What’s Going on with Trump, Russia and the FBI?
On Monday, FBI Director James Comey announced the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s Russian ties and said they will investigate no matter how long it takes. Despite the White House and Trump adamantly claiming there has been no Russian interference, there have been proven connections between individuals in the administration and Russia. For example, Michael Flynn, had to resign as Trump’s National Security Advisor because he lied about Russian ties. We deserve to know who is influencing our country’s leaders.
American intelligence agencies concluded in January that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia personally ordered a covert effort to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances and aid Mr. Trump. That included hacking political targets, including the Democratic National Committee, and releasing embarrassing emails through the website WikiLeaks.
The White House dismissed most of Mr. Comey’s testimony, saying there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia and so there was nothing to investigate. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said the more pressing issue was who disclosed classified information about Mr. Trump’s advisers to journalists, suggesting that they might have been former members of the Obama administration.
American officials have said that they have so far found no proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but current and former officials say they have uncovered evidence that Mr. Trump’s associates were in repeated contact with Russian officials — including people linked to Russian intelligence.
Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime adviser to Mr. Trump, has acknowledged communicating with Guccifer 2.0, an online persona believed to be a front for Russian intelligence officials involved in disseminating hacked Democratic emails. Mr. Stone has denied that there was anything improper about the contact, and he was one of many, including political operatives and journalists, to communicate with the hackers.
Last July, the month that WikiLeaks began releasing the hacked emails, Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump, visited Moscow for a speaking engagement. Mr. Page has declined to say whom he met there, but he has said they were mostly scholars.
Michael T. Flynn, a Trump campaign adviser who went on to be his national security adviser, was paid more than $65,000 by companies linked to Russia in 2015, including an American branch of a cybersecurity firm believed to have connections to Russia’s intelligence services, according to congressional investigators. Mr. Flynn was forced to resign after misrepresenting his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.