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Report: Manafort notes from Russia meeting referenced 'donations'

Bebeto Matthews / AP

Paul Manafort's notes taken during the infamous meeting with Russian officials at Trump Tower last summer — which also included Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner — use the word "donations" and "RNC" in close proximity, per NBC News. A spokesman for Manafort told Axios, "It is 100 percent false to suggest this meeting included any discussion of donations from Russian sources to either the Trump campaign or the Republican Party."

Who's seen them: Manafort's notes were taken on a smart phone — NBC's source refers to them as "cryptic" — and are in the possession of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees as well as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Why it matters: Foreign individuals can't contribute any money to American election campaigns. It's impossible to know exactly what Manafort's notes mean based on this report, but it's another blast of smoke surrounding the Russia investigation just when the Trump administration needs it least.