Donald Trump’s team had at least 18 contacts with people related to the Russian government during the campaign for the presidential elections held last year in the United States, as revealed on Thursday by the Reuters news agency, citing numerous sources Of the American Administration with knowledge on the subject.
The contacts were made between April and November 2016 through telephone calls and e-mails, according to the records of the American Intelligence, which follows the movements on North American soil of the relevant individuals for the Kremlin.
One of the protagonists is Michael Flynn , Trump’s National Security Advisor who was dismissed on February 8 for frequent contacts with Russian Ambassador to Washington, Sergei Kisliak, to establish a direct channel of communication between the US president and his counterpart Russian, Vladimir Putin.
When the scandal broke, the White House denied any contact by Trump’s team with Kisliak, but has since confirmed four meetings between presidential advisors and the head of the Russian diplomatic mission during the election campaign.
Another of those involved is Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch very close to Putin. In fact, the head of state is his daughter’s godfather. “I do not know any associates close to Donald Trump, so there has not been any such conversation,” he told Reuters in an email.
Beyond Kisliak and Medvedchuk, the identities of Putin’s emissaries are unknown because they have been “masked” in intelligence reports because of their rights as US citizens. However, congressmen may request that they be disclosed in the interest of national security.
Sources consulted by Reuters, both incumbent and former officials, have made it clear that there is no indication that Trump’s environment was misleading or colluding in these contacts . The talks would focus on economic relations between Washington and Moscow, including unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia, cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State and China’s new role in the international sphere.
NUMBER OF CONTACTS “RARE”
In the same vein, veterans of other election campaigns have explained that it is not unusual for candidate teams to speak with foreign representatives, although they have admitted that the high number of contacts in Trump’s case is “rare.” “Especially with a country that we consider adversary or a hostile power,” said Republican and former State Department number two Richard Armitage.
Despite these nuances, these new revelations could increase pressure on Trump, surrounded by his ties to the Kremlin. This Thursday, the Justice Department has announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the US campaign, accredited by several intelligence agencies.
In the last chapter of this plot, the American press has suggested this week, based on some records of the meetings between James Comey and Trump made by Comey himself, that the former FBI director was dismissed for his refusal to stop the Investigations into the Russian nexus of the new White House tenant.