Trump Campaign Allegedly in Contact with Russians 18 Times in 2016

Posted May 19, 2017

These interactions had not been previously disclosed by the Trump campaign, which in January claimed there had been no communication between themselves and Russian officials during that election.

The identities of other Russian or Trump advisers who were in contact are being kept under wraps in intelligence reports due to privacy laws.

Summary: Reuters said that Donald Trump's presidential campaign was in contact with Russian Federation at least 18 times during the last months of the 2016 race.

This comes after The New York Times reported Wednesday night that Flynn told the Trump transition team ahead of inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign.

Trump and his supporters continue to insist that there is nothing to see in the Russian Federation story.

Six of the 18 contacts were between Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the US, and campaign officials, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the November 8 election as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current USA officials said. 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.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US President Donald Trump, and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak (L-R) last week at the White House. Flynn's records of this meeting have since been subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The calls and emails, which had previously not been disclosed, make up part of the record that is being assembled as part of the investigation being run by the FBI as well as the congressional investigation into the ties between Russian Federation and the Trump administration and campaign. Mueller will now take charge of the FBI investigation that began last July.

The other dozen calls, emails and text messages were with other members of the Trump campaign and people considered close to Putin.

One of those contacts was by Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and politician, according to one person with detailed knowledge of the exchange and two others familiar with the issue.

In this February 10, 2017, file photo, then-national security adviser Michael Flynn sits in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Also, how is it possible that Mike Pence, the head of the transition team, would not have a clue that multiple members of his team were in contact with Russian Federation so many times? According to the report, Putin is godfather to Medvedchuk's daughter.

"I am not acquainted with any of Donald Trump's close associates, therefore no such conversation could have taken place", he said in an email to Reuters.

Other than Flynn's, the names of Trump officials involved in the communications are masked.

Over the last several months, leaks have revealed that the Trump campaign had numerous contacts with Russian Federation prior to the election and immediately after.