Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians
- Author: Jon Douglas May 19, 2017,
May 19, 2017, 4:42
The contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian government included at least six phone calls between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.
No evidence of wrongdoing or collusion emerged in the communications, the officials told Reuters, but they are part of the record the FBI and congressional investigators are examining, the report said, as part of the federal probes into Russian interference in the usa election.
The White House denied contact with Russian officials during the campaign in January, the report notes. The White House eventually admitted that Flynn did have 4 conversations with Kislyak, unknown to the head of the transition team, Vice President Mike Pence.
While Reuters' sources said these contacts don't show any illegal collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, these new findings are just more smoke in the air that make it harder to believe we just have yet to find the fire. But the news agency pointed out that the disclosure could likely increase the pressure on Trump and his aides to provide the FBI and congressional investigations with a full account of interactions with Russian officials and others with links to Moscow during and after the 2016 election, something the Trump administration has been reluctant to do. Flynn's records of this meeting have since been subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The calls reportedly focused on "mending U.S". Mueller will now take charge of the FBI investigation that began last July.
These contacts include telephone conversations, emails and text messages, taking place between April and November 2016, just as Russian hackers were beginning to infiltrate the servers of the DNC as well as launch a disinformation campaign via social media. And throughout it all, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook would neither confirm nor deny contact between the Clinton camp and the Kremlin.
Medvedchuk, in a email response to Reuters, said, "I am not acquainted with any of Donald Trump's close associates, therefore no such conversation could have taken place".
On the other hand, the number of actual, documented contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation is growing even faster.
"It's rare to have that many phone calls to foreign officials, especially to a country we consider an adversary or a hostile power", Richard Armitage, a deputy Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, told Reuters. If need be, USA officials investigating the contacts could request that their identities be revealed.
Kislyak was known to meet with other members of the Trump campaign, including now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
U.S. and allied intelligence and law enforcement agencies routinely monitor communications and movements of Russian officials.
But here's the question Watson doesn't want to touch: If these contacts between Trump's campaign officials and Russians were the completely innocent things Trump's allies claim, then why lie about them?