Former Manager of US President Donald Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort’s family has got into trouble with the breach of his daughter’s phone.
Thirty-one year old, Andrea Manafort’s text messages have been hacked and put on the dark web, accounting to 280,000 in total. It all started with the blackmail threat sent to the Manaforts having to do with the family patriarch’s work in Ukraine, and on Tuesday (February 28), the scandal continued with POLITICO first publishing texts revealing Andrea’s reservations saying the least that the family was benefitting from “blood money” taken from Kremlin-aligned officials. On Monday (February 27) Paul authenticated of some text messages between him and his daughter for POLITICO, but otherwise declined comment on most of them.
The “blood money” comment came specifically from Andrea’s sister, Jessica Manafort, 34 who also revealed that her father’s “work and payment in Ukraine is legally questionable.” The statement was made when she was amid the discussion of her father’s work for pro-Russian Ukranian politician Viktor Yanukovych, the 2013 deaths of anti-Yanukovych protestors at the hands of police are referenced. Yanukovych, who faces treason charges in Ukraine, is now in exile in Russia.
During the discussions, the junior Manafort was still proud of her Dad, despite the happenings. However, Jessica commented that it was “the most dangerous friendship in America.” Andrea also called them “power-hungry egomaniacs” with Trump benefitting from her father’s desire to “[do] this campaign is for sport,” adding that “he likes the challenge.
The texts also reveal that Jessica had been hacked a few weeks before her sister was, while Andrea told one friend that her father was hesitant to open up much in texts because “Russians literally hack his phones.”
Paul resigned as Trump’s campaign manager in August 2016 amid investigations into his lobbying in Ukraine for pro-Russian interests including prior work he did for Yanukovych whose early 2014 ouster led to the Russian invasion of Crimea.
As questions around the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia build, at least one former member of the president’s inner circle appears to have gotten the DNC treatment.
The hack appears to have been carried out by accessing a backup of Andrea iPhone data, which was either stored locally on a computer or synced to an iCloud account. Politico’s report doesn’t name the “hacktivist collective” that posted the files, nor does an earlier blog post claiming to have first noticed them.
Last week, Politico reported that Manafort had been a blackmail target while serving the Trump campaign, a revelation that appears to be drawn from the same website as the texts.
Manafort is now under investigation by the FBI, CIA and NSA.