Thread: Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

LeglizHemp - 2/15/2017 at 02:32 AM

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/russia-intelligence-communic ations-trump.html?_r=0

Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, MARK MAZZETTI and MATT APUZZOFEB. 14, 2017


WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former 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 officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

But the intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.

The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the Russian government outside of the intelligence services, the officials said. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.

The officials said that one of the advisers picked up on the calls was Paul Manafort, who was Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman for several months last year and had worked as a political consultant in Russia and Ukraine. The officials declined to identify the other Trump associates on the calls.

The call logs and intercepted communications are part of a larger trove of information that the F.B.I. is sifting through as it investigates the links between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russian government, as well as the D.N.C. hack, according to federal law enforcement officials. As part of its inquiry, the F.B.I. has obtained banking and travel records and conducted interviews, the officials said.

Mr. Manafort, who has not been charged with any crimes, dismissed the accounts of the American officials in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “This is absurd,” he said. “I have no idea what this is referring to. I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.”

Mr. Manafort added, “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.’”

Several of Mr. Trump’s associates, like Mr. Manafort, have done business in Russia, and it is not unusual for American businessmen to come in contact with foreign intelligence officials, sometimes unwittingly, in countries like Russia and Ukraine, where the spy services are deeply embedded in society. Law enforcement officials did not say to what extent the contacts may have been about business.

Officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, which Russian intelligence officials were on the calls, and how many of Mr. Trump’s advisers were talking to the Russians. It is also unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Mr. Trump himself.

A published report from American intelligence agencies that was made public in January concluded that the Russian government had intervened in the election in part to help Mr. Trump, but did not address whether any members of the Trump campaign had participated in the effort.

The intercepted calls are different from the wiretapped conversations last year between Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. During those calls, which led to Mr. Flynn’s resignation on Monday night, the two men discussed sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russia in December.

But the cases are part of the routine electronic surveillance of communications of foreign officials by American intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The F.B.I. declined to comment.

Two days after the election in November, Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy Russian foreign minister, said that “there were contacts” during the campaign between Russian officials and Mr. Trump’s team.

“Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Mr. Ryabkov said in an interview with the Russian Interfax news agency.

The Trump transition team denied Mr. Ryabkov’s statement. “This is not accurate,” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, said at the time.

The National Security Agency, which monitors the communications of foreign intelligence services, initially captured the communications between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russians as part of routine foreign surveillance. After that, the F.B.I. asked the N.S.A. to collect as much information as possible about the Russian operatives on the phone calls, and to search through troves of previous intercepted communications that had not been analyzed.

The F.B.I. has closely examined at least four other people close to Mr. Trump, although it is unclear if their calls were intercepted. They are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign; Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative; and Mr. Flynn.

All of the men have strongly denied they had any improper contacts with Russian officials.

As part of the inquiry, the F.B.I. is also trying to assess the credibility of information contained in a dossier that was given to the bureau last year by a former British intelligence operative. The dossier contained a raft of salacious allegations about connections between Mr. Trump, his associates and the Russian government. It also included unsubstantiated claims that the Russians had embarrassing videos that could be used to blackmail Mr. Trump.

The F.B.I. has spent several months investigating the leads in the dossier, but has yet to confirm any of its most explosive allegations.

Senior F.B.I. officials believe that the former British intelligence officer who compiled the dossier, Christopher Steele, has a credible track record, and he briefed F.B.I. investigators last year about how he obtained the information. One American law enforcement official said that F.B.I. agents had made contact with some of Mr. Steele’s sources.

The F.B.I.’s investigation into Mr. Manafort began last spring as an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. The investigation has focused on why he was in such close contact with Russian and Ukrainian intelligence officials.

The bureau did not have enough evidence to obtain a warrant for a wiretap of Mr. Manafort’s communications, but it had the N.S.A. closely scrutinize the communications of Ukrainian officials he had met.

The F.B.I. investigation is proceeding at the same time that separate investigations into Russian interference in the election are gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. Those investigations, by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, are examining not only the Russian hacking but also any contacts that Mr. Trump’s team had with Russian officials during the campaign.

On Tuesday, top Republican lawmakers said that Mr. Flynn should be one focus of the investigation, and that he should be called to testify before Congress. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said that the news surrounding Mr. Flynn in recent days underscored “how many questions still remain unanswered to the American people more than three months after Election Day, including who was aware of what, and when.”

Mr. Warner said that Mr. Flynn’s resignation would not stop the committee “from continuing to investigate General Flynn, or any other campaign official who may have had inappropriate and improper contacts with Russian officials prior to the election.”


OriginalGoober - 2/15/2017 at 02:35 AM


Intelligence community wants to take down Trump at all costs. Interesting.......


jkeller - 2/15/2017 at 03:11 AM

quote:

Intelligence community wants to take down Trump at all costs. Interesting.......


No. The intelligence community wants to preserve our democracy at all costs.


BoytonBrother - 2/15/2017 at 04:02 AM

He practically admitted it a million times during his campaign and they voted him in anyway. what's the story? The only story is what will be done about it. I suspect nothing.


LeglizHemp - 2/20/2017 at 03:54 PM

Does anyone know what kind of deal Trump wants to make with Russia? I mean what does he want to give vs what do we get? If we remove sanctions what do we get out of it? If we let them have Crimea what do we get out of it?

I'm baffled.


nebish - 2/20/2017 at 05:39 PM

quote:
Does anyone know what kind of deal Trump wants to make with Russia? I mean what does he want to give vs what do we get? If we remove sanctions what do we get out of it? If we let them have Crimea what do we get out of it?

I'm baffled.


Only speaking for myself I have thought that Russia and the US could align to fight ISIS and Islamic terrorism in general. They are geographically closer to the epicenter of it than we are. It opens up a host of questions and concerns, but that is what I have thought could take place.

It would be like if China and the US could have more of a working alliance on one of the critical problems of the day.

I don't like China any more than I like Russia. But I would hope that our nations would be able to forge a partnership in some issue in which we yield mutual benefit from.


gina - 2/20/2017 at 11:56 PM

quote:

Intelligence community wants to take down Trump at all costs. Interesting.......


I read somewhere that naval intelligence were all 32 degree Masons, IF that is true, then it is not surprising.


gina - 2/20/2017 at 11:59 PM

"Russia is constantly improving its nuclear deterrence and is very close to deploying new technologically-advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles which can defeat any US missile defense systems, a Russian deputy prime minister said in an interview.

“These weapons will soon appear in our armed forces,” Dmitry Rogozin told Rossiya-1 TV on Sunday. While not naming the new ICBM, the deputy PM in charge of the defense industry said the missile will have the capacity to penetrate any American air defenses."

While the weapon of the future wasn’t named, media were quick to allege that Rogozin was most likely describing the RS-28 Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, which is being introduced as part of Russia’s nuclear modernization.

Currently Sarmat is undergoing the final stages development at the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau in the city of Mias. According to reports, the new missile, weighing at least 100 tons, will be capable of carrying a payload of up to 10 tons on any trajectory.

“We can rip their air defenses apart; at the moment [the US defense shield] poses no serious military threat to us, except for provocations,” Rogozin said.

http://www.infowars.com/russias-new-icbms-can-rip-apart-us-anti-missile-sys tems-deputy-pm-rogozin/



gina - 2/21/2017 at 01:17 AM

This just in. Big investigation going on.

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trumps-russia-scandal-takes-unexpec ted-turn

On Friday afternoon, FBI Director James Comey delivered a classified, hour-long briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia scandal, and soon after, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent “formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to the committee’s investigation” into the controversy.

We don’t know much about how the briefing went – committee members were tight-lipped following Comey’s presentation – though Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted late Friday that he’s “now very confident” that the committee will conduct “thorough bipartisan investigation” into Russia’s “interference and influence.”

A day later, Reuters reported that the FBI is pursuing “at least three separate probes” related to Russian intervention in American politics, “according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation.” Two of three, according to the report, relate to alleged cyber-crimes, while the third is the ongoing counter-espionage probe.

According to the Times’ reporting, Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, claims he received a sealed envelope from Felix Sater, a controversial figure in Trump’s orbit, and Cohen delivered the envelope to Michael Flynn before his resignation.

According to the Washington Post’s reporting, however, Cohen had a different version of events: he met with the president at the White House, but never dropped off any documents.

The Times stands by its reporting. Why Cohen would tell two very different stories to two different newspapers is unclear.

Remarks: One thing is clear, there will be news media reform if nothing else under this administration. Someone actually called the Washington Post, the Washington Compost. It's getting very ugly.


LeglizHemp - 2/21/2017 at 02:18 PM

Theo you do know that the deal you speak of was initiated by Bush and that Clinton had nothing to do with it?
LOL of course you don't.


porkchopbob - 2/21/2017 at 07:10 PM

quote:
I think the following was initiated by Taft but I could be wrong...
http://www.infowars.com/exclusive-russian-bank-docs-show-how-putin-laundere d-money-to-hillary-podesta/


Wait, let me adjust the bunny ears on my tin foil hat...Just a sec...


2112 - 2/21/2017 at 09:37 PM

I have a hard time believing that Trump has had any contact with intelligence in any form whatsoever.


Bhawk - 2/21/2017 at 10:14 PM

quote:
I think the following was initiated by Taft but I could be wrong...



LeglizHemp - 2/22/2017 at 02:08 AM

i just have to start to remind myself that there are people who just hate everything....people who like to complain without looking for solutions....people who have warped ideas of reality.....people who believe a knee jerk reaction is the best answer.....people who would rather throw sh!t against the wall and see what sticks


LeglizHemp - 2/24/2017 at 08:00 PM

Nothing says "American Patriot" or "Christian Conservative" like waving a Russian flag at CPAC.




Chain - 2/25/2017 at 04:24 PM

Had Hilary Clinton engaged in the type of antics we now know the Trump campaign did we'd have had a massive uproar from all sorts of far right operators. Imagine the scuttlebutt and investigations? The hypocrisy from the so called "Patriots" on the right is truly amazing.


MartinD28 - 2/25/2017 at 07:09 PM

quote:
quote:
Nothing says "American Patriot" or "Christian Conservative" like waving a Russian flag at CPAC.

Leftist prank...
..."However, as James O’Keefe, who is at CPAC, revealed, “This was Ryan Clayton from Bob Creamer group “Americans Take Action” handing Russian flags. Ryan was forcibly removed. You edited that out.”

"Americans Take Action is a far-left organization whose openly stated mission is to have Trump impeached.

Despite the fact that the Russian flag stunt was an orchestrated set-up, mainstream media outlets are presenting it as if Trump supporters chose to wave the flags and were not misled into doing so. Some of the individuals seen waving the flags could also have been members of the far-left group responsible for the prank."

I do love a good prank though.

[Edited on 2/25/2017 by theo]


Just curious, theo - do you dismiss any connection and or collusion between Trumpco & Puttinco? Do you think this is some liberal or left wing conspiracy?

Should Trump not be successful at using intelligence agencies and GOP Congressional leaders to provide narrative to the press to whitewash or suppress investigations, how would that play into your view of good pranks?


Bhawk - 2/25/2017 at 07:26 PM

quote:
quote:
Nothing says "American Patriot" or "Christian Conservative" like waving a Russian flag at CPAC.






Leftist prank...
..."However, as James O’Keefe, who is at CPAC, revealed, “This was Ryan Clayton from Bob Creamer group “Americans Take Action” handing Russian flags. Ryan was forcibly removed. You edited that out.”

"Americans Take Action is a far-left organization whose openly stated mission is to have Trump impeached.

Despite the fact that the Russian flag stunt was an orchestrated set-up, mainstream media outlets are presenting it as if Trump supporters chose to wave the flags and were not misled into doing so. Some of the individuals seen waving the flags could also have been members of the far-left group responsible for the prank."

I do love a good prank though.



Translation: Even though it's obvious several people at CPAC had no clue what the flag of the Russian Federation looks like, we hate liberals and the left so much that everything is their fault anyway.


Bhawk - 2/25/2017 at 07:27 PM

quote:
Just curious, theo - do you dismiss any connection and or collusion between Trumpco & Puttinco? Do you think this is some liberal or left wing conspiracy?


There is absolutely nothing that Trump could do that would break the devotion of his followers.


2112 - 2/25/2017 at 10:29 PM

quote:
quote:
Just curious, theo - do you dismiss any connection and or collusion between Trumpco & Puttinco? Do you think this is some liberal or left wing conspiracy?


There is absolutely nothing that Trump could do that would break the devotion of his followers.


He's a God among men who has never told a lie and only looks bad because the unfair news media and the unfair courts who don't know near as much about the law as a brilliant businessman. Had the founding fathers had foreseen a leader as brilliant and intelligent as Trump they surely wouldn't have put in that silly system of checks and balances and wouldn't have given the press the freedom to criticise such a fair and supreme leader. He should be given full authority to do anything he wants and only an unpatriotic commie would question the wisdom of emperor Trump.


LeglizHemp - 3/2/2017 at 09:16 PM

Jeff Sessions recuses himself from any investigations related to Trump campaign
Sessions said he is making good on a promise he made at his confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself if it was necessary.

"I have considered the issues at stake," Sessions said. He added that his staff recommended accusal.

"I believe those recommendations are right and trust," Sessions said.



[Edited on 3/2/2017 by LeglizHemp]


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