The Trump campaign sent a clear message that they were open for business by approving a George Papadopoulos interview with state-run Russian media.
The Washington Post reported:
When a Russian news agency reached out to George Papadopoulos to request an interview shortly before the 2016 election, the young adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump made sure to seek approval from campaign headquarters.
“You should do it,” deputy communications director Bryan Lanza urged Papadopoulos in a September 2016 email, emphasizing the benefits of a U.S. “partnership with Russia.”
The exchange was a sign that Papadopoulos — who pushed the Trump operation to meet with Russian officials — had the campaign’s blessing for some of his foreign outreach.
The Trump campaign has gone out of their way to downplay the role of George Papadopoulos, but what this report reveals is that while the young staffer was not a Trump campaign insider, the campaign was knowledgeable about what he was doing they blessed his activities.
Papadopoulos alone doesn’t answer the big questions, but it is another indicator that for some reason, the Trump campaign was open for business when it came to Putin and Russia. The odds are that this attitude toward Putin came from the top down. Trump was the tone setter of his tiny campaign. The interview took place long after Paul Manafort had departed, so the Russia connection was deeper than Manafort’s time in charge of the campaign.
The investigation is moving beyond smoke and closer to fire. There was a pro-Russia culture in the Trump campaign, and the reason why is where the likely crimes are. Like a black cloud that always follows him, Donald Trump can’t hide from the truth about his connections to Russia.