At least 12 of President Donald Trump’s associates had contact with Russians throughout the presidential marketing campaign or transition, in response to their very own statements, court docket filings and reporting from CNN and others.
Some interactions had been simple, like a public handshake with the Russian ambassador. Others are extra controversial, reminiscent of a secret assembly to get “dirt” on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
This quantity has grown all year long, largely because of public reporting that has pressured new acknowledgments and explanations from Trump’s associates. All of the Trump associates who’ve spoken out deny any improper contacts with Russians and deny collaborating in any collusion with the Kremlin to affect the US election.
This record included White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, former nationwide safety adviser Michael Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., former Trump marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort and others affiliated with the Trump marketing campaign and enterprise empire.
Trump’s aides and associates had no less than 19 face-to-face conferences with Russians or individuals affiliated with the Russian authorities throughout the presidential marketing campaign and transition, in response to their public statements, court docket filings and reporting from CNN and different retailers.
Some of those conferences had been concerning the marketing campaign — like Trump adviser George Papadopoulos’ conferences with Russians in Europe. Others had been claimed to be for non-campaign functions, like when then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., met the Russian ambassador in his Senate workplace.
In all, there have been no less than 51 communications throughout the marketing campaign or transition between Trump associates and Russians or individuals carefully affiliated with the Russian authorities, in response to their public statements, court docket filings and reporting from CNN and different information retailers.
These interactions embrace face-to-face conferences, telephone calls, textual content messages, emails, personal messages on social media and on-line video chats. The overwhelming majority of those exchanges grew to become recognized solely after Trump took workplace.
About one-third of those interactions got here from Papadopoulos and had been revealed in October in court docket filings ready by particular counsel Robert Mueller’s staff earlier than Papadopoulos’ responsible plea.
On no less than 9 events, Trump and his senior officers denied that there had been any contacts in any way with Russians throughout the marketing campaign or that there have been any ties between the marketing campaign and Russians.
These denials petered out final spring as increasingly more interactions had been reported within the media. But earlier than these stories, Trump himself and different senior administration officers provided blanket denials that had been any communication between marketing campaign officers and Russians.
“Russia is a ruse,” Trump stated in February. “I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years. … I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.”
Days after the election, now-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks issued denials on behalf of the Trump marketing campaign concerning the challenge of Russia contacts. She informed The New York Times that the marketing campaign was “not aware of any campaign representatives that were in touch with any foreign entities” throughout the election. And she informed The Associated Press that “there was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”