Trump Relationship with Russia
Multiple intelligence agencies in the United States and abroad have confirmed a deliberate attempt by the Russian government to manipulate the results of the U.S. election with hacking and propaganda. Because Trump refused to release his income taxes as every other modern presidential candidate has, the extent of his business dealings in Russia are unclear. He has lied and said he has no ties to Russia.
However, intelligence agents have presented classified reports to Trump and President Obama that Russian operatives have compromising information about Trump. These allegations were included in a report on Russian attempts to influence the election in favor of Trump. (Source: CNN)
Trump has on many occasions praised Putin. During the campaign, Trump's team deleted a plank in the Republican Party platform that called for arming Ukraine to resist Russian aggression there. Three of his top advisers have extensive relationships with Russia: his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, his foreign policy adviser Carter Page, and his national security pick, Michael Flynn, who sat near Putin as he attended a banquet celebrating Russia's propaganda channel. (TIME)
2013 How Trump brought Miss Universe Pageant to Moscow politico.com 2013 Trump Admits to relationship with Putin on video from 2013. youtube.com (See also Corruption) 2016.04.05 Trump settles lawsuit, ending possible criminal case about how one of his buildings was funded by shady Russian sources. nytimes.com 2016.07.29 Washington Post reports Trump's many ties to Russia and his false claims these ties do not exist. washingtonpost.com 2016.08.14 Ledger in Ukraine shows $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments between 2007 and 2012 to Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, from pro-Russian political party led by former Ukranian President Viktor F. Yanukovych. nytimes.com (See also Corruption) 2016.10.19 Financial Times probe finds evidence a Trump venture is linked to money laundering. ft.com 2016.11.23 Donald Trump Jr. held talks on Syria with Russia supporters. wsj.com (See also Donald Trump Jr, Conflicts of Interest, Nepotism, Russia, Syria) 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 Russian Meddling in Election, Russia) 2017.01.11 Russian intelligence allegedly gathered compromising material on Trump. theguardian.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election) 2017.01.11 Trump tweets: "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” twitter.com 2017.01.14 Trump team in "frequent contact" with Russia despite initial lies about it. independent.co.uk (See also Russia) 2017.01.16 Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan says that Trump does not yet fully appreciate what embracing Russia might mean. cnn.com (See also Russia) 2017.01.16 Trump has been repeatedly pursuing business deals in Russia as far back as 1987. nytimes.com 2017.01.19 American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of an investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of Trump. nytimes.com 2017.01.22 U.S. eyes Michael Flynn’s links to Russia. wsj.com (See also Russia, Michael Flynn) 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, Corruption, 2016 Election, Russian Meddling in Election) 2017.01.41 White House turns off recording equipment during Trump's call with Putin, unlike with calls to all other foreign leaders. rawstory.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.02.04 Trump proposes moral equivalence between U.S. and Putin's Russia. washingtonpost.com (See also Russia) 2017.02.07 'Trumpomania' is booming in Russia. aljazeera.com (See also Russia) 2017.02.07 Trump: "I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy - yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, #1 in terror, no problem!" twitter.com (See also False Statements, Assaults on Facts, Russia) 2017.02.14 GOP Senate Intelligence Committee member Roy Blunt calls for an exhaustive investigation into Trump-Russia connections. cnn.com (See also Russia, Michael Flynn, First 100 Days) 2017.02.14 House Republicans block an attempt by Democrats to obtain Trump's tax returns from the IRS so that his financial links to Russia can be examined, among other things. apnews.com (See also Trump Business, Trump Taxes, Corruption) 2017.02.14 Phone records and intercepted calls show Trump campaign aides had repeated contact with Russian intelligence. nytimes.com (See also Russia, First 100 Days, 2016 Election, Russian Meddling in Election) 2017.02.14 White House official says Trump was told weeks ago that national security adviser did not tell truth about Russia. nytimes.com (See also Russia, Michael Flynn, 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, Corruption, Russian Meddling in Election) 2017.02.24 Trump administration admits it tried to get FBI officials to challenge media coverage of contact members of Trump’s campaign team had with Russian intelligence operatives, raising questions about the politicization of intelligence and the independence of congressional probes. washingtonpost.com (See also Russia, Assaults on Government) 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 Russian Meddling in Election) 2017.03.03 A growing list of contacts between the Trump administration and Russia is drawing increasing scrutiny; Trump calls it a “total witch hunt.” nytimes.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Russia, First 100 Days) 2017.03.08 White House officials claim Trump isn't the target of an investigation, which Trump implied when he claimed his phones had been wiretapped. nytimes.com (See also Belief in Conspiracy Theories) 2017.03.09 Experts: IRS is extremely unlikely to leak Trump's income taxes. nytimes.com (See also Trump Taxes, Conflicts of Interest) 2017.03.16 Documents reveal that Trump's first national security adviser was paid more than $50,000 by Russian companies. wsj.com (See also Michael Flynn, Russia, First 100 Days) 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 Russian Meddling in Election, Russia, Corruption, 2016 Election) 2017.03.28 The Trump administration tries to block former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying in the investigation of links between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. washingtonpost.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, First 100 Days) 2017.03.30 Former national security adviser Mike Flynn offers to testify in the investigation of the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russia in exchange for immunity. wsj.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, First 100 Days, Michael Flynn) 2017.03.30 Officials say the White House helped give intelligence reports to the congressman whose committee is supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Russia's role in the U.S. presidential election. nytimes.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, First 100 Days) 2017.04.03 U.S., European, and Arab officials say Blackwater founder Erik Prince held a secret meeting in the Seychelles to establish a Trump-Putin back channel. washingtonpost.com 2017.04.06 The chair of the committee leading a congressional investigation of Russian interference in last year's presidential election steps aside. apnews.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election) 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, Russian Meddling in Election) 2017.05.16 Israel said to be source of highly classified intelligence Trump shared with Russian ambassador and foreign minister nytimes.com (See also Russia, Israel) 2017.05.16 Trump defends choice to share highly classified intelligence on ISIS with Russian officials, contradicting previous statements from administration officials. nytimes.com (See also Russia) 2017.05.17 FBI director Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel for investigation into Russian election interference. washingtonpost.com (See also Russia, Russian Meddling in Election) 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, Russian Meddling in Election) 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 Russia, Russian Meddling in Election)
Trump's numerous bankruptcies have made it difficult for him to get loans from U.S. banks, so he has had to turn to Russia for financing. He has lied about his relationship with Putin and with Russia. At least as far back as 2008, his company has claimed to do "disproportionate" business with Russia. He praised Putin and criticized Obama in a 2013 video (in timeline above), implying Putin was surveilling Trump's office. His advisers have business ties to Russia, including Paul Manafort, who resigned from the Trump campaign after the New York Times disclosed a secret ledger in Ukraine revealing $12.7 million in secret cash payments to Manafort.
There is consensus in the intelligence community that Putin directed hackers to release information intended to damage Hillary Clinton's campaign and secure the presidency for Trump. Trump's team made the Republican Party platform more favorable to Russia. And intelligence reports also indicate Russia has information that could be used to blackmail Trump.
Trump has lied about his relationship with Putin and Russia. The full extent of his financial dependence on Russia is unknown, although the Financial Times reports that multiple real estate investments have been funded by Russian criminals. He is compromised by Russian intelligence, and has praised Putin consistently and repeatedly. America's allies in Europe, alarmed, wrote Trump a letter warning him that Russia does not have America's greatness in mind.
The New York Times, Charles Blow:
A hostile foreign power stole confidential correspondence from American citizens — this is no different than physically breaking into an American office and carting off boxes of written letters — and funneled that stolen material to a willing conspirator, Julian Assange. The foreign power then had its desired result achieved on our Election Day.