Officials inside the Trump campaign had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials” in the run up to the 2016 president election, according to a damning new report in the New York Times.
The Times reports that phone records and intercepts between Trump’s campaign and Moscow “alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies” because of how frequent the two parties were communicating, especially during a time in which then-GOP nominee Trump was repeatedly praising Putin.
More from the troubling report:
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.
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time that they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.
But the intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.
Now that it’s been established that the Trump campaign – beyond Michael Flynn – had open communications with the Russian government at a time when Moscow was hacking the U.S. election, I’d say an investigation is an order, wouldn’t you?
It’s bad enough that the Trump team made repeated contacts with the Russian government while they were waging a cyberattack on our electoral process; it’s equally troubling that the FBI was sitting on this evidence in the midst of a presidential campaign.
All of this information warrants an immediate and thorough investigation from an independent commission to answer the one remaining – and most important – question: Was Trump or his campaign in any way working together to tip the election in his favor?
If the answer to that question follows the same troubling pattern that’s been unfolding throughout the first three weeks of this new administration, the Trump presidency may be even shorter than we expected.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.