IF NOT A SMOKING GUN THIS IS A VERY HOT PISTOL
GUEST BLOG—Report from the Center for AmericanProgress (www.americanprogressaction.org). First published 2-15-17.
All those “unverified” allegations about Trump and Russia you’ve been hearing since the dog days of the campaign? Well, they’re becoming more and more verified by the hour. On Valentine’s day, just a day after Michael Flynn’s resignation, a bombshell New York Times story reported that U.S. intelligence sources have confirmed that members of Donald Trump’s campaign were in close contact with the Russian intelligence officials during the campaign.
To be clear: U.S. intelligence officials had already confirmed months ago that the Russian government did interfered in our election in order to help Donald Trump win. But now, we have confirmed evidence that senior Trump aides were “constant communication” with the same Russian actors that were trying to tilt election in Trump’s favor.
We don’t blame you.
Here’s a brief timeline showing
who knew what and when:
Jan. 6: Then President-Elect Trump was briefed on alleged contacts between campaign officials and Russians.
Jan 12: The Washington Post first reported the call between Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on December 29th, the day the Obama administration announced actions against Russia in response to the DNC hacking.
Jan. 15: Vice President Mike Pence denies that Flynn’s conversations involved sanctions.
Jan. 26: The Justice Department notifies Trump about concerns regarding Flynn.
Feb. 8: Flynn denies ever discussing sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak.
Feb. 13: Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway says, “General Flynn does enjoy the full confidence of the president.” Minutes later, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tells reporters that Trump is “evaluating the situation” around Flynn. Flynn resigns.
Feb. 14: Head of US Special Operations Command said the US government is in "unbelievable turmoil," a situation that he suggested could undermine US efforts to fight adversaries such as ISIS. News breaks alleging high-level contacts between Trump team and Russian intel officers during the campaign.
Despite having been briefed on the matter, Trump continues to dismiss the situation as “fake news.”
Only an independent, bipartisan investigation will ensure we get the facts about connections between the Trump team and Russia.
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