Trump and associates had over 100 contacts with Russians before taking office: NY Times

September 11, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and at least 17 of his campaign officials and advisers had contacts with Russian nationals and WikiLeaks or their intermediaries before his inauguration, according to an analysis published by The New York Times on Saturday.

Then-candidate Trump had at least six contacts before the Republican National Convention in July 2016, according to the analysis. One contact included signing a letter of intent to develop Trump Tower in Moscow, the Times reported.

Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire who hosted a Miss Universe pageant in Moscow with Trump, reached out to Trump several times before the Republican National Convention. Agalarov’s son, Emin Agalarov, reportedly also contacted Trump on multiple occasions.

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Aras Agalarov sent a letter to Trump shortly after the primaries began expressing “great interest” in his campaign, the Times noted.

Trump, according to the analysis, began denying his interactions with Russian nationals shortly after accepting the Republican presidential nomination.

The Times analysis was conducted by compiling the newspaper’s reporting, documents submitted to Congress and court records related to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s investigation into Russia’s election interference and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

At least 10 other associates were told about the interactions but did not have any themselves, the newspaper noted.

The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTrump Jr. calls elderly supporter who was assaulted Trump Jr. hits Howard Stern for going ‘establishment,’ ‘acting like Hillary’ Trump Jr., GOP senator lash out at Facebook for taking down protest pages on stay-at-home orders MORE, had at least 17 contacts with Russians and a Russian intermediary, including arranging the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

Trump Jr.’s contacts also included exchanging private Twitter messages with WikiLeaks, the organization that published troves of stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign that U.S. intelligence officials later said were pilfered by Russian agents.

Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week GOP votes to give Graham broad subpoena power in Obama-era probe House GOP delays police reform bill MORE, the president’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, had at least six contacts, according to the Times. Those contacts included meeting with a Russian ambassador during Trump’s transition and attending the Trump Tower meeting.

Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneGOP votes to give Graham broad subpoena power in Obama-era probe Will the ‘law and order’ president pardon Roger Stone? Trump retweets message calling for Roger Stone pardon: ‘He can sleep well at night!’ MORE, the longtime GOP operative who worked as an informal adviser on the campaign, appears to have had the most contacts, according to the Times.

Stone had at least 18 contacts with Russian nationals and WikiLeaks before Trump took office, the Times noted.

He was arrested by the FBI on Friday after being indicted on seven counts in connection with Mueller’s investigation: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.

The indictment states that a senior Trump campaign officials was “directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign,” an apparent reference to WikiLeaks.

“Stone thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1,” the document reads.

He was released on Friday on a $250,000 signature bond and vowed not to testify against Trump.

Stone is the sixth associate of Trump to be charged in Mueller’s expansive probe.

Others include Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosNew FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification Republicans plow ahead with Russia origins probe AG Barr just signaled that things are about to get ugly for the Russia collusion team MORE, ex-campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortGOP votes to give Graham broad subpoena power in Obama-era probe Will the ‘law and order’ president pardon Roger Stone? Trump taps Lewandowski, Bossie for Commission on Presidential Scholars MORE and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

According to the Times, Cohen is reported to have had at least 17 contacts, including being significantly involved in the plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and meeting with a Russian oligarch on another matter.

Papadopoulos, the analysis found, had at least 12 contacts, while Manafort and Flynn are reported to have had six and five contacts, respectively. 

The Times cited Papadopoulos’s multiple contacts with Russian operatives who sought to arrange meetings with Trump or his campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin or Putin’s staff.

Manafort, who also reportedly attended the Trump Tower meeting, had multiple contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate connected to Russian intelligence, during his tenure on the Trump campaign.

Following Trump’s election and in the lead-up to his inauguration, Flynn had a number of conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, the Times noted.