aside Russian Officials Challenge President’s Claim Of No Contact During Campaign

Image result for recent photos of donald trump

How long is our republican President Donald Trump going to be getting away with not giving a straight definitive answer when being questioned about his campaign members having regular contacts with Russian officials? He has been parsing his words, like I am not aware of any such interactions; who would we be calling in Russia as I have no contacts there.

Well now, it is their Russian cohorts who are telling a different story. It is hard for me to see how our president keeps up his denials and how the republicans continue to enable him.

On 2/20/17, Matthew Rosenberg of the NY Times penned the following report, Contradicting Trump on Russia: Russian Officials.”

Excerpts:

For months, President Trump and his aides have insisted that they had no contact with Russian officials during the presidential campaign, a denial Mr. Trump repeated last week.Image result for recent photos of donald trump

“I have nothing to do with Russia,” he told reporters on Thursday (2/16/17).  “To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.”

“The denial stands at odds with statements by Russian officials, who have at least twice acknowledged contacts with aides to Mr. Trump before the election.”

“It is not uncommon for a presidential campaign to speak to foreign officials, which makes the dispute particularly unusual. At the same time, any contacts would have taken place during a period when American intelligence agencies believe the Russian government was trying to disrupt the election with a campaign of computer hacking.”

Image result for photo of Sergei A. Ryabkov,
Sergei A. Ryabkov

“The dispute began two days after the Nov. 8 election, when Sergei A. Ryabkov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, said his government had maintained contacts with members of Mr. Trump’s “immediate entourage” during the campaign.

“I cannot say that all, but a number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives,” Mr. Ryabkov said during an interview with the Interfax news agency.”

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Hope Hicks

“Mr. Ryabkov’s comments were met with a swift denial from Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump and now a member of the White House press team.”

“More recently, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey I. Kislyak, told The Washington Post that he had communicated frequently during the campaign with Michael T. Flynn, a close campaign adviser to Mr. Trump who became the president’s national security adviser before resigning from the position last week.”

“It’s something all diplomats do,” The Post quoted Mr. Kislyak as saying, though he refused to say what subjects they discussed.”

“Mr. Trump and his aides denied any contacts occurred during the campaign.”

“This is a nonstory because to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place, so it’s hard to make a comment on something that never happened,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said on Monday.”Image result for photos trump at recent news conference

“The Russian government did not respond to a message over the weekend seeking comment.”

“Separately, The New York Times and other news outlets reported last week that Trump campaign advisers and other associates of Mr. Trump’s had repeated contacts last year with Russian intelligence officials. Those reports, citing anonymous current and former American government officials, were vigorously denied by the White House.”

“On Thursday (2/16/17), Mr. Trump made clear his annoyance when questioned about contacts with Russia.”

“How many times do I have to answer this question? Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia,” he said during a White House news conference.”

“The president also lashed out at “illegal” leaks for bringing down Mr. Flynn, who the White House has acknowledged had multiple conversations after the election — in late December — with Mr. Kislyak about sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration.”

“Under ordinary circumstances, few in Washington would blink at the statements by Mr. Ryabkov or Mr. Kislyak. It is common for foreign governments to reach out to American presidential candidates, and many foreign diplomats believe it is part of their job to get to know people who may soon be crucial to maintaining alliances or repairing broken relationships.”Image result for photos trump at recent news conference

“They want to better understand policy views of a particular candidate so they can perhaps make their case for certain policies,” said Derek Chollet, who was part of the Obama transition in 2008 and then served in senior roles at the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon.”

“Mostly, though, “it’s about relationship building — they want to get to know the people who are possibly going to be in important jobs,” he added.”

melania trump white dress
First Lady Melania Trump (R) walks with Sara Netanyahu

“The closest contacts between campaigns and foreign officials tend to be with allies. Mr. Trump visited Israel during the campaign, the Australian Embassy said it was in contact with the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and British officials said they had extensive contacts with the president’s top aides in the months before the election.”

“Contacts with potential adversaries, such as Russia, are also not unusual, but they are more complicated. Michael McFaul, who advised the Obama campaign in 2008 and later served as United States ambassador to Russia, said that he traveled to Moscow during the presidential race that year and that “everyone in Moscow knew that I was advising the campaign.”WASHINGTON, D.C. - FEBRUARY 15: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara Netanyahu (L) and U.S. first lady Melania Trump sit in the Oval Office of the White House on February 15, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with the new U.S. administration after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

“The American Embassy even hosted a lunch for him with Russian officials. But “I was not there to discuss Obama policy but to better inform my views on Russian attitudes about U.S.-Russia relations,” Mr. McFaul said.”

“He said that during the transition, Russian officials wanted to talk about policy issues, but the Obama administration officials refused — in keeping with the tradition that there should be only “one president at a time.”

5 comments

  1. What perplexes me is, if US intelligence has actual evidence that Trump and his administration broke the rules and engaged in espionage with the Russians, why haven’t they release the facts to Congress and initiate hearings for impeachment???

    I know the deep state wants Trump out, but they still need credible evidence, even to frame him. Innuendos like Trump’s pee-pee party in Russia is just not gonna cut it. We need Watergate type proof, not peepeegate silliness. Time will tell…

  2. Dear 1EarthUnited,

    , I am suspicious of DT’s connections to Russia because of all his pro Russian rhetoric.There is a lot of smoke but no smoking gun evidence. Like you said, “time will tell.”

    Ciao, Gronda

    • What we really need are recordings of these meetings between Russian Ambassador and Trump’s advisors like Flynn. Surely the Intelligence Community can release these damning interactions.

        • It’s also possible that meetings with foreign diplomats are not illegal or even breaking protocol, but simply used as an excuse by the IC, media, deep state to discredit Trump. It’s all a matter of perspective, but I’m still highly suspicious of Trump, he’s far from innocent.

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