Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump delivered a foreign policy speech that was focused on defeating radical Islamic terrorism, but most of the conversation surrounding the election Monday was about Ukraine and his campaign manager's ties to a pro-Kremlin political party.
The New York Times reported handwritten ledgers found in the Ukraine show $12.7 million in undisclosed payments to Paul Manafort, Trump's top political aide who has had several international clients, including Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
"It just reinforces the sense that he's deeply involved in the political and economic life of these dreadful dictatorships," said Marc Landy, Professor at Boston College.
Landy says whether or not Manafort accepted cash payments is secondary to the fact that Trump would choose such a person to manage his campaign.
"To associate himself with a man who has been so deeply involved in Ukranian politics and on the side of authoritarianism — on the side of a dictator. This is the real issue," said Landry.
Calling himself a campaign professional, Manafort issued a statement in which he says his work in the Ukraine ended following the parliamentary elections in October 2014 adding, "...every government official interviewed states I have done nothing wrong and there is no evidence of "cash payments" made to me by any official in Ukraine."
Manafort also points out that the report did not mention that the Clinton Foundation has taken payments in exchange for favors from Hillary Clinton while serving as Secretary of State.
The Clinton campaign described Manafort as further evidence of Trump's cozy relationship with Russia.