Donald Trump

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Evidence suggests Trump associates may have colluded with Russians, officials say

The FBI investigation is ongoing.


David Gilmour


Posted on Mar 23, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 7:50 pm CDT

Information currently being examined by the FBI indicates that associates of President Donald Trump may have been in contact with Russian agents to release information that would sabotage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to U.S. officials.

Speaking to CNN on Thursday, the officials explained that investigators were taking a detailed look at communication and travel records, as well as first-person accounts of meetings, to see whether the Trump campaign had colluded with a foreign government in an attempt to fraudulently interfere with an election.

On Monday FBI Director James Comey confirmed an “open, ongoing investigation” into “the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election” when appearing before the House Intelligence Committee.

“I have been authorized by the [Department of Justice] to confirm that the FBI… is investigating the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election… that includes any links between the Trump campaign,” Comey said, relaying that the agency had “a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power.”

According to CNN’s source, the available evidence is leading FBI counterintelligence agents to believe that a coordination is likely to have happened, but in the same instance were sure to communicate that no conclusion had been drawn in the active investigation and that any indication of collusion was largely circumstantial.

When the news agency contacted the Kremlin, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on information delivered by an anonymous source. The White House refused to comment.

However, on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to Comey’s testimony and refuted that collusion took place: “Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things.”

The FBI’s current investigation, according to Comey, began in July—the same month that Russian hackers released an enormous email dump acquired in a breach of the Democratic National Committee. In the months that followed, more emails were published, this time stolen from the inbox of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded at the time that the Kremlin was trying to interfere in the election to benefit Trump, a conclusion that the Republican candidate dismissed and criticized.

Since then, the public notion that the Trump campaign worked with Russian operatives has been compounded by revelations that a number of high-profile members of Trump’s own administration privately met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, which they had either denied outright or failed to disclose.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who managed to resist losing his job, recused himself from the Justice Department’s own investigations into Russian election interference. Other associates of the presidential campaign such as Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page, have also been looked at by the FBI.

Trump, for his part, continues to exist the allegations are completely false.


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*First Published: Mar 23, 2017, 10:47 am CDT