Trump Campaign Had 18 Secret Contacts With Russia

Notre Dame students who are part of the activist group We Stand For demonstrating for a sanctuary campus. CREDIT Saskia Hennecke

US President Donald Trump and his campaign had as many as 18 undisclosed contacts with Russian officials during last year's election, Reuters has reported.

Reuters reports that after the election, Flynn, who was forced to resign for misleading officials about the nature of his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, was trying to establish a "back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the usa national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations".

The conversations also included a way to establish a communications backchannel between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to circumvent the US national security apparatus, whom both Putin and Trump viewed as inimical to good relations between the two countries.

These communications were previously undisclosed, and took place between April and November 2016, the report said. "Russian economic relations strained by sanctions imposed on Moscow, cooperating in fighting Islamic State in Syria and containing a more assertive China, the sources said", Reuters reported. They were attempting to create a back channel between Trump and Putin so that they could talk without being hampered, or you know reasonably monitored, by the USA blob.

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.

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However, in January 2017, the White House denied there were any contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

These stories all came after The Washington Post published an audio recording of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from June 15, 2016, one day after the intelligence community alleged Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee.

In a written statement, Trump insisted anew there were no nefarious ties between his campaign and Russian Federation. Since that denial, there have been four confirmed contacts between Trump advisers and Kislyak. Mueller will head the FBI investigation that began last July.

The same Reuters piece noted that Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and politician, was also in communications with members of Trump's campaign team.

Veterans of previous election campaigns said some contact with foreign officials during a campaign was not unusual, but the number of interactions between Trump aides and Russian officials and others with links to Putin was exceptional. Which has a parallel in Trump's bypassing American media while allowing Russian media inside the Oval Office, when he met with Kislyak and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov.

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