Prosecutors say longtime Manafort colleague has ‘ties’ to Russian intelligence

Federal prosecutors asserted Monday that a longtime associate of Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Trump’s campaign, has been “assessed to have ties” to Russian intelligence — the first time the special counsel has alleged a Trump official had such contacts.

.. prosecutor Andrew Weissmann urged the judge to reject the bail deal, arguing that Manafort and a Russian colleague have been secretly ghostwriting an English-language editorial that appeared to defend Manafort’s work advising a ­Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine.

.. They said Manafort worked on the draft as recently as last week with “a long-time Russian colleague . . . who is currently based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service.”

.. Manafort has had a long-standing Russian employee named Konstantin Kilimnik who ran Manafort’s office in Kiev during the 10 years he did consulting work there.

.. Kilimnik attended a Russian military foreign language university in the late 1980s that experts have said was a training ground for Russian intelligence services.

.. For a decade, Manafort and Kilimnik worked with then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was initially considered pro-Western but eventually became allied with Russian interests.

Kilimnik also served as Manafort’s liaison to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate and ally to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin who employed Manafort as an investment consultant.

.. According to emails described to The Post, Manafort directed Kilimnik to offer Deripaska “private briefings” about Trump’s campaign.