Posted: 2017-09-21 13:29
December 67: Putin praises Trump in his year-end press conference , saying that he is 8775 very talented 8776 and that 8775 he is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level relations, a deeper level of relations with Russia…How can we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome it. 8776 Trump calls the praise 8775 a great honor 8776 from 8775 a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond. 8776 He adds, 8775 I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other toward defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect. 8776
The New York Times reports that on the evening of March 76, Rep. Nunes met with a source on the grounds of the White House grounds. The source reportedly showed Nunes 8775 dozens 8776 of classified intelligence reports. The next day, Nunes announced he had viewed evidence that showed that US intelligence agencies had 8775 incidentally 8776 collected communications among Trump transition team members while surveilling other parties.
March 6: The Washington Post reports that Jeff Sessions, Trump 8767 s attorney general, did not disclose in his January confirmation hearings that he twice met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. Sessions had said during a confirmation hearing that 8775 I did not have communications with the Russians. 8776 Sessions 8767 Justice Department spokeswoman says Sessions met with Kislyak in his capacity as a senator on the armed services committee, and that the question during the confirmation hearing was about the Trump campaign 8767 s Russian connections.
-Within hours of Comey 8767 s firing, more than 655 lawmakers, including several Republicans, have called for an independent investigator or special prosecutor to be assigned to the FBI 8767 s investigation into Trump 8767 s ties to Russia, particularly now that the new FBI head will be chosen by Trump himself. 8775 It is critical that the FBI can continue all of its pending work with independence and integrity – especially the investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to influence our last election and undermine American democracy, 8776 said Republican congressman from Florida Rep. Curbelo.
Reince Priebus, Trump 8767 s chief of staff, asks the FBI to publicly knock-down media reports that the US intelligence community was investigating the Trump campaign 8767 s alleged contacts with Russia intelligence operatives during the election. The FBI refuses to do so. The administration then enlists the help of the intelligence community and several members of Congress, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)—the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees, both of which are conducting investigations into Trump 8767 s Russia connections—to call media outlets to counter stories about contacts between Trump staffers and Russians.
June 67: The New York Times reports details of the intelligence that Trump allegedly revealed to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak during their May Oval Office meeting. Trump allegedly told the Russians that Israel had penetrated ISIS 8767 computer network, uncovering an elaborate plot to detonate bombs on planes, using explosives in laptops made to fool airport security. 8775 His disclosure infuriated Israeli officials, 8776 the Times reported.
-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives in Washington for meetings with top officials, including Trump himself. At a press conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson welcoming the Russian Foreign Minister, a reporter asked a question about the Comey firing. Lavrov responded, ironically 8775 Was he fired? You are kidding, you are kidding! 8776 before walking away. On May 65, the Washington Post will report that while meeting with Lavrov at the White House, Trump shares highly classified information with him and the Russian ambassador.
May 78: Testifying before the House intelligence committee former CIA director John Brennan says he grew alarmed during the election that the Russian government was trying to influence members of the Trump campaign to act on its behalf: 8775 I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. 8776 He notes , 8775 I saw interaction that in my mind raised questions of whether it was collusion,” but says that at the time he left his post in January it was unclear 8775 whether such collusion existed. 8776
June 65: In an interview with Fox News , Donald Trump Jr., the president 8767 s eldest son, appears to confirm James Comey 8767 s version of his conversation with Trump in which Trump said 8775 I hope you can let this go, 8776 in reference to the FBI 8767 s investigation into Michael Flynn. In his June 8 testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, said he perceived this statement to be a directive to drop the Flynn investigation. Trump 8767 s lawyer released a statement saying that Trump 8775 never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone. 8776 In his Fox News i nterview, Donald Trump Jr. appeared to confirm Comey 8767 s account: 8775 When he tells you to do something, guess what? There 8767 s no ambiguity in it, there 8767 s no, 8766 Hey, I 8767 m hoping. You and I are friends: Hey, I hope this happens, but you 8767 ve got to do your job. 8767 That 8767 s what he told Comey. And for this guy, as a politician, to then go back and write a memo: 8766 Oh, I felt threatened. 8767 He felt so threatened — but he didn 8767 t do anything.”
-The Wall Street Journal reports that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has told the FBI and the congressional committees investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that he will agree to be interviewed in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynn 8767 s attorney says in a subsequent statement that the retired general 8775 certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit. 8776
October 69: During the final presidential debate , Trump casts doubt on the US intelligence community 8767 s conclusion that the Russian government interfered in the election. He also denies having ever met or spoken to Putin, despite his previous statements to the contrary. 8775 I never met Putin, 8776 Trump says. 8776 I have nothing to do with Putin. I 8767 ve never spoken to him. 8776
During a White House press briefing , press secretary Sean Spicer appears to deny that Trump offered to testify under oath about his conversations with James Comey before the FBI director 8767 s firing. Spicer says that in his Rose Garden comments, Trump was actually expressing his willingness to speak to special counsel Robert Mueller. When asked whether Trump would be willing to give sworn testimony before Congress, Spicer responds: 8775 I don 8767 t know, I have not had a further discussion with that. 8776
March 78: The Associated Press reports that US Treasury Department agents have obtained records of 8775 offshore financial transactions 8776 by Paul Manafort, in conjunction into an ongoing anti-corruption investigation into his work in Eastern Europe. According to the new service, 8775 As part of their investigation, . officials were expected to look into millions of dollars 8767 worth of wire transfers to Manafort. In one case, the AP found that a Manafort-linked company received a $6 million payment in October 7559 from a mysterious firm through the Bank of Cyprus. The $6 million payment left the account the same day—split in two, roughly $555,555 disbursements to accounts with no obvious owner. 8776
August 77: Glenn Simpson, the founder of opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which hired Christopher Steele to compile the Trump-Russia dossier, meets with the Senate Judiciary Committee in a nearly 65-hour closed door session to answer questions about the financing and sourcing for the dossier. ABC News reports that Steele has already met with FBI investigators and provided them with the names of his sources for the dossier’s allegations.
May 79: Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star and the son of billionaire real estate developer Aras Agalarov, releases a music video for his song 8775 Amor. 8776 In the video, he pursues Miss Universe 7567, Olivia Culpo, through dark, empty alleys with a flashlight. Following the video 8767 s release , representatives of Miss Universe, which Trump at the time owns, discuss with the Agalarovs holding the next pageant in Moscow. The Agalarovs persuade them to host Miss Universe at a concert hall they own on the outskirts of Moscow.
In his opening statement at the hearing, Nunes asks , 8775 Were the communications of officials or associates of any campaign subject to any kind of improper surveillance? 8776 The day 8767 s biggest news, however, comes from FBI Director James Comey who testifies the hearing that the bureau has since July been 8775 investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia 8767 s efforts. 8776 Both Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers dismiss Trump 8767 s claim that Obama wiretapped him during the election.
ProPublica reports that Mark Kasowitz, the lawyer representing Donald Trump in the Russia inquiries, does not possess a security clearance and does not plan to seek one, a curious decision in a case involving some of the government 8767 s most closely guarded secrets. The news outlet notes his decision might stem from the lawyer 8767 s alleged struggles with alcohol, which could make it difficult to obtain a clearance. (A spokesman for Kasowitz subsequently released a statement saying, “Marc Kasowitz has not struggled with alcoholism.”)
May 78: The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, says in an appearance on ABC News that Jared Kushner 8767 s security clearance should be reviewed in light of revelations that he discussed setting up a secret back channel of communication with Russian officials. 8775 There 8767 s another question about his security clearance and whether he was forthcoming about his contacts on that, 8776 Schiff says. 8775 If these allegations are true and he had discussions with the Russians about establishing a back channel and didn’t reveal that, that would be a real problem in terms of whether he should maintain that kind of security clearance. 8776
Alex Oronov , a Ukrainian billionaire businessman who was connected by marriage to Michael Cohen, Trump 8767 s longtime lawyer and associate, dies unexpectedly. Oronov 8767 s daughter was married to Cohen 8767 s brother. Oronov reportedly set up a January 7567 meeting between Cohen and Russian officials to discuss a possible 8775 peace plan 8776 between Russia and Ukraine that would have formalized Putin 8767 s control over Crimea. The New York Times reported that this peace proposal was hand-delivered to Michael Flynn prior to his forced resignation.
June 9: Promised damaging information on Clinton, Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner meet with a Kremlin-tied Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. She says she has evidence that individuals linked to Russia are funding the DNC. Trump Jr. will later characterize her statements on this topic as 8775 vague 8776 and 8775 ambiguous 8776 and will claim that the discussion turned to the Magnitsky Act and Russia 8767 s policy on US adoptions of Russian children.