Russian Meddling in Election
The United States government announced in October 2016 that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic party operations. Hacked emails had been released publicly, some of which contained embarrassing information about the Democratic Party and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the party's presidential nominee.
Initially, U.S. intelligence agencies did not suggest the Russian hack was intended to help Trump win the election. In December 2016, however, the Central Intelligence Agency told a group of U.S. Senators that Russia had intended to help Trump win the presidency. Continued investigation revealed email accounts of some Republican congressmen, GOP non-profits, and other party organizations had been hacked, but that information had not been released.
The Washington Post quoted a senior U.S. official as saying, “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected." Read the Washington Post article.
2014 Trump says Russian hacking is a "big problem." cnn.com 2016.03 Second Russian hacker group gains access to DNC servers. nytimes.com 2016.07.04 Putin runs stealth efforts on behalf of populist politicians who rail against the European Union and want to push away from NATO. slate.com 2016.07.25 WikiLeaks releases 20,000 hacked emails from DNC washingtonpost.com 2016.07.27 Trump invites Russia to hack Clinton's email. washingtonpost.com 2016.08.05 American spies think Trump is a Putin puppet. observer.com 2016.09.23 Officials are concerned that Trump foreign policy advisor, Carter Page, has spoken with the Kremlin about lifting economic sanctions on Russia. cnbc.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Russia, Conflicts of Interest) 2016.10.07 Department of Homeland Security releases statement on Russian interference in election expressing confidence the attack was state sponsored. dhs.gov 2016.10.16 Trump ally Roger Stone admits to having ‘back-channel’ communications with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange over the hacked DNC emails but denies providing them to him. miami.cbslocal.com 2016.11.04. Russia monitors both Russia and Clinton during visits, and backs Trump's candidacy to weaken NATO. newsweek.com 2016.11.10 Russia says it was in touch with Trump's campaign during election reuters.com 2016.12 U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated communications that Trump’s national security adviser had with Russian officials, including late December 2016 phone calls. wsj.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2016.12.09 Intelligence agencies brief elected officials: Russia trying to help Trump win election. washingtonpost.com 2016.12.09 Trump's transition team denies foreign influence in presidential election. presidency.ucsb.edu 2016.12.11 Trump says allegations Russia meddled with U.S. election are "ridiculous." youtube.com 2016.12.12 Despite calls for expanded investigations, Republicans are content with their existing oversight of alleged Russian misdeeds and shield Trump from expanded Russia probe politico.com 2016.12.12. Senate and House leaders call for inquiry into Russian hacking of the election. nytimes.com 2016.12.15 Trump makes a false Twitter claim: “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?” twitter.com 2016.12.16 Obama says the US will retaliate against Russia's alleged hacking "at a time and place of our own choosing." cnn.com 2016.12.18 Trump team tones down skepticism on Russia hacking. wsj.com 2016.12.30 Obama imposes sanctions on Russian diplomats after hacking. newyorker.com 2017.01.06 In the wake of the intelligence community's released report on Russian motivations for hacking the Democratic and Republican National Committees Trump announces he will order an anti-hacking plan within ninety days of taking office mobile.reuters.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.01.06 Intelligence report on Putin's "influence campaign" released, concludes Russia conspired to help Trump win. npr.org 2017.01.06 Intelligence report: Putin led a complex cyberattack scheme to aid Trump. nytimes.com 2017.01.10 Tillerson calls intelligence findings on Russian election interference "troubling". washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson) 2017.01.11 Donald Trump concedes that Russia interfered in 2016 election, but dodges questions on Russian communications with his campaign. nytimes.com (See also Russia) 2017.01.11 Russian intelligence allegedly gathered compromising material on Trump. theguardian.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.01.11 Trump concedes Russia interfered with election, dodges question about whether his campaign was in touch with Russia at the same time. nytimes.com 2017.01.12 Intel chiefs informed Trump of claims of Russian efforts to compromise him. cnn.com 2017.01.12 Trump's CIA pick describes hacking of U.S. election as 'aggressive action' by Russian senior officials. cnn.com (See also Mike Pompeo) 2017.01.13 David Corn recalls speaking to the spy who wrote the Trump-Russia memos and sent them to the FBI. m.motherjones.com 2017.01.14 Trump's national security adviser, Mike Flynn, and Russia's ambassador to the U.S. have been in frequent contact in recent weeks, including on the day the Obama administration hit Moscow with sanctions in retaliation for election-related hacking. apnews.com 2017.01.15 Buried in the unverified dossier provided to the FBI is an allegation that Trump agreed to sideline the issue of Russian intervention in the Ukraine during his campaign after Russian promised to feed stolen DNC emails to WikiLeaks. businessinsider.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Ukraine) 2017.01.15 Face the Nation transcript Jan. 15, 2017: Pence denies interactions between Flynn and Russian Ambassador. cbsnews.com (See also Mike Pence, Michael Flynn, Russia) 2017.01.18 FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible secret Kremlin financial aid to Trump. mcclatchydc.com 2017.01.19 American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and Trump associates, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. nytimes.com (See also Russia) 2017.01.21 Trump and his press secretary falsely accuse press of underestimating the size of inauguration crowds and inventing a rift between him and intelligence agencies over Russian election meddling. nytimes.com (See also False Statements, Feuds) 2017.01.27 Igor Sechin allegedly offered former Donald Trump ally Carter Page the brokerage of a 19% stake in Rosneft in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions. businessinsider.com (See also First 100 Days, Russia, Conflicts of Interest) 2017.01.27 Two Russian intelligence officers who worked on cyberoperations and a Russian computer security expert have been arrested and charged with treason for providing information to the United States mobile.nytimes.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption, 2016 Election) 2017.02.01 Russia is conducting a counterintelligence raid -- arresting four men once trusted with Russian government secrets about hacking operations after suspected leaks to U.S. intelligence. money.cnn.com (See also First 100 Days, Russia, Technology) 2017.02.01 Senate confirms oil industry executive and friend of Russia Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State in 56-to-43 vote. washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Russia, Department of State) 2017.02.02 Donald Trump lifts sanctions on Russia's Federal Security Service, an intelligence organization implicated in meddling with the 2016 election. usatoday.com (See also First 100 Days, Russia) 2017.02.02 The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday adjusted sanctions on Russian intelligence agency FSB, making limited exceptions to the measures put in place by former President Barack Obama over accusations of cyber attacks on the election. reuters.com (See also First 100 Days, Department of the Treasury, Russia) 2017.02.03 Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden is hell-bent on getting out the truth about Trump and Russia. m.motherjones.com (See also Russia, 2016 Campaign) 2017.02.04 Officials with knowledge say the FBI rejected recent White House requests to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Trump's associates and Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign. cnn.com (See also First 100 Days, FBI) 2017.02.05 Pelosi urges the FBI to probe Trump's finances and personal ties for evidence of possible Russian blackmail. politico.com (See also First 100 Days, Russia, Mike Pence) 2017.02.07 House Administration Committee votes to terminate the one federal agency charged with upgrading our voting systems, and helping to protect our elections and voting machines from hacking brennancenter.org (See also Assaults on Government) 2017.02.09 National security adviser Flynn discusses election-related sanctions with Russian ambassador before Trump takes office, contradicting White House assertions and potentially breaking the law. washingtonpost.com (See also First 100 Days, Michael Flynn, Russia) 2017.02.15 Democrats are ratcheting up their calls for an independent investigation into communications between Trump’s associates and Russian intelligence agents — but Republicans show no sign of acquiescing. politico.com (See also First 100 Days, Russia) 2017.02.15 Former Trump adviser Roger Stone, named as one of four individuals under FBI observation over alleged contacts with Russian intelligence, calls for investigation of alleged Russia links. theguardian.com (See also FBI, Russia) 2017.02.15 House Oversight Chairman Chaffetz asks Department of Justice inspector general to investigate leaks about Flynn rather than communications between Flynn, the Trump team, and Russia. politico.com (See also Department of Justice, Michael Flynn) 2017.02.15 Senator Lindsay Graham says if it is true that Trump campaign caides had regular contact with Russian Intelligence officials it warrants a select committe to investigate. thehill.com (See also First 100 Days, Russia) 2017.02.16 All nine Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats call on Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from any Justice Department invesitgations into Trump-Russia communications and Russian interference in the 2016 election. feinstein.senate.gov (See also Department of Justice, Jeff Sessions, First 100 Days) 2017.02.16 Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats request that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuse himself from any investigations into communications between Trump team's and Russia, and that the White House counsel, Department of Justice and FBI preserve materials relevant to those contacts. theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions) 2017.02.16 Trump uses press conference to declare his administration is a "fine-tuned machine," attack media, and dismiss claims of connections with Russia in a 75-minute, freewheeling defense of his chaotic first weeks in office. theguardian.com (See also Attempts to Discredit Media, First 100 Days) 2017.02.17 Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) is first House Republican to sign the Protecting Our Democracy Act, a bill creating an independent committee to investigate Russia and the 2016 election. thehill.com 2017.02.18 U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, trying to identify the people behind the DNC hack and those who call themselves "Guccifer 2," and pursuing leads from informants and foreign communications intercepts, according to five current and former officials with direct knowledge of the subject. reuters.com (See also First 100 Days, FBI) 2017.02.19 Amid scrutiny of Trump’s ties to Russia, his personal lawyer delivered a back-channel, sealed plan to lift sanctions to Micheal Flynn. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.02.20 The alleged Russian ties that forced Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, to resign in August 2016 are at the center of investigations into links between Moscow and the Trump team. wsj.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.02.22 Russian officials contradict Trump's claim that his campaign team had no contact with Russia by admitting they had been in contact with members of his staff. independent.co.uk (See also First 100 Days, Trump, Russia, Assaults on Facts, False Statements) 2017.02.22 Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) wants former national security adviser Michael Flynn to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. politico.com (See also Michael Flynn) 2017.02.23 Hacked phone texts appear to show that Paul Manafort was blackmailed over relations with pro-Russian Uknranians while serving as Trump's campaign chair in the summer of 2016. politico.com (See also Corruption, 2016 Campaign, First 100 Days) 2017.02.24 Recent news report indicates White House official asked F.B.I. to rebut an article detailing contacts between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russian intelligence officials, and in response,Trump attacks the F.B.I. as a dangerously porous agency, charging that leaks of classified information from within its ranks were putting the country at risk—and calls for an immediate hunt for the leakers. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, FBI) 2017.02.24 Republican Rep. Darrell Issa says a special prosecutor needs to lead an investigation into the alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s regime. sandiegouniontribune.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.02.24 Republican Rep. Issa asserts need for special prosecutor, independent of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to investigate Russian meddling in Trump’s election. washingtonpost.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption) 2017.02.24 Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus is accused of violating protocols that protect pending investigations from political interference when he reached out to FBI to knock down stories about contacts between the Trump team and Russia. theguardian.com (See also Reince Priebus, First 100 Days, FBI) 2017.02.24 White House confirms conversation between Reince Priebus, FBI Director James Comey, and deputy director Andrew McCabe about pushing back against reports on Trump associates and Russia, that appears to violate Justice Department rules. theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days, Reince Priebus, FBI) 2017.02.28 FBI found British spy who wrote dossier about Trump being compromised by Russians credible enough to consider paying him. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.02.28 The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to continue his work. washingtonpost.com 2017.03.01 Justice Department officials say Attorney General Jeff Sessions, charged with leading investigation into Russian interference in U.S. election, lied under oath about contact with Russian ambassador in 2016 while he was part of Trump's campaign team. washingtonpost.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Corruption, Department of Justice) 2017.03.02 White House confirms that Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and now a senior adviser, also participated in the meeting at Trump Tower with Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in December. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, Jared Kushner, Russia, Michael Flynn) 2017.03.04 Before leaving for Mar-A-Lago for the weekend, Trump summons senior staff to the Oval Office and goes "ballistic" over Sessions's decision to recuse himself from portions of any investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign election, and then, after the meeting, leaves Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus behind in D.C. abcnews.go.com (See also First 100 Days, Jeff Sessions, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon) 2017.03.04 Trump makes unfounded claim about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower. wired.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.03.05 Trump demands congressional inquiry into his unsubstantiated claim that Obama had his phones tapped to investigate Russia’s meddling in the election. nytimes.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Assaults on Facts) 2017.03.07 Politico reports that Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski approved foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s now-infamous trip to Moscow last summer. politico.com (See also Carter Page, Corey Lewandowski) 2017.03.15 FBI Director James Comey briefs leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee and agrees to testify publicly regarding Russian meddling in the presidential election. secure.politico.com (See also FBI, Department of Justice) 2017.03.15 Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says he expects FBI Director James Comey to announce the FBI is investigating possible ties between Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign, transition and administration. thehill.com (See also FBI) 2017.03.20 As House Intelligence Committee investigates possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claims Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort—who's been paid millions by Russia—played a "limited role" in the campaign. cnn.com (See also Assaults on Facts, Russia, Sean Spicer) 2017.03.20 The FBI is investigating whether far-right news sites Breitbart and Infowars played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that boosted fictional, pro-Trump news. mcclatchydc.com (See also Steve Bannon) 2017.03.22 FBI reviewing information that indicates Trump associates communicated with suspected Russian operatives, possibly to coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton during election. cnn.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia, Corruption, 2016 Election) 2017.03.22 Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked to benefit Russia in U.S. relations, contradicting Trump's claim Manafort had never worked for official Russian government interests. startribune.com (See also Paul Manafort, Russia, Assaults on Facts) 2017.05.08 Former Obama Administration officials say President Obama warned Trump about hiring Michael Flynn during a post-election conversation in the Oval Office. nytimes.com (See also Michael Flynn, Russia) 2017.05.09 Trump fires FBI director James Comey, removing the official leading the FBI investigation into Trump campaign's involvement with Russian election interference. cnn.com (See also James Comey, Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.05.10 Former FBI Director Comey requested more resources for Russia inquiry days before being fired. nytimes.com (See also James Comey, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Russia) 2017.05.10 Senate intelligence committee subpoenas Michael Flynn regarding interactions with Russian officials. cnn.com (See also Michael Flynn, Russia) 2017.05.17 FBI director Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel for investigation into Russian election interference. washingtonpost.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.05.17 Tapes reveal that in June 2016 GOP House majority leader Kevin McCarthy told colleagues "There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump," with Paul Ryan pledging all attendees to secrecy. washingtonpost.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.05.23 Trump asks top intelligence officials to publicly deny existence of evidence of collusion with Russia after FBI Director Comey discusses investigation with House Intelligence Committee. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia) 2017.06.01 In the early weeks of the Trump administration, former Obama administration officials and State Department staffers fought an intense, behind-the-scenes battle to head off efforts by incoming officials to normalize relations with Russia. yahoo.com (See also 2016 Election) 2017.06.02 The Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee asked U.S. spy agencies late last year to reveal the names of U.S. individuals or organizations contained in classified intelligence on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, engaging in the same practice that President Trump has accused the Obama administration of abusing. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Election, Hypocrisy) 2017.06.03 The special counsel investigating possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia’s government has taken over a separate criminal probe involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and may expand his inquiry to investigate the roles of the attorney general and deputy attorney general in the firing of FBI Director James Comey. apnews.com (See also Corruption, 2016 Election, Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Activity) 2017.06.05 Russian Military Intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election. theintercept.com (See also 2016 Election) 2017.06.05 The White House is telling federal agencies to ignore Democratic lawmakers' oversight requests, as Republicans fear the information could be weaponized against President Donald Trump. politico.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Activity, Corruption) 2017.06.06 Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered to resign from his post in recent weeks, amid tension with Donald Trump over his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. wsj.com (See also Legal Activity, Corruption, Jeff Sessions) 2017.06.06 The day after Trump asked FBI director James B. Comey to end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Mr. Comey confronted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and said he did not want to be left alone again with the president, believing Mr. Sessions should protect the F.B.I. from White House influence. nytimes.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, Legal Activity, Corruption) 2017.06.06 The nation’s top intelligence official told associates in March that Trump asked him if he could intervene with FBI Director James Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe. washingtonpost.com (See also Michael Flynn, Corruption, Russia, 2016 Election) 2017.06.06 The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says that Russian attacks on election systems were broader and targeted more states than those detailed in an explosive intelligence report leaked to The Intercept. usatoday.com (See also 2016 Election) 2017.06.07 Fired FBI Director James B. Comey said Trump told him at the White House “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” during their private dinner conversation in January, according to written remarks from Comey offering a vivid preview of his testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. washingtonpost.com (See also Corruption, Feuds, Unpresidential Behavior, Legal Activity, Michael Flynn) 2017.06.07 Former US director of national intelligence James Clapper says events in Washington now are more serious than the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, and that it is imperative investigators get to the bottom of the Trump administration’s links with the Putin regime. theguardian.com (See also Corruption, Trump Relationship with Russia, Michael Flynn, James Mattis, John Kelly, H.R. McMaster) 2017.06.07 In his 9 one-on-one conversations with Trump, former FBI chief, James B. Comey said Trump pressured him for loyalty, sought forbearance for Michael Flynn and asked him to lift the “cloud” of a Russia investigation hanging over the administration. bloomberg.com (See also Legal Activity, Unpresidential Behavior, Michael Flynn, Feuds, Corruption) 2017.06.07 James Comey’s seven-page written statement, released by the Senate Intelligence Committee recounts, in spare and simple prose, a set of facts to which Comey is prepared to testify under oath tomorrow, and is the most shocking single document compiled about the official conduct of the public duties of any President since the Watergate tapes. lawfareblog.com (See also Corruption, Legal Activity, Michael Flynn) 2017.06.08 Former FBI Director James Comey accused the president and his top aides of lying, suggesting president wanted special treatment in exchange for loyalty, and that he believes he lost his job because of how he handled the Russia investigation. abcnews.go.com (See also Michael Flynn, Corruption, Legal Activity) 2017.06.08 James B. Comey, said under oath in an extraordinary Senate hearing that he believed President Trump had tried to derail an investigation into his national security adviser, and accused the president of lying and defaming him and the F.B.I. nytimes.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Legal Activity, Michael Flynn, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.06.08 Philip Allen Lacovara, a former U.S. deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department, says James B. Comey placed President Trump in the sights of a federal criminal investigation, laying out evidence sufficient for a case of obstruction of justice. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity, Unpresidential Behavior, Corruption, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner) 2017.06.14 The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Conflicts of Interest, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.06.15 A recent NSA memo documents a phone call in which Trump pressured agency chief Admiral Mike Rogers to state publicly that there is no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia. newsweek.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Corruption, Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.06.15 Special counsel Bob Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. washingtonpost.com (See also Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, Legal Activity) 2017.06.15 The Senate voted overwhelmingly 97-2 to allow Congress to block any efforts by Trump to scale back sanctions against Russia, and to strengthen those sanctions in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and its actions in Syria. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia, Syria) 2017.06.16 The senior Justice Department official with ultimate authority over the special counsel's probe of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election has privately acknowledged to colleagues that he may have to recuse himself from the matter, which he took charge of only after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' own recusal. abcnews.go.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Jeff Sessions, Legal Activity) 2017.06.17 The White House plans to work with House Republicans on administration-friendly changes to the Senate’s overwhelmingly bipartisan bill (98-2) that slaps new sanctions on Russia and curbs Trump’s power to ease penalties against Moscow. politico.com (See also Russia, Department of State, Rex Tillerson) 2017.06.20 Despite senior officials across the government convinced that Michael T. Flynn had become vulnerable to Russian blackmail, every day for three weeks, the CIA director Mike Pompeo briefed Trump on the nation's most sensitive intelligence with Mr. Flynn. nytimes.com (See also Mike Pompeo, Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption, Michael Flynn) 2017.06.21 A Department of Homeland Security official testified that people connected to the Russian government tried to hack election-related computer systems in 21 states. washingtonpost.com (See also Russia, Department of Homeland Security) 2017.06.22 More than a month after suggesting he may have secretly recorded his meetings with FBI Director James Comey, Trump admitted that he has no such tapes. buzzfeed.com (See also Corruption, Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia, Michael Flynn, Unpresidential Behavior) 2017.06.22 Two of the nation's top intelligence officials told Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team and Senate investigators that President Donald Trump suggested they say publicly there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians cnn.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Activity) 2017.06.23 Trump appeared to acknowledge that his tweet hinting of taped conversations with James B. Comey was intended to influence the fired F.B.I. director’s testimony. nytimes.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption) 2017.06.27 A consulting firm led by Paul Manafort, retroactively filed forms Tuesday showing that his firm received $17.1 million over two years from a political party that dominated Ukraine before its leader fled to Russia in 2014. washingtonpost.com (See also Corruption, Conflicts of Interest, Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign) 2017.06.29 The Wall Street Journal reports that Russian hackers discussed during the 2016 presidential campaign if they could obtain emails deleted by Hillary Clinton and get them to Michael Flynn, the retired general who was then a member of the Trump campaign. buzzfeed.com (See also Michael Flynn, 2016 Campaign, Corruption) 2017.07.09 Donald Trump Jr. was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign. nytimes.com (See also Russia, Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, 2016 Campaign, Corruption) 2017.07.09 Trump floated, then seemingly disavowed, a deal for greater cybersecurity with Russia - an idea that drew dismay and mockery from lawmakers of both parties, and which analysts warned could make the US less secure. politico.com (See also Administration Errors, Rex Tillerson) 2017.07.11 The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton. The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." nytimes.com (See also Russia, Corruption, Donald Trump Jr) 2017.07.12 Congress and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016. mcclatchydc.com (See also Jared Kushner, 2016 Campaign, Corruption) 2017.07.13 Donald Trump lied today about how Natalia Veselnitskaya entered the United States to meet with his son, campaign manager, and son-in-law. buzzfeed.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Assaults on Facts) 2017.07.14 The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. and others on the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who is suspected by U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence. nbcnews.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Corruption) 2017.07.14 The former Soviet intelligence officer who attended the now-infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and other top campaign officials last June was previously accused in federal and state courts of orchestrating an international hacking conspiracy. thedailybeast.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, 2016 Campaign) 2017.07.15 A prominent Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer attended the meeting with Donald Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign chairman last year, adding a new wrinkle to the Trump team’s evolving explanations about the June 2016 session, as this wasn't previously disclosed. apnews.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Corruption, 2016 Campaign) 2017.07.19 Trump harshly criticized his attorney general and one of his most loyal supporters, Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, indicating that he regretted the choice. washingtonpost.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Trump Relationship with Russia, Department of Justice) 2017.07.20 Trump claims Jeff Sessions' recusal is "very unfair" to him. washingtonpost.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Issues) 2017.07.21 Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Russia, Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice) 2017.07.21 The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. after his father won the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election counted Russia's FSB security service among her clients for years. reuters.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner) 2017.07.22 Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that U.S. intelligence agencies uniformly believe the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 presidential campaign, despite Trump’s earlier claim there was a misunderstanding between the agencies. thehill.com (See also 2016 Campaign) 2017.07.24 In his first public defense of his meetings with Russian officials during Donald Trump’s campaign and transition, Jared Kushner on Monday presented his encounters with those operatives as innocent interactions, saying "I did not collude." politico.com (See also Jared Kushner, 2016 Campaign, Jeff Sessions) 2017.07.25 Paul Manafort, a top campaign aide to President Trump, appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee early Tuesday morning to answer questions about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Campaign) 2017.07.31 Trump dictated his son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity, Donald Trump Jr) 2017.08.02 Instead of looking at Russian meddling in last year’s election, Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey and the president’s public drubbing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virgina, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has a different priority: investigating Hillary Clinton. bloomberg.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Corruption, Assaults on Government, Jeff Sessions) 2017.08.02 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is resisting the pleas of State Department officials to spend nearly $80 million allocated by Congress for fighting terrorist propaganda and Russian disinformation. politico.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Department of State) 2017.08.02 Trump signed a Russia sanctions bill Congress forced on him, adding a statement saying the administration will carry out the law but with reservations about its impact and the constitutionality of some provisions. bloomberg.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.08.03 Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase. wsj.com (See also Legal Activity, 2016 Campaign) 2017.08.03 Trump blamed Congress for the United States’ poor relationship with Russia, a day after he signed sanctions legislation that he said was flawed and unconstitutional. nytimes.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Russia, Assaults on Government, Iran, North Korea) 2017.08.07 After Senator Richard Blumenthal voiced support on television for continuing the investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election, and expressed concern about the Justice Department’s increased focus on rooting out administration officials who leak information damaging to Trump, the President tweeted that the Senator was "a phony Vietnam con artist," and that "he cried like a baby." washingtonpost.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Fascism) 2017.08.14 Trump campaign emails show aide’s repeated efforts to set up Russia meetings. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.08.17 In the summer of 2016, as WikiLeaks was publishing documents from Democratic operatives allegedly they turned down a large cache of documents related to the Russian government, instead focusing on Hillary Clinton. foreignpolicy.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.08.18 Federal prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller are focusing keenly on the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and are trying to determine his intent when he attended a controversial June 9, 2016, meeting with a Russian lawyer. buzzfeed.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia) 2017.08.21 Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-born Washington influence peddler who met with senior Trump campaign officials, has often promoted causes benefiting President Vladimir V. Putin and his allies. nytimes.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Activity) 2017.08.24 CIA director Mike Pompeo has not impeded work looking into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, but several officials said there is concern about what he might do if the CIA uncovered new information potentially damaging to Trump. washingtonpost.com (See also Mike Pompeo, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign) 2017.08.24 Congressional investigators have unearthed an email from a top Trump aide, Rick Dearborn, who is now Trump's deputy chief of staff, that referenced a previously unreported effort to arrange a meeting last year between Trump campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin. cnn.com (See also 2016 Election, Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia, Jeff Sessions) 2017.08.28 A business associate of Donald Trump, Felix Sater, promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency. nytimes.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.08.28 A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Issues, Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption) 2017.08.28 Donald Trump discussed a proposal to build a hotel and condominium tower in Moscow on three occasions with his company’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who emailed the press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin to ask for assistance on the project. bloomberg.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.08.30 Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into Paul Manafort and his financial transactions, potentially providing Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes. politico.com (See also Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption, 2016 Campaign) 2017.08.31 Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS to assist with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, enlisting the help of agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit, one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities, focusing exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. thedailybeast.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Legal Issues, Corruption, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.09.01 Paul Manafort's notes from a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign included a mention of political contributions near a reference to the Republican National Committee. nbcnews.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption, Legal Issues, 2016 Campaign) 2017.09.06 Amid ongoing concern over the role of disinformation in the 2016 election, Facebook said Wednesday it found that more than 5,000 ads, costing more than $150,000, had been placed on its network between June 2015 and May 2017 from "inauthentic accounts" and Pages, likely from Russia. wired.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.09.06 Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators that the social network has discovered that it sold ads during the U.S. presidential campaign to a shadowy Russian firm tied to pro-Kremlin propaganda, seeking to target voters. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.09.07 Donald Trump Jr. said he was open to receiving information about Hillary Clinton's "fitness, character or qualifications" when he accepted a meeting with a Russian lawyer last year in his opening statement of about 15 to 20 minutes before taking questions behind closed doors from staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee latimes.com (See also 2016 Election, Trump Relationship with Russia, Donald Trump Jr) 2017.09.11 Russian operatives hiding behind false identities used Facebook’s event-management tool to remotely organize and promote anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rallies. thedailybeast.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Election, Immigration) 2017.09.11 Russian politician Vyacheslav Nikonov, a member of the Duma, said U.S. "intelligence missed it when Russian intelligence stole the president of the United States," on a Russian panel television show. axios.com (See also 2016 Election, Russia) 2017.09.11 The FBI recently questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, the Russian-government-funded news agency, as part of an investigation into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin. huffingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia, Attempts to Discredit Media) 2017.09.13 Donald Trump's former national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, has refused a new request to appear as a witness before the Senate intelligence committee, asserting his Fifth Amendment rights. cnn.com (See also Michael Flynn, Legal Issues, 2016 Election) 2017.09.20 Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, in an email from Paul Manafort to an overseas intermediary. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption, 2016 Campaign, Russia) 2017.09.25 Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit America’s racial and religious divisions during the 2016 presidential campaign. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Racism) 2017.10.04 A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump's victory last November - where Trump won by 10,700 and 22,700 votes respectively. cnn.com (See also 2016 Election) 2017.10.04 At a rare bi-partisan news conference, Senators Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina and the committee’s chairman, and Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and its vice chairman, broadly endorsed the conclusions of American spy agencies that said President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a campaign of hacking and propaganda to disrupt the 2016 presidential election. nytimes.com (See also 2016 Election) 2017.10.04 Two former heads of the CIA said Russia probably didn’t have the ability to microtarget U.S. voters and districts in the 2016 presidential campaign on its own, meaning some sort of assistance would have been necessary. bloomberg.com (See also 2016 Election) 2017.10.09 A newly disclosed email sent on the morning of a Trump Tower meeting held during last year’s presidential campaign between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian could offer evidence backing up the Russian lawyer’s claims that she was meeting with Trump Jr. solely to discuss a 2012 law despised by the Kremlin that imposed financial sanctions on wealthy Russians as punishment for human rights abuses. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Donald Trump Jr) 2017.10.09 Google has found evidence that Russian agents bought ads on its wide-ranging networks in an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign. nytimes.com (See also 2016 Campaign) 2017.10.11 The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is looking at Cambridge Analytica’s work for Donald Trump’s campaign as part of its investigation into Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 race. thedailybeast.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.10.13 Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, has much stronger financial ties to a Russian oligarch than have been previously reported, including that $26 million changed hands in the form of a loan between a company linked to Manafort and Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin, bringing the total of their known business dealings to around $60 million over the past decade. nbcnews.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption, Russia) 2017.10.17 US investigators believe it was Yevgeny Prigozhin's company (a colleague of Putin and a Russian oligarch) that financed a Russian "troll factory" that used social media to spread fake news during the 2016 US presidential campaign. cnn.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.10.18 A number of Republicans are telling the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians to wrap it up soon. cnn.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.10.18 Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to discuss his conversations with Donald Trump about James Comey or Russia, despite 5 hours of testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. nytimes.com (See also Legal Issues, Department of Justice, LGBTQIA, Assaults on Civil Liberties) 2017.10.18 Some of the Trump campaign’s most prominent names and supporters, including Trump’s campaign manager, digital director, Kellyanne Conway, and Donald Trump Jr., pushed tweets from professional trolls paid by the Russian government in the heat of the 2016 election campaign. thedailybeast.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia, Donald Trump Jr) 2017.10.19 CIA Director Mike Pompeo incorrectly asserted Thursday that U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia's interference campaign did not affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. nbcnews.com (See also 2016 Election, Mike Pompeo, False Statements) 2017.10.21 Donald Trump plans to spend at least $430,000 of his personal funds to help cover the mounting legal costs incurred by White House staff and campaign aides related to the ongoing investigations of Russian meddling in last year’s election. washingtonpost.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Legal Activity) 2017.10.25 Alexander Nix, who heads a controversial data-analytics firm that worked for Donald Trump’s campaign, wrote in an email last year that he reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton’s missing 33,000 emails, while Assange confirmed that such an exchange took place. thedailybeast.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.10.26 Twitter said Thursday it would "off-board" ads linked to Russian state outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik over concerns they tried to influence the 2016 election. axios.com (See also 2016 Election) 2017.10.27 The information that a Russian lawyer brought to a June 2016 meeting with Trump campaign aides had been discussed with a top Russian government official at the Kremlin. nytimes.com (See also Russia, Donald Trump Jr, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.10.30 A professor with close ties to the Russian government told an adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in April 2016 that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails." nytimes.com (See also Corruption, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign) 2017.10.30 Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than what the company previously disclosed about the reach of the disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Campaign, 2016 Election) 2017.10.30 Special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III on Monday revealed charges against three former Trump campaign officials — former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his longtime business partner Rick Gates and former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos — marking the first criminal allegations to come from probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity, Corruption, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign) 2017.10.30 Trump campaign’s Russia ties: Who’s involved washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign, Corruption) 2017.11.02 Sam Clovis, an early backer backer of President Donald Trump caught up in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, has withdrawn his nomination to be a top official in the Agriculture Department. bloomberg.com (See also Trump Cabinet, Department of Agriculture, Assaults on Government, Resignations and Dismissals) 2017.11.02 Standing before reporters in February, Donald Trump said unequivocally that he knew of nobody from his campaign who was in contact with Russians during the election, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has told the Senate the same thing, but court documents unsealed this week cast doubt on both statements and raised the possibility that Mr. Sessions could be called back to Congress for further questioning. nytimes.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Jeff Sessions, Legal Issues) 2017.11.02 The Justice Department has identified more than six members of the Russian government involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee’s computers and swiping sensitive information that became public during the 2016 presidential election, according to people familiar with the investigation. wsj.com (See also Department of Justice, 2016 Campaign, Legal Activity) 2017.11.03 Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page privately testified that he mentioned to Jeff Sessions he was traveling to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. cnn.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Jeff Sessions) 2017.11.05 Despite claims to the contrary and downplaying their significance, the Mueller investigation has revealed that at least nine people in Trump’s orbit had contact with Russians during campaign and transition. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Issues) 2017.11.06 A Russian lawyer who met with President Donald Trump’ Jr. last year says he indicated that a law targeting Russia could be re-examined if his father won the election and asked her for written evidence that illegal proceeds went to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. bloomberg.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.11.07 Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump' campaign whose visit to Moscow during the election has drawn scrutiny, send an email to fellow Trump aides during his trip describing "a private conversation" with a senior Russian official who spoke favorably of the Republican candidate, contradicting past statements about this trip to Russia. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, False Statements, Jeff Sessions) 2017.11.08 Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager for Donald Trump, said Tuesday night his “memory has been refreshed” regarding his email exchange with Carter Page in which the former foreign policy adviser requested Lewandowski’s permission to travel to Moscow. politico.com (See also False Statements, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.11.11 Donald Trump dismissed probes into whether his campaign colluded with Russia as an “artificial Democratic hit job,” and said he believed Putin was being sincere when he insisted that Russia did not attempt to interfere in the 2016 election. politico.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.11.12 Former CIA Director John Brennan said he believed Donald Trump called him and two other top intelligence officials “political hacks” to “delegitimize” the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. wsj.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Unpresidential Behavior) 2017.11.17 A senior Russian official who claimed to be acting at the behest of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia tried in May 2016 to arrange a meeting between Mr. Putin and Donald J. Trump. nytimes.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.11.18 White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told congressional Russia investigators that he did not communicate with WikiLeaks and did not recall anyone on the Trump campaign who had, but Kushner did receive and forward an email from Donald Trump Jr. about contact Trump Jr. had with WikiLeaks. cnn.com (See also Legal Issues, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr) 2017.11.19 Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating whether Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, suggesting that the Special Counsel is still actively digging into, among other matters, whether Trump or any other administration official improperly tried to influence an ongoing investigation. abcnews.go.com (See also Corruption, Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, Legal Activity) 2017.11.20 Travels by Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to meet with senior officials in Hungary during the 2016 presidential election are being closely examined by congressional investigators, given the increasingly close ties between Hungary and Russia and the role of the country as a hub for Russian intelligence activity. abcnews.go.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.11.23 Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, notified the president’s legal team that they could no longer discuss the special counsel’s investigation, an indication that Mr. Flynn is cooperating with prosecutors or negotiating a deal. nytimes.com (See also Michael Flynn, Corruption, Legal Issues) 2017.11.30 Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to answer Congressman Adam Schiff's question asking whether President Trump ever asked him to obstruct the ongoing investigation into Russian inference in the 2016 presidential election. msn.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, Corruption, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.11.30 Donald Trump over the summer repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. nytimes.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Russia, Legal Issues, 2016 Election) 2017.12.01 Documents released as part of Mr. Flynn’s plea agreement show that his pre-inauguration discussions with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, about foreign policy were part of a coordinated effort by aides running Mr. Trump’s transition into the White House, as Mr. Flynn was directed by a “very senior member” of Mr. Trump’s presidential transition team. nytimes.com (See also Michael Flynn, Trump Relationship with Russia, Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus) 2017.12.01 Michael Flynn will reportedly testify that Donald Trump instructed him to make contact with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign. thedailybeast.com (See also Michael Flynn, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign, Criminality) 2017.12.02 Legal experts pointed out Donald Trump may have publicly admitted through a tweet that he knew Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI when the president approached then-FBI Director James Comey and asked him to drop the investigation, which could then indicate an attempt to obstruct justice had taken place. politico.com (See also Michael Flynn, Legal Issues, Corruption) 2017.12.02 Michael Flynn’s admission that senior transition officials gave him orders last December casts doubt on the Trump administration’s effort to portray Flynn’s pre-inauguration diplomacy as a rogue operation, as Mike Pence, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and former press secretary Sean Spicer all strongly denied early this year that Flynn discussed sanctions last December with Russia’s ambassador to the US. buzzfeed.com (See also Michael Flynn, Trump Relationship with Russia, Mike Pence, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus) 2017.12.03 A conservative operative trumpeting his close ties to the National Rifle Association and Russia told a Trump campaign adviser last year that he could arrange a back-channel meeting between Donald J. Trump and Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, according to an email sent to the Trump campaign. nytimes.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia) 2017.12.03 As the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation draws closer to him, President Trump on Sunday unleashed an extraordinary assault on the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, calling it a biased institution whose reputation for fairness was “in tatters.” nytimes.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Unprecedented Actions, False Statements, Michael Flynn) 2017.12.04 As the White House contends with questions about who knew about former national security adviser Michael Flynn lying to the FBI, people close to Vice President Mike Pence are trying to make clear that President Donald Trump’s No. 2 knew nothing at all. politico.com (See also Michael Flynn, Mike Pence, Legal Issues, Criminality) 2017.12.04 John Dowd, Donald Trump's outside lawyer, outlined a new and highly controversial defense/theory in the Russia probe: A president cannot be guilty of obstruction of justice. axios.com (See also Legal Issues, False Statements, Corruption, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.12.04 K.T. McFarland, a former aide to President Trump, told a senator that she did not talk with Michael T. Flynn about his contacts with a Russian official, but recently surfaced emails suggest she knew of a key phone call. nytimes.com (See also Michael Flynn, Trump Relationship with Russia, False Statements) 2017.12.04 The special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Monday accused Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, of working with a Russian colleague to draft an opinion piece about his political work for Ukraine, as recently as November 30th. reuters.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Issues, Ukraine) 2017.12.05 Democrats have placed a hold on the nomination of KT McFarland to be ambassador to Singapore until she answers their questions about her knowledge of communications between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. cnn.com (See also Michael Flynn, False Statements, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.12.05 U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank for data on accounts held by President Donald Trump and his family. reuters.com (See also Legal Issues, Trump Business, Russia) 2017.12.06 Donald Trump Jr. asked a Russian lawyer at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting whether she had evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation, the lawyer told the Senate Judiciary Committee in answers to written questions. nbcnews.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Donald Trump Jr, Legal Issues) 2017.12.06 Donald Trump Jr., while being interviewed privately by the House Intelligence Committee following disclosures that Democrats say must be explored in the probe of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia before the 2016 election, said that he couldn't answer questions about what he told his father after a controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016, citing attorney-client privilege. bloomberg.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Trump Relationship with Russia, False Statements) 2017.12.07 An executive at a leading Russian social media company made several overtures to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 — including days before the November election — urging the candidate to create a page on the website to appeal to Russian Americans and Russians. washingtonpost.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Russia, 2016 Campaign) 2017.12.07 The British publicist who arranged the June 2016 meeting with Russians and Donald Trump Jr. sent multiple emails to a Russian participant and a member of Donald Trump's inner circle later that summer, the first indication there was any follow-up after the meeting. cnn.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Trump Relationship with Russia, False Statements, 2016 Campaign) 2017.12.08 Candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked WikiLeaks documents, according to an email provided to congressional investigators. cnn.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Donald Trump Jr, 2016 Campaign) 2017.12.13 Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein defended special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in the face of critical questioning Wednesday from the House Judiciary Committee about whether bias might have infected Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, that he had not seen good cause to fire Mueller, and disputed that the probe is a "witch hunt" as Donald Trump has claimed. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Issues) 2017.12.13 Donald Trump Jr. met with the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee for 9 hours, as part of the panel’s investigation into Russia, the 2016 U.S. election and whether his father’s election campaign colluded with Moscow. reuters.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Legal Issues, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign, 2016 Election) 2017.12.14 Fourteen former national security, intelligence, and foreign policy officials who have served at senior levels in Republican and Democratic administrations recently wrote an amicus brief as part of a lawsuit brought against Donald Trump's campaign and Roger Stone, his longtime confidant. businessinsider.com (See also Legal Issues, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign) 2017.12.15 Buried in campaign finance reports available to the public are connections between a group of wealthy donors with ties to Russia and their political contributions to Donald Trump and a number of top Republican leaders, and thanks to changes in campaign finance laws, the political contributions are legal. dallasnews.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption) 2017.12.15 Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign, turn over documents as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, according to people familiar with the matter. wsj.com (See also Legal Activity, 2016 Campaign, 2016 Election, Steve Bannon, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.12.22 Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon and his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski have been asked to testify to House lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. bloomberg.com (See also Steve Bannon, 2016 Election, Legal Issues) 2017.12.22 The Associated Press found that a Russian hacking group targeted at least 200 journalists, publishers and bloggers as early as mid-2014 up to a few months ago. apnews.com (See also Russia, 2016 Campaign, Assaults on Civil Liberties) 2017.12.27 Special counsel Robert Mueller has begun to question Republican National Committee staffers about the party's 2016 campaign data operation, which helped President Donald Trump's campaign team target voters in critical swing states. businessinsider.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Campaign, Legal Issues, Jared Kushner) 2017.12.30 George Papadopoulos, a Trump foreign policy adviser, was the improbable match that set off a blaze that has consumed the first year of the Trump administration. nytimes.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Issues) 2018.01.04 Donald Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. nytimes.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, 2016 Election, Corruption) 2018.01.17 US authorities are poring over hundreds of newly uncovered payments from Russian diplomatic accounts, including transactions by former ambassador Sergey Kislyak 10 days after the 2016 presidential election and a blocked $150,000 cash withdrawal five days after the inauguration. buzzfeed.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Corruption, 2016 Election) 2018.01.29 Mike Pompeo said there had been no significant diminishing of Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the US, and that the director of the CIA expects that Russia will target the US mid-term elections later this year. bbc.com (See also Mike Pompeo, Russia) 2018.02.08 The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election. nbcnews.com (See also 2016 Election, Department of Homeland Security) 2018.02.13 Russia is already meddling in the midterm elections this year, the top American intelligence officials said, warning that Moscow is using a digital strategy to worsen the country’s political and social divisions. nytimes.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Election) 2018.02.15 Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, indicating he's poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case. cnn.com (See also Corruption, Legal Issues) 2018.02.16 The special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations with illegally trying to disrupt the American political process, including efforts designed to boost the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and hurt that of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. nytimes.com (See also 2016 Campaign, 2016 Election, Legal Activity) 2018.02.18 Another former member of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign reportedly will plead guilty to charges resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. splinternews.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.02.22 The head of a federal commission who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being replaced at the behest of Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House. reuters.com (See also Voter Fraud, Cybersecurity) 2018.02.23 Soon after the Republican National Committee came under pressure for paying legal bills for Donald Trump and his eldest son in the special counsel's Russia probe, it started covering expenses for the president's re-election campaign. cnbc.com (See also Conflicts of Interest) 2018.02.23 Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed new charges against former Donald Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates describing a "scheme" in which the two longtime business partners allegedly laundered $30 million, failed to pay taxes for almost 10 years and used real estate they owned to fraudulently secure more than $20 million in loans. cnn.com (See also Legal Activity, 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.02.24 Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort was hit with new charges on Friday, including an allegation he secretly recruited and funded a group of former European politicians to lobby in the United States on behalf of Ukraine. nbcnews.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Legal Issues) 2018.02.27 The U.S. intelligence community developed substantial evidence that state websites or voter registration systems in seven states were compromised by Russian-backed covert operatives prior to the 2016 election — but never told the states involved. nbcnews.com (See also 2016 Election) 2018.02.27 US Cyber Command chief Adm. Mike Rogers told lawmakers on Tuesday that he has not been granted the authority by Donald Trump to disrupt Russian election hacking operations where they originate. cnn.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.02.28 Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President Trump’s longest-serving advisers, said that she was resigning. nytimes.com (See also Resignations and Dismissals) 2018.03.05 As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy. nytimes.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Rex Tillerson, Department of State) 2018.03.05 Russia advised Donald Trump to pick someone other than Mitt Romney for Secretary of State, who would ease sanctions against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine. newyorker.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Rex Tillerson, Department of State, Corruption) 2018.03.05 The grand jury investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign has sent a witness a subpoena seeking all documents involving the president and a host of his closest advisers, including emails, text messages, work papers, telephone logs and other documents going back to Nov. 1, 2015, 4½ months after Trump launched his campaign. nbcnews.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Steve Bannon, Legal Issues) 2018.03.08 The special counsel in the Russia investigation has learned of two conversations in recent months in which Donald Trump asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with investigators. nytimes.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Reince Priebus, Legal Issues, Don McGahn) 2018.03.12 Over two-thirds of U.S. House of Representatives Democrats urged Donald Trump to enact sanctions on Russia, the latest push by lawmakers for a response to investigators’ findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. reuters.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Election) 2018.03.12 Qatari officials gathered evidence of what they claim is illicit influence by the United Arab Emirates on Jared Kushner and other Trump associates, including details of secret meetings, but decided not to give the information to special counsel Robert Mueller for fear of harming relations with the Trump administration nbcnews.com (See also Jared Kushner, Trump Relationship with Russia, Foreign Policy, Conflicts of Interest) 2018.03.17 Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, said that he hopes Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will shut down Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election interference. thedailybeast.com (See also Legal Issues, 201, 2016 Election) 2018.03.19 DonaldTrump hired the longtime Washington lawyer Joseph E. diGenova on Monday, adding an aggressive voice to his legal team who has pushed the theory on television that the F.B.I. and Justice Department framed Mr. Trump. nytimes.com (See also Belief in Conspiracy Theories, Legal Issues, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.03.22 Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, and who communicated with (and was defended by) longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU). thedailybeast.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Activity) 2018.03.28 A lawyer for Donald Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year. nytimes.com (See also Legal Issues, Michael Flynn) 2018.03.28 A top Trump campaign official had repeated communications during the final weeks of the 2016 presidential race with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a document released on Tuesday by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the election. nytimes.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Legal Issues, 2016 Election) 2018.04.03 Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told special counsel Robert Mueller in a classified August 2, 2017, memo that he should investigate allegations that Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was "colluding with Russian government officials" to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. cnn.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.04.20 The Democratic National Committee opened a surprise legal assault on Donald Trump, filing a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the organization was the victim of a conspiracy by Russian officials, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. nytimes.com (See also Legal Activity, 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.04.26 Donald Trump hinted that he may get more deeply involved in the management of his Justice Department — which is overseeing a special counsel probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election — in a freewheeling and defiant phone interview with Fox and Friends. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of Justice, Conflicts of Interest, Legal Activity, Corruption) 2018.04.27 A federal judge in Washington has thrown out a civil lawsuit President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, filed challenging the authority of special counsel Robert Mueller. politico.com (See also Legal Activity, 2016 Campaign) 2018.04.27 The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election, but newly released emails show that she worked hand in glove with Russia's chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm, and has recanted her earlier denials. nytimes.com (See also Reversals) 2018.04.30 The Trump campaign has spent nearly $228,000 to cover some of the legal expenses for Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, despite the fact that it is illegal to spend campaign funds for personal use. abcnews.go.com (See also Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.05.03 Sam Clovis, the former Trump campaign aide who had been serving as USDA's liaison to the White House, is leaving the Agriculture Department and will return home to Iowa. politico.com (See also Resignations and Dismissals, 2016 Campaign) 2018.05.09 A company at the center of widening questions involving President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is listed as the organization behind a string of websites targeted toward white nationalists and other members of the alt-right. washingtonpost.com (See also Nationalism, Racism, Anti-Semitism, Legal Issues) 2018.05.10 Thousands of Facebook ads bought by Russians to fool U.S. voters have been released by Congress. usatoday.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Russia) 2018.05.11 The FBI warned four years ago that a foundation controlled by the Russian oligarch who allegedly reimbursed Donald Trump's personal lawyer might have been acting on behalf of Russia's intelligence services. npr.org (See also Legal Issues, Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.05.16 The Republican at the helm of the Senate’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election backed the assessment by American intelligence agencies that Moscow favored Donald J. Trump in the race, contradicting both the president and fellow Republicans in the House. nytimes.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, 2016 Election) 2018.05.19 Three months before the 2016 election, a small group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son: an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation, an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes, and a Republican donor with a controversial past in the Middle East as a private security contractor. nytimes.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Israel, Russia, Legal Issues, 2016 Campaign) 2018.05.29 Donald Trump accused prosecutors working on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election of planning to meddle in this year’s midterm elections, escalating his attack on the probe while offering no evidence to back up his assertion. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Election, False Statements, Assaults on Civil Liberties) 2018.05.29 Donald Trump objected to Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, said that he needed a "loyalist" overseeing the inquiry, berated Mr. Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision, an unusual and potentially inappropriate request. nytimes.com (See also Legal Issues, Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice) 2018.06.02 The Trump legal team has published a 20-page confidential letter sent by Trump's lawyers to Mueller arguing that the president cannot legally obstruct justice in the Russia investigation due to his position as "chief law enforcement officer." abcnews.go.com (See also Legal Issues) 2018.06.04 Donald Trump, ramping up his assertions of extraordinary powers, declared in a tweet that he had “the absolute right” to pardon himself for any crime. nytimes.com (See also Corruption, Legal Issues) 2018.06.04 Federal prosecutors accused Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of attempting to tamper with witnesses in his federal tax and money laundering case. nytimes.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Legal Activity) 2018.06.04 White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to answer questions about her claim that Donald Trump did not dictate a statement about a critical Trump Tower meeting during the 2016 campaign — even after her earlier statement was undercut by a memo from Trump's own legal team. thehill.com (See also Reversals, False Statements) 2018.06.05 In a confidential, hand-delivered memo to the special counsel, Donald Trump's lawyers acknowledged that the President had dictated a statement, which attempted to deflect questions about a meeting with a Kremlin-tied lawyer at Trump Tower, which could be part of an effort by the president to obstruct a federal investigation. nytimes.com (See also Reversals, False Statements, Legal Issues, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.06.08 Here is a timeline of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. axios.com (See also Fact-Checking Resources, Legal Activity) 2018.06.08 New charges have been brought by special counsel Robert Mueller against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik — a former aide to Manafort who has been suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence and worked for Manafort's company and oversaw its office in Kiev. axios.com (See also Criminality, Legal Activity) 2018.06.11 Several prominent Russians, some in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle or high in the Russian Orthodox Church, now have been identified as having contact with National Rifle Association officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, emerging amid a deepening Justice Department investigation into whether Russian banker and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin illegally channeled money through the gun rights group to add financial firepower to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid. mcclatchydc.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Trump Relationship with Russia, Department of Justice) 2018.06.18 FBI Director Christopher Wray stood by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, despite Republicans asserting that the investigation he’s leading into Russian election meddling was tainted by anti-Trump bias from the start. bloomberg.com (See also Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2018.11.25 The FBI has obtained secret wiretaps collected by Spanish police of conversations involving Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s Central Bank who has forged close ties with U.S. lawmakers and the National Rifle Association, that led to a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the gun lobby’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., in May 2016. yahoo.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Legal Issues)
After leaked emails from Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee were printed in the mainstream U.S. media and elsewhere, Trump invited Russian hackers to continue searching for deleted email. This is an unprecedented invitation for a foreign government to interfere in the United States political process. After 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that the Russian government had sponsored hacking, Trump called the conclusion "ridiculous," an unusual repudiation of reports from intelligence agencies. He also falsely claimed that the Obama administration brought up the concern about foreign meddling in a U.S. election after Clinton's loss. He softened his tone somewhat after Republican leaders pressed for an official inquiry.
From his invitation to Russian hackers to search for Clinton's emails to his rejection of intelligence from multiple agencies and false claim that the concern was raised only after he won the election, Trump has demonstrated disregard for political norms and factual accuracy. He has sided with a foreign government over the conclusions of multiple intelligence agencies in the United States and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Russia has admitted being in touch with Trump's allies during the campaign, making its intent clear despite Trump's denials.
From The New York Times
“There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind,” Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of United States Cyber Command, said at a postelection conference. “This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily,” he said. “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”
Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin following the state-sanctioned cyberattack is "baffling to anyone with a functioning brainstem," according to Van Jones. Source: CNN.
From The New Yorker: The Russian economy has been crippled by 2013 sanctions, giving Putin a reason to engage in a propaganda campaign against the United States and deny the presidency to Hillary Clinton.
From The Weeklings, Greg Olear: DAH, DONALD: RUSSIAN BLOOD MONEY AND THE FBI’S CASE AGAINST TRUMP (2017.01.24)
THIS IS AN ATTEMPT to assemble the pieces in the Trump/Russia jigsaw puzzle, to reveal the Big Picture.
My conclusions were heavily influenced by Louise Mensch‘s eye-opening January 17 essay, “Dear Mr. Putin, Let’s Play Chess.” Other sources include Seth Abramson’s “The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump the Election is in Plain Sight,” which ran on the Huffington Post on the same day, and “A Brief History of the First Russo-American Cyber War,” by War Is Boring’s Bryan E. Frydenborg. The Steele dossier, the “Golden Shower” series of intelligence reports written by Christopher Steele in 2016 and subsequently released by Buzzfeed, was also a useful resource. I have exhaustively fact-checked assertions, linking to a wide range of news sources from across the political spectrum, from the Washington Post to Reuters to Breitbart.
The dramatis personae—the pile of puzzle pieces, if you will—is generally well known to most observers: Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, James Comey, Rudy Giuliani, Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Blackwater founder Erik Prince, Trump attorney Michael Cohen, “ratfucker” Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Russian moles in the NSA and the FBI’s New York field office, and an obscure Russian hacker named Yvegeny Nikulin.
This is how the pieces fit together. This is how they connect. This is what it means.
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In short, it’s about the money. Which makes sense, given Trump’s disgustingly obvious greed. The Russian oligarchs are laundering money all over creation, and Trump, with his opaque taxes and billion-dollar losses and cash business concerns, is somehow complicit in the scheme. Campaign finance, one imagines, is just the tip of the iceberg.
If he’s shown to be in debt to the Russians and the Chinese, Trump can explain that away. Fake news, he will say. So what. I won, people don’t care. Same with the Russian prostitutes. You can’t shame a man incapable of feeling shame. What is Trump afraid of? Prison. That would be the ultimate downfall for Donald Trump. The loss of his position, his social standing, his fortune, his golden throne, his access to beautiful women willing and otherwise. His Twitter account.
There is no “alternative fact” that can spin the very real possibility that Donald J. Trump will die in federal prison, alone.