on starting quarterback duties. Completed 49-of-80 passes for 604 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions in two scrimmages and the spring game.
COLORADO: This Season (Jr.)—Expected to anchor the
defensive line and should be a high-level awards candidate with next
level ability … On watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik Award (top
defensive player), the Ted Hendricks Award (top defensive end) and
the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player) … Preseason
All-America honorable mention by collegefootballnews.com … Named
Preseason first-team All-Pac-12 by the Pac-12, Athlon,
collegefootballnews.com, Lindy's College Football and Phil
Steele’s College Football, which ranked him as the No. 24 player
in the Pac-12), Athlon and collegefootballnews.com … In
the preseason, ranked the No. 15 defensive end by
collegefootballnews.com and No. 30 by Phil Steele … He was ranked
the No. 24 player in the Pac-12 by collegefootballnews.com …
Missed part of spring football due to injury … Had four tackles,
one for a loss and a fourth down stop and force fumble in the first
140 career tackles, needing 35 to enter the top 100 on CU’s
all-time tackle list. Prototypical inside linebacker with instincts
and physical tools to make him a next-level player … He will add
defensive play calling duties to his resume with the departure of
Rick Gamboa … Named to the watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik
Award (top defensive player), the Dick Butkus Award (top linebacker)
and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
(Soph.): Named to the Colorado Chapter/NFF All-Colorado
First-Team and with Mustafa Johnson, won the team's Dave Jones Award
given to the Outstanding Defensive Player(s) … His two
interceptions ranked 13th in the Pac-12 and also led the team, the
first time a linebacker did that outright at CU since 1979 (Bill
Roe) … Started all 12 games and played 619 snaps on defense …
Led the team with 123 tackles and had 13 tackles for loss and 4
sacks, and 12 more tackles for no gain.
Richard LeCounte- 5-11, 190, FS/DB- Georgia-
Davion Taylor- 6-2, 225, OLB, Colorado, #20-
start at CU's new Star position brought in from Coach Mel Tucker,
similar but not exact to the Buff position of the past few seasons
… On the watch list for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's
best linebacker … Named fourth-team Preseason All-Pac-12 by Athlon …
Named the No. 22 outside linebacker nationally in the preseason by Phil
Steele’s College Football … Had nine tackles in two
scrimmages and the spring game … Added four third down stops, two
pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and one tackle for loss … Had
a solid spring game with four tackles, three solo, to go with two
third down stops and two pass breakups.
*A.J.Dillon- RB, Jr,-
Nice job on play action to get outside and cut the DE. He does a
better job using his hands to push off tacklers and cutting back. He
has such amazing balanced. He got horse collared against NC ST, and
almost held his balance and fell forward.
*Chris Garrison- TE, Rs-Jr- He can get open get open 30 yards downfield on the Corner route, and
leap up and grab it high. Solid blocker on the goal line. He gets
position and holds on, and then starts driving.
Ben Glines- WR-Z, Rs-Sr- .
*Kobay White- WR-X, Rs-Jr-
John Phillips- ORG, Rs-Sr- He is good moving to his left in the zone block. The RBs like to cut
between him and Petrula. Nice job pulling to the left and taking out
ORT, 6-5, 310, JR-
He is an NFL ORT.
Tanner Karafa- DT, Gr-
Mehdi El Attrach- SS, Rs-Sr-
*TJ Rayam- DT, Jr-
#28 John Lamot- ILB, Rs-Jr, Jr-
#14 Max Richardson- OLB, Rs-Jr-
He is a terrific run stuffer. He is BC leading tackler. He can split
the tow OL getting outside on the screen, and tackle the RB for a
loss. He has some speed and smarts out in space. He has that knack
for getting into the backfield and finding the RB. Terrific
instincts attacking forward. He keeps getting to the RB behind the
#18 *Mike Palmer- FS, Rs-Jr-
He has some juice moving forward.
6-4, 285, DE/5-Tech,- Nice job
setting the edge, and then bursting inside to tackle the RB. He has
done a great job using his explosion to get to the QB this season.
6-5, 241, D-end- When he gets a great blast off and stays
low, he gets to the QB with NFL quickness. He is doing a better job
setting the edge, and getting to the RB. Needs to hit the RB not
just try to grab him.
*Ian Book- QB, 6’-200, Jr- Great job throwing while retreating because of the big blitz. He can
get a little erratic. Playing smarter and knows when to throw the
(Jr.) WR 6-4.3, 227-
He really stepped up it last week, and looked like the 1st Round
pick I thought he could be.
gives good effort blocking on the 2nd level, but he gets too high
sometimes. He covers kick and is excellent at it. He recovered a
fumble punt against Georgia where he was the only NDer down there.
He can reach up over the CB and grab the Fade above the rim where
the DB can’t touch it.
He could not seem to get himself open in pattern against Louisville. When
he got himself open in crossing routes Brook too often missed him.
When he threw it to him he caught it ran a little. He is not great
running after the catch. He is fast running in a straight line, but
when he tires to make guys him, he misses.
*Cole Kmet- 6-5, 250, TE- Nice blocker on the goal line. Nice quick reaction in the Endzone. He
can leap up one handed grab the high pass meant for the WR behind
him. Terrific adjustment to the ball in the air.
I’d like to see a little more consistency in blocking, but will catch
the ball in the NFL. He has some interesting speed down the seam. He
can catch the pass low and inside flying down the Seam. He can dive
out and catch the pass low and away.
6-6.1, 305, OLT-
He is great on play action. He give a great power hit, and then
burst back and grabs shirt in pass pro. He will get over aggressive
and give thecheap shot
foul. He slides outside effortlessly.
Tommy Kraemer- (rSo.) RT/RG 6-5.5/8 316-
Georgia didn’t rush his lane early in the game. When RBs run up to
the line they and there is traffic, they always seem to hop back or
cutback behind him.
A Citizen! Not a Subject!
is as Fascist does. Beware American. President Fredo is pulling the
cowardly republican Senate closer and closer to the cliff.
I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the government for a redress of grievances:
1st Amendment to the Constitution is the greatest paragraph ever written
by mankind. It is the truest diagram of how to ensure a free Country of
citizens survives. But is is also a list of what to attack when you want
to be a fascist dictator. President Jerkballs is attacking every article
in the 1st Amendment. Beware subjects, or you will be subjugated:
most corrupt administration in the history of the USA.
turned the Republican Party into the Russian Party,
has run a yearslong operation to blame Ukraine for its own 2016 election
interference. Republicans have used similar talking points to defend
President Trump in impeachment proceedings.
WASHINGTON — Republicans have sought for weeks amid the impeachment inquiry to shift attention to President Trump’s demands that Ukraine investigate any 2016 election meddling, defending it as a legitimate concern while Democrats accuse Mr. Trump of pursuing fringe theories for his benefit.
The Republican defense of Mr. Trump became central to the impeachment proceedings when Fiona Hill, a respected Russia scholar and former senior White House official, added a harsh critique during testimony on Thursday. She told some of Mr. Trump’s fiercest defenders in Congress that they were repeating “a fictional narrative.” She said that it likely came from a disinformation campaign by Russian security services, which also propagated it.
In a briefing that closely aligned with Dr. Hill’s testimony, American intelligence officials informed senators and their aides in recent weeks that Russia had engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election, according to three American officials. The briefing came as Republicans stepped up their defenses of Mr. Trump in the Ukraine affair.
The revelations demonstrate Russia’s persistence in trying to sow discord among its adversaries — and show that the Kremlin apparently succeeded, as unfounded claims about Ukrainian interference seeped into Republican talking points. American intelligence agencies believe Moscow is likely to redouble its efforts as the 2020 presidential campaign intensifies. The classified briefing for senators also focused on Russia’s evolving influence tactics, including its growing ability to better disguise operations.
Russia has engaged in a “long pattern of deflection” to pin blame for its malevolent acts on other countries, Dr. Hill said, not least Ukraine, a former Soviet republic. Since Ukraine won independence in 1991, Russia has tried to reassert influence there, meddling in its politics, maligning pro-Western leaders and accusing Ukrainian critics of Moscow of fascist leanings.
“The Russians have a particular vested interest in putting Ukraine, Ukrainian leaders in a very bad light,” she told lawmakers.
But the campaign by Russian intelligence in recent years has been even more complex as Moscow tries not only to undermine the government in Kyiv but also to use a disinformation campaign there to influence the American political debate.
The accusations of a Ukrainian influence campaign center on actions by a handful of Ukrainians who openly criticized or sought to damage Mr. Trump’s candidacy in 2016. They were scattershot efforts that were far from a replica of Moscow’s interference, when President Vladimir V. Putin ordered military and intelligence operatives to mount a broad campaign to sabotage the American election. The Russians in 2016 conducted covert operations to hack Democratic computers and to use social media to exploit divisions among Americans.
This time, Russian intelligence operatives deployed a network of agents to blame Ukraine for its 2016 interference. Starting at least in 2017, the operatives peddled a mixture of now-debunked conspiracy theories along with established facts to leave an impression that the government in Kyiv, not Moscow, was responsible for the hackings of Democrats and its other interference efforts in 2016, senior intelligence officials said.
The Russian intelligence officers conveyed the information to prominent Russians and Ukrainians who then used a range of intermediaries, like oligarchs, businessmen and their associates, to pass the material to American political figures and even some journalists, who were likely unaware of its origin, the officials said.
That muddy brew worked its way into American information ecosystems, sloshing around until parts of it reached Mr. Trump, who has also spoken with Mr. Putin about allegations of Ukrainian interference. Mr. Trump also brought up the assertions of Ukrainian meddling in his July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, which is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into whether he abused his power by asking for a public commitment to investigations he stood to gain from personally.
“This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” said Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert on the National Security Council.
Mr. Trump referred elliptically to allegations that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election and brought up a related conspiracy theory. Asking Mr. Zelensky to “do us a favor,” Mr. Trump added, “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine.”
Russia’s operation to blame Ukraine has become more relevant as Republicans have tried to focus public debate during the impeachment inquiry on any Ukrainian role in the 2016 campaign, American officials said.
Republicans have denounced any suggestion that their concerns about Ukrainian meddling are without merit or that they are ignoring Russia’s broader interference. “Not a single Republican member of this committee said Russia did not meddle in the 2016 elections,” Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, said Thursday.
Indeed, Ms. Stefanik and her Republican colleagues on the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting the impeachment hearing, have also steered clear of the fringe notion that Mr. Trump mentioned to Mr. Zelensky, which is pushed by Russian intelligence: the so-called CrowdStrike server conspiracy theory, which falsely suggests Ukraine, not Russia, was behind the breach of Democratic operatives’ servers.
Mr. Trump repeated the baseless claim on Friday in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” laying out the narrative and doubling down after a host gently pressed him on whether he was sure of one aspect of the debunked theory, that the F.B.I. gave a Democratic server to what Mr. Trump had inaccurately described as a Ukrainian-owned company.
“That is what the word is,” Mr. Trump replied.
Some Republicans have also focused on Hunter Biden, raising questions about whether his hiring by the Ukrainian energy company Burisma was corrupt. Burisma hired Mr. Biden while his father, former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr., a potential rival of Mr. Trump’s in the 2020 election, was leading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. On the July 25 call, Mr. Trump also demanded Mr. Zelensky investigate Burisma and Hunter Biden.
Moscow has long used its intelligence agencies and propaganda machine to muddy the waters of public debate, casting doubts over established facts. In her testimony, Dr. Hill noted Russia’s pattern of trying to blame other countries for its own actions, like the attempted poisoning last year of a former Russian intelligence officer or the downing of a passenger jet over Ukraine in 2014. Moscow’s goal is to cast doubt on established facts, said current and former officials.
“The strategy is simply to create the impression that it is not really possible to know who was really behind it,” said Laura Rosenberger, the director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, which tracks Russian disinformation efforts.
Although American intelligence agencies have made no formal classified assessment about the Russian disinformation campaign against Ukraine, officials at several of the agencies have broadly agreed for some time that Russian intelligence services have embraced tactics to shift responsibility for the 2016 interference campaign away from themselves, officials said.
Russia has relentlessly tried to deflect attention since the allegations of its interference campaign in the 2016 election first surfaced, one official said.
Mr. Putin began publicly pushing false theories of Ukrainian interference in the early months of 2017 to deflect responsibility from Russia, said Senator Angus King, independent of Maine and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who declined to answer questions about the briefing.
“These people are pros at this,” said Mr. King, who caucuses with the Democrats. “The Soviet Union used disinformation for 70 years. This is nothing new. Vladimir Putin is a former K.G.B. agent. He is trained in deception. This is his stock and trade and he is doing it well.”
During a news conference in February 2017, Mr. Putin accused the Ukrainian government of supporting Hillary Clinton during the previous American election and funding her candidacy with friendly oligarchs.
It is not clear when American intelligence agencies learned about Moscow’s campaign or when precisely it began.
Russian intelligence officers aimed part of their operation at prompting the Ukrainian authorities to investigate the allegations that people in Ukraine tried to tamper with the 2016 American election and to shut down inquiries into corruption by pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, according to a former official.
One target was the leak of a secret ledger disclosed by a Ukrainian law enforcement agency that appeared to show that Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, had taken illicit payments from Ukrainian politicians who were close to Moscow. He was forced to step down from the Trump campaign after the ledger became public in August 2016, and the Russians have since been eager to cast doubt on its authenticity, the former official said.
Intelligence officials believe that one of the people the Kremlin relied on to spread disinformation about Ukrainian interference was Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who had ties to Mr. Manafort. After his ouster from the campaign, Mr. Manafort told his former deputy later in 2016 that Ukrainians, not Russians, stole Democratic emails. Mr. Deripaska has broadly denied any role in election meddling.
“There is a long history of Russians putting out fake information,” said Marc Polymeropoulos, a former senior C.I.A. official. “Now they are trying to put out theories that they think are damaging to the United States.”
AMERICA! (R)s ARE DESTROYING OUR DEMOCRACY!