Among the influence industry veterans who have been helping the campaign in recent weeks, according to sources close to the Trump campaign, are Laurance Gay, who had worked with Manafort on an effort to obtain a federal grant that one congressman called a “very smelly, sleazy business,” and Doug Davenport, whose firm’s lobbying for an oppressive Southeast Asian regime became a liability for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
The pair join another former Manafort lobbying partner named Rick Gates, who was identified as an agent of a Ukrainian oligarch in a 2011 racketeering lawsuit that also named Manafort. And Manafort this week met with Marc Palazzo, a former lobbyist for a Koch Industries subsidiary who used to work as a communications staffer for GTECH Corporation, the controversial lottery operator, to which Gay, Davenport, Gates and Manafort all have ties.
It’s not clear whether the people who have recently started advising the campaign are working as staff, consultants or volunteers. But what unites almost all of them is a professional connection to Manafort, 67, a veteran GOP operative who was hired by Trump late last month to professionalize his campaign.