It has previously been reported that the CIA, FBI, and other agencies have been investigating potentially improper links between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign apparatus and the Russian government. Now, the New York Times is reporting that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials have definitive evidence that a number of top aides to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – including former campaign chief Paul Manafort – were communicating with Russia in the months leading up to the election.
Reports the Times: “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 they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee.”
The communications between Trump’s aides and the Russians were first discovered during routine telecommunications surveillance activities, and are part of a trove of communications being reviewed by the FBI. According to reports, the discovery was made around the time intelligence agencies first began looking into allegations that Russia intended to influence the U.S. presidential election. The discoveries alarmed intelligence officials, “in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin…[and because] Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public,” reported the Times.
These dramatic revelations could not come at a worse time for Donald Trump, who is reeling following the abrupt resignation of Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser. As reported on Restore Progress, Flynn’s resignation was the result of improper contacts between Flynn and Russia. Do you see a pattern here?