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Politics: Contradicting Trump on Russia: Russian Officials

Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

  Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence The contacts in the year before the election were revealed by intercepted communications, according to four current and former senior American officials.American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time that they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The FBI and several United States congressional committees have been investigating links between Russian government officials or their affiliates and individuals associated with Donald Trump

He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history and military ethics, and is the author of the Irrussianality blog. If anyone still doubts whether former US president Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, new revelations this week should put the question to bed for good, with an FBI document showing it And so it turns out that the allegations that Trump was a Russian agent hinged on a report commissioned by the Democratic Party, which relied heavily on information provided by somebody who was once an official in that party. The corrupt circularity of it is quite extraordinary.

President Trump at a news conference Thursday. “I have nothing to do with Russia,” he told reporters. “To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.” © Stephen Crowley/The New York Times President Trump at a news conference Thursday. “I have nothing to do with Russia,” he told reporters. “To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.”

WASHINGTON — For months, President Trump and his aides have insisted that they had no contact with Russian officials during the presidential campaign, a denial Mr. Trump repeated last week.

“I have nothing to do with Russia,” he told reporters on Thursday. “To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.”

The denial stands at odds with statements by Russian officials, who have at least twice acknowledged contacts with aides to Mr. Trump before the election.

Republicans used to fear Russians. Here’s what they think now.

  Republicans used to fear Russians. Here’s what they think now. Self-described Republicans' views about the U.S.-Russia relationship are closer to views in Russia than to those of their fellow Americans.In fact, on the issue of Russia cyber-meddling in the U.S. elections, Republican public opinion more closely resembles public opinion in Russia than overall opinion in the United States.

Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia ,” he said during a White House news conference. The president also lashed out at “illegal” leaks for bringing down Mr. Flynn, who the White House has acknowledged had multiple conversations after the election — in late December — with Mr. Kislyak The American Embassy even hosted a lunch for him with Russian officials . But “I was not there to discuss Obama policy but to better inform my views on Russian attitudes about U.S.- Russia relations,” Mr. McFaul said. He said that during the transition, Russian officials wanted to talk about policy

Donald Trump has said he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided James Comey’s fate – contradicting the White House rationale that he fired the FBI director for mishandling the Clinton email investigation. Comey had been leading an investigation into possible collusion between Trump advisers and Russian officials when he was dismissed by the president. Defending that decision in an interview on NBC News on Thursday, Trump said: “And, in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said: ‘You know

It is not uncommon for a presidential campaign to speak to foreign officials, which makes the dispute particularly unusual. At the same time, any contacts would have taken place during a period when American intelligence agencies believe the Russian government was trying to disrupt the election with a campaign of computer hacking.

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The dispute began two days after the Nov. 8 election, when Sergei A. Ryabkov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, said his government had maintained contacts with members of Mr. Trump’s “immediate entourage” during the campaign.

“I cannot say that all, but a number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives,” Mr. Ryabkov said during an interview with the Interfax news agency.

John McCain the Republican vs. John McCain the Patriot

  John McCain the Republican vs. John McCain the Patriot The senator (ambivalently, agonizingly) takes on the president.“What? What!” McCain barked as he ran into a throng of reporters.

“ Russia , Russia , Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it might be China (it may!)” “We’re still unpacking precisely what it is, and I’m sure some of it will remain classified,” Pompeo said in an interview late Friday with radio talk show host Mark Levin. Pompeo said it was a “very significant effort.” “And I think it’s the case now that we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity,” he continued.

" Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of.discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!)" Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. A U.S. official confirmed to NBC News on Saturday that White House officials were planning to issue a statement on Friday that would say Russia was responsible for the cyberattack but were told to Russia has been a sensitive topic for Trump . An investigation led by Robert Mueller found that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 election that resulted in Trump becoming president.

Mr. Ryabkov’s comments were met with a swift denial from Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump and now a member of the White House press team.

More recently, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey I. Kislyak, told The Washington Post that he had communicated frequently during the campaign with Michael T. Flynn, a close campaign adviser to Mr. Trump who became the president’s national security adviser before resigning from the position last week.

“It’s something all diplomats do,” The Post quoted Mr. Kislyak as saying, though he refused to say what subjects they discussed.

Mr. Trump and his aides denied any contacts occurred during the campaign.

“This is a nonstory because to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place, so it’s hard to make a comment on something that never happened,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said on Monday.

The Russian government did not respond to a message over the weekend seeking comment.

Trump Allies Quietly Push Plan for Russia and Ukraine

  Trump Allies Quietly Push Plan for Russia and Ukraine • Amid scrutiny of President Trump’s possible ties to Russia, some of his associates remain willing and eager to wade into Russia-related efforts. • His personal lawyer is advancing a plan by an opposition Ukrainian lawmaker at the White House.Mr. Flynn is gone, having been caught lying about his own discussion of sanctions with the Russian ambassador. But the proposal, a peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, remains, along with those pushing it: Michael D. Cohen, the president’s personal lawyer, who delivered the document; Felix H. Sater, a business associate who helped Mr.

Have nothing to do with Russia . They said maybe Donald Trump is involved in projects with the Russians . The answer is no, no. So he’s lying about a project that everybody knew about. At no time did Mr. Trump disclose that the Trump Organization had entered negotiations for the property, known as the Moscow Project. And evidence presented in the documents filed on Thursday contradicts Mr. Trump ’s repeated denials of his financial interests in Russia and his playing down of campaign contacts with Russian officials .

Separately, The New York Times and other news outlets reported last week that Trump campaign advisers and other associates of Mr. Trump’s had repeated contacts last year with Russian intelligence officials. Those reports, citing anonymous current and former American government officials, were vigorously denied by the White House.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump made clear his annoyance when questioned about contacts with Russia.

“How many times do I have to answer this question? Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia,” he said during a White House news conference.

The president also lashed out at “illegal” leaks for bringing down Mr. Flynn, whom the White House has acknowledged had multiple conversations after the election — in late December — with Mr. Kislyak about sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration.

Under ordinary circumstances, few in Washington would blink at the statements by Mr. Ryabkov or Mr. Kislyak. It is common for foreign governments to reach out to American presidential candidates, and many foreign diplomats believe it is part of their job to get to know people who may soon be crucial to maintaining alliances or repairing broken relationships.

GOP lawmakers peppered on Russia during town halls

  GOP lawmakers peppered on Russia during town halls Republicans representing GOP-dominated states and congressional districts are being challenged by constituents about Russia and, in some cases, whether they support an independent investigation into President Trump’s potential ties to the country. A USA TODAY analysis of local news coverage from Montana to Virginia found several incidences of voters pressing Republican lawmakers on Russia, in addition to hot topics such as Obamacare and immigration restrictions.Rep.

“They want to better understand policy views of a particular candidate so they can perhaps make their case for certain policies,” said Derek Chollet, who was part of the Obama transition in 2008 and then served in senior roles at the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon.

Mostly, though, “it’s about relationship building — they want to get to know the people who are possibly going to be in important jobs,” he added.

The closest contacts between campaigns and foreign officials tend to be with allies. Mr. Trump visited Israel during the campaign, the Australian Embassy said it was in contact with the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and British officials said they had extensive contacts with the president’s top aides in the months before the election.

Contacts with potential adversaries, such as Russia, are also not unusual, but they are more complicated. Michael McFaul, who advised the Obama campaign in 2008 and later served as United States ambassador to Russia, said that he traveled to Moscow during the presidential race that year and that “everyone in Moscow knew that I was advising the campaign.”

The American Embassy even hosted a lunch for him with Russian officials. But “I was not there to discuss Obama policy but to better inform my views on Russian attitudes about U.S.-Russia relations,” Mr. McFaul said.

He said that during the transition, Russian officials wanted to talk about policy issues, but the Obama administration officials refused — in keeping with the tradition that there should be only “one president at a time.”

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Jeff Sessions was a leading Russia hawk. Then he signed on with Donald Trump. .
Last night, the Washington Post published an explosive report detailing how Jeff Sessions, while a senator, had two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — and failed to disclose them when asked, under oath, about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. What makes the Sessions-Kislyak meetings even more remarkable is that Sessions, for nearly 20 years, was considered among the most reliably hard-line of Russia hawks in the Senate. That position began to change as the Alabama senator moved closer to candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle. By the time he was fully a member of the Trump team, Sessions had changed his messaging on Russia so notably that it became a point of reportorial interest, with USA Today noting that his “tough talk about the threat Russia poses to the U.S. and its allies in Europe” had “undergone some revisions.” The news of Sessions’s meetings with the Russian ambassador raises serious ethical and legal question because it directly contradicted his own testimony in January during his Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for attorney general.

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