22 Links Between Trump and Russia That You Probably Didn’t Know About
Beginning in the summer of 2016, US intelligence agencies found extensive evidence that Russia was working persistently to influence the US presidential election.
The specifics of Russia’s interference in our election can be found in an excellent book by Malcolm Nance titled The Plot to Hack America.
More alarming than Russia’s interference is the multitude of secretive contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russia during the time that Russia was meddling in our election.
In order to understand all the different interwoven threads in the Trump-Russia scandal, this article breaks down those connections in a manner that is easy to keep straight and includes links to the source material so you can verify all of this information yourself.
National Security Council Report
1. In late 2016, US intelligence agencies concluded with “high confidence” that Vladimir Putin wanted to help Donald Trump and stop Hillary Clinton from getting
A declassified report issued by the FBI, CIA and NSA, titled Russia’s Influence Campaign Targeting the 2016 US Presidential Election stated:
We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.
We also assess Putin and the Russian government aspired to help Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.
Read more details about Paul Manfort here:
2. Trump’s campaign manager spent years helping Vladimir Putin install puppet leaders in Ukraine and other countries.
In August, 2016, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, had to resign because of his many past experiences working to install politicians loyal to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Manafort made millions of dollars working as a political consultant for Putin and the pro-Russia president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.
It seems ironic that after spending years helping pro-Russia politicians get elected, Manafort would then go to work managing Donald Trump’s campaign at a time when Putin wanted Trump to win the presidency.
3. Donald Trump publicly asked Russia to help him get elected.
In August of 2016, Donald Trump publicly asked Russia to reveal any information they had that could hurt Hillary Clinton and help him win the election. At that same event, Trump said Russia would be “rewarded mightily” for their efforts. In that same speech, he also said he was considering lifting sanctions on Russia.
Read about Carter Page's history with Russia
4. One of Trump’s advisors has so many Russian connections that it inspired the FBI to investigate him before and during the 2016 presidential campaign.
One of candidate Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers was Carter Page. Prior to working for Trump, Page had lengthy business involvements with the Russian oil company, Gazprom. At the time Carter Page became Donald Trump’s foreign policy adviser, he began giving Russia-friendly policy speeches in Moscow. This was one of the reasons the FBI began looking into Page.
Page later went to Moscow on behalf of the Trump campaign and met with top managers of two Russian energy companies.
5. In addition to his other Russian connections, Carter Page was recruited by Russian Intelligence.
In early 2017, the FBI revealed that Carter Page, Trump’s foreign policy adviser, had been recruited by Russian intelligence agents back in 2013. Page was not indicted by the FBI but he did have extensive contacts with those intelligence agents.
Washington Post Link
6. Trump’s campaign changed the Republican Party platform to soften their position on Russia.
In 2016, the Republican Party had a plank in their party platform that was highly critical of Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. After Trump secured the needed delegates to win the Republican nomination, the Trump campaign quietly changed the Republican Party platform to remove a section that supports Ukraine against Russia.
7. After Mitch McConnell prevented President Obama from revealing Russia’s interference in our election, Trump rewarded McConnell by appointing his wife to his
After learning of Russia’s illegal involvement in our presidential election, President Obama met with members of Congress to discuss what they should tell the American public about Russia’s involvement with our election.
The Atlantic Magazine
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened to accuse President Obama of politicizing this information if he went public so Obama held off releasing the information. After McConnell successfully prevented Obama from revealing this information until after the election, Donald Trump appointed McConnell’s wife as Transportation Secretary.
8. Trump’s adviser Michael Flynn, spoke to the Russian Ambassador about lifting US sanctions against Russia
After the election, President Obama imposed additional sanctions against Russia for interfering with the US presidential election.
On the same day that Obama imposed sanctions against Russia, Trump’s campaign adviser, Michael Flynn, spoke to the Russian ambassador and discussed lifting those sanctions.
Flynn also lied when asked about his conversation with the Russian ambassador.
PBS News Hour
9. Jared Kushner violated National Security policy by creating back channel communication lines with Russia while Obama was still president.
Prior to Trump’s inauguration, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner contacted the Russian ambassador to establish back channel communication lines with Russia. This was in violation of National Security policy.
10. Jared Kushner lied on his application for top security clearance by not disclosing his contacts with Russia.
As a top adviser to Donald Trump, Jared Kushner had to apply for top secret security clearance.
When applying for his security clearance, Kushner, failed to disclose dozens of contacts he’d had with foreign governments including Russia. This type of omission is usually more than enough to get someone’s security clearance revoked. However, Kushner continues to have top level security clearance.
11. Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, lied to Congress about his ties to Russia.
During his Senate confirmation hearing, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, lied to Congress when he said under oath that he had not met with anyone from Russia. In fact, he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. While it was not illegal for Sessions to meet with Kislyak, it was illegal to lie to Congress about it.
Strangely enough, Sessions had not even been asked during his hearings if he had met with any Russians. He simply volunteered this false information on his own.
12. Attorney General Sessions illegally falsified information about his contacts with Russia on his Justice Department security application.
Attorney General Jeff sessions did not disclose his contacts with Russia when he applied for his security clearance with the Justice Department. Such an omission of information on a security application should be more than enough reason for him to be fired. When you consider both this illegal omission of information and the fact that he lied to Congress under oath, it is difficult to understand how he can be allowed to continue as United States Attorney General.
New York Times
13. Trump’s National Security Advisor had to resign for lying about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, had to resign when it was publicly revealed that he had lied about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. It was later revealed that Flynn was a paid adviser for Russia. After Flynn’s lies were made public, he was forced to resign just 24 days into the Trump administration.
Flynn later invoked the 5th Amendment and refused to answer questions about his involvement with Russia unless he received immunity from prosecution. Ironically, Flynn had famously said at the Republican Convention that anyone who invoked the 5th Amendment or sought immunity had to be guilty of a crime.
14. Trump adviser Michael Flynn lied to the Pentagon about his Russian contacts when he renewed his security clearance in 2016.
Mike Flynn misled Pentagon investigators about his income from Russian companies and about his contacts with Russian officials when he applied for a renewal of his top-secret security clearance. Flynn also failed to disclose that he was a foreign agent lobbying on behalf of Turkey while he was working for the Trump campaign.
15. Trump’s Secretary of State has major business interests in Russia which represent a huge conflict of interest.
Donald Trump appointed Rex Tillerson, the head of ExxonMobil, as secretary of State. Tillerson’s company stands to make billions of dollars if US sanctions on Russia were lifted and they were allowed to proceed with their oil production contracts with Russian companies.
Tillerson has a huge personal incentive to lift those sanctions.
16. Trump revealed classified information to the Russians and likely exposed sources of secret US intelligence.
In early May, 2017, Trump shared highly classified information with the Russian foreign minister that likely exposed top secret sources of US intelligence. Trump spokesmen first denied, then acknowledged the leak of classified intelligence and gave differing explanations of the extent of information shared.
A few days later, Trump publicly revealed that the classified information came from Israeli intelligence, which could have endangered Israeli intelligence assets.
17. Trump committed obstruction of Justice by firing the FBI Director to thwart an investigation into his campaign’s contacts with Russia.
By Trump’s own admission, he fired FBI Director James Comey over the Russia investigation. Trump even bragged to Russian officials in the Oval office that pressure has been taken off of him since he fired FBI Director Comey.
Trump asked for a pledge of personal loyalty from FBI Director, James Comey. It wasn’t long after Comey refused that he was fired.
18. Donald Trump’s pick for new FBI Director worked for a law firm that represents Russian oil companies and would profit mightily if US sanctions on Russia are
Christopher Wray, Donald Trump’s nominee for FBI Director, works at a law firm that represents the same Russian oil company that had a $500 billion oil drilling venture with Exxon-Mobil when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was its CEO.
Each of the companies stand to make large profits if US sanctions against Russia are lifted, as Trump has hinted he will do.
19. Trump received a $60 million profit when a Russian friend of Vladimir Putin bought his house in Florida.
A few years ago, powerful Russian businessman (and friend of Vladimir Putin), Dmitry Rybolovlev, bought a house in Florida from Trump for $100 million - which was $60 million more that Trump paid for that same property just 2 years earlier.
Because he paid such an outlandish price for the property, Rybolovlev stands virtually no realistic chance of making a profit or breaking even on this investment.
20. Trump appointed the banker who brokered his $100 million deal as his Secretary of Commerce.
Wilber Ross was the banker who handled the questionable transaction between Donald Trump and Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev. Trump has now appointed Ross to be his Secretary of Commerce.
21. Former CIA Director John Brennan said that the multitude of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016 justifies a further investigation by the
Former CIA Director John Brennan told House Russia investigators that Russia brazenly interfered in US elections, including actively contacting members of President Donald Trump's campaign.
22. Throughout his campaign and presidency, Trump has constantly changed his story about how well he knows Vladimir Putin.
Since announcing his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump often contradicted himself, alternately claiming to know Vladimir Putin quite well and having a good relationship with him, then claiming that he did not know Putin and had no relationship at all with him.
This list will likely continue to grow longer when it is updated with new connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Check back here from time to time to see any new discoveries of contacts between Trump and Russia