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Members of Donald Trump’s campaign team failed to disclose at least 18 emails and phone calls with Russian officials and other individuals close to the Russian government, Reuters reported Thursday.
Citing interviews with three current or former U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation, Reuters reported that communications increased immediately after Trump’s victory in the 2016 election. The sources told Reuters that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russian U.S. Ambassador Sergei Kislyak attempted to establish a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin “that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy.”
The contacts came to light as part of the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and possible collusion by the Trump Campaign. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel in the investigation on May 17.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning to blast the investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election a “witch hunt.”
The decision for Mueller to lead the special counsel came just one day after the New York Times reported that the president attempted to shut down an FBI investigation into Flynn by telling Comey to “let it go,” and just two days after the Washington Post reported that Trump revealed highly classified information in a meeting last week with Russian officials.
More to come…