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.What did Trump know and when did he know it?
When President Donald Trump was asked Friday to weigh in on a Washington Post report that his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had discussed sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. prior to the inauguration, the president claimed he was unaware of the news.What did The Donald know and when did he know it?
“I don’t know about that. I haven’t seen it. What report is that? I haven’t seen that. I’ll look into that,” Trump said on Feb. 10, according to a White House pool report.
But White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday that the president knew about Flynn’s communication with Russia for weeks. When Trump said, “I don’t know about that,” he simply meant he didn’t know about the Washington Post report specifically, Spicer claimed.
“We’ve been reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to General Flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks, trying to ascertain the truth,” Spicer said during a daily press briefing.
What Trump and his team have failed to explain in detail is why it took a “few weeks.”
Hours after national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned amid reports that he misled top officials about his pre-inauguration talks with the Russian ambassador, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to encourage everyone to move on. “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?” he tweeted out Tuesday morning.What did the little-handed pussy grabber know and when did the little-handed pussy grabber know it?
In a sense, Trump is right: The real story is not Flynn. But it isn’t government leaks, either. No, the “real story here” is Trump himself—and the continuing mystery of his ties to Russia.
As official Washington and the press home in on the permanent disarray in the White House, whether the disgraced Flynn broke the law and who will succeed him after his three-week tenure, the key question is getting lost in the shuffle: Who told Flynn to call Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States? Because I’m convinced Flynn didn’t do it of his own accord. Flynn is a bit player in a much larger story regarding the president’s relationship with the Kremlin, and it’s this story the press needs to focus on.
This. Is. Not. Normal. @realDonaldTrump owes Americans a full account of his Admin’s dealings with Russia, both before & after the election.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) February 14, 2017