The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of breaking news.
In the interest of keeping a clear and organized timeline of events as they have unfolded until now, I have decided to try and build – and keep updated – a timeline of events and news regarding the Trump/FBI/Russia story.
If anyone has comments, edits, or suggestions – do not hesitate to give me your input.
To keep things easy to read and up-to-date, the timeline starts from the end and works its way back to 1986.
Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and Putin ally, is confirmed to have had contact during the campaign with the Trump team.
Former CIA Director John Brennan tells the House intelligence Committee:
“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals… And it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”
Federal Election Commissioner Weintraub, a Democrat, calls on the FEC to investigate whether Russia paid for Facebook ads against Hillary Clinton.
In a lengthy New Yorker interview Sally Yates says that she warned White House counsel about Flynn so that the Trump administration could “act” on it.
Washington Post bombshell reports that Trump asked the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, and the Director of the the National Security Agency to publicly deny the existence of collusion between Russia and Trump.
Flynn announces that he will be invoking his Fifth Amendment rights and declining to comply with the Senate’s subpoena.
Elijah Cummings alleges that new documents show that Flynn lied to security clearance investigators about where he was being paid from.
Trump tells Netanyahu that he never mentioned Israel to the Russians, confirming that the source of the information – was in fact – Israel.
Washington Post reports that Trump is close to hiring an outside legal team to help with Russian probe.
Washington Post reports that the Russia probe has reached active members of the White House
“A small group of lawmakers known as the Gang of Eight was notified of the change in tempo and focus in the investigation at a classified briefing Wednesday evening, the people familiar with the matter said. “
NYT reports that House Intelligence Committee is asking a former advisor to President Trump, Michael Caputo – from Trump’s communication team – to:
“produce documents and other materials to the committee and participate in a voluntary transcribed interview at the committee’s offices.”
Elijah Cummings says he got the impression that “there may be quite a few people that may have some problems with the law.” After leaving a briefing the previous week.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper breaks the news that Russian officials bragged about their ability to use Flynn to influence Trump
Reporting by VOX indicates that Kushner urged Trump to push back against the appointment of Robert Mueller, and that Kushner and Ivanka Trump are personally very close to Flynn.
Kushner and Ivanka Trump were the ones who told Flynn he could get the job of National Security Advisor. Kushner also accompanied Flynn to his meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period — part of the pattern of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that Flynn lost his job for lying about. Kushner also arranged subsequent meetings with Kislyak and other Russian officials — and the White House didn’t disclose those at the time.
Associated Press obtained letter from Attorney Sheri Dillon, who represents Trump, that says she saw no need for Trump to certify his financial disclosure forms and argued that he was doing the disclosures voluntarily so there was no need to sign it.
The Hill reports that the White House is looking into impeding the Mueller investigation via 20 year old ethics laws.
The Hill reports that the White House legal team is looking into potential impeachment defenses.
Comey agrees to testify in public sessions before Senate Intelligence Committee
New York Times reports that President told the Russians that Comey was a “nut job” and said that firing Comey relieved a “great pressure” on him.
Trump said “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller asks Congress to back off public hearings involving Russia so that his investigation can proceed without impediment.
Ben Wittes, Lawfare blog editor and Comey confidante, tells the NYT that Comey was concerned about Rosenstein:
Paul Ryan expresses concern after McCarthy comments leaked that more audio leaks will start to undermine Republican narrative
WaPo reports that Russia inquiry has reached active White House officials
WaPo reports that: “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested last year to fellow top Republicans that Russian President Vladimir Putin was paying Donald Trump, according to a published report. A spokesman for McCarthy says the remark was a bad joke.”
“House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested last year to fellow top Republicans that Russian President Vladimir Putin was paying Donald Trump, according to a published report. A spokesman for McCarthy says the remark was a bad joke.”
McCarthy reportedly denied the statement until reporters told him that there was a recording of the incident.
Trump lashes out – calls himself the victim of a “witch-hunt”
“With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!” Mr. Trump wrote, misspelling counsel… this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
Trump tells reporters during a photo-op with President Juan Santos of Columbia that he is close to appointing new FBI director.
NYT reporting indicates that Rosenstein knew Comey would be fired before he wrote memo:
Mr. Rosenstein knew that Mr. Comey was going to be fired before he wrote his memo, Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, said after leaving a closed briefing with the deputy attorney general. She said Mr. Rosenstein had been “very careful about not going into details about the removal,” expressing a desire not to undermine Mr. Mueller’s investigation.
The top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said that they asked the Justice Department and the F.B.I. for more documents related to the investigation into Russian election meddling — including the Comey memo.
Maggie Haberman reports that Trump is being urged to hire an outside lawyer to deal with issues involving Russia.
At news conference Trump denies telling Comey to back off Flynn investigation:
“No. No. Next Question”
NBC reports that Flynn delayed an anti-ISIS plot while NSC because Turkey was opposed to it.
The Hill reports that Trump insisted Flynn serve in his administration.
The Hill reports that U.S. spies heard Russian intelligence officials talking about their plans to infiltrate the Clinton campaign in May 2016.
Bombshell reporting from the NYT indicates that Trump tried multiple times to compromise Comey and the FBI’s independence.
“Mr. Comey has spoken privately of his concerns that the contacts from Mr. Trump and his aides were inappropriate, and how he felt compelled to resist them.”
Rachel Maddow reports in a segment on the numerous times Mike Pence has lied for Trump
Reuters reporting shows that Trump campaign had at least 18 contacts with Russians during the campaign that were – so far – undisclosed. 6 of those contacts were with Kislyak.
Senator Lindsey Graham tells reporters after leaving a meeting with Rod Rosenstein that the Russia investigation now appears to be a criminal probe. Other Senators confirm that Rosenstein knew Comey would be fired before he wrote his memo recommendation.
NYT reports “Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came to White House”
Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller, former head of the FBI, as special counsel for Russia investigation
Trump tweets that he shared “facts” with the Russians and that it is right to do so. Neither confirms nor denies whether the information he revealed was classified.
NYT reports that a Comey Memo indicates that Trump asked Comey to end the investigation of Michael Flynn.
The Washington Post reports that Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russians in the closed-door meeting.
White House denies story but won’t deny any specifics. “I was there. He didn’t do it,” says national security advisor H.R. McMaster.
Later reporting confirms that it was Israel, and Israel’s – read The United State’s – best source on ISIS, that was compromised. The source had to be evacuated.
Trump tweets: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Trump tells Lester Holt that he was going to fire Comey regardless of the recommendation. He adds that he was considering “this Russia thing” when he made the decision.
NYT reports that Trump asked Comey to pledge loyalty to him at a private meeting in January. Comey refused to do so but said that he would always be honest with the President.
In front of Senate Intelligence Committee the acting director of the F.B.I. contradicted the White House’s claims about support for Comey within the FBI and the importance of the Russia investigation.
Trump says Comey’s replacement will bring back the prestige of the FBI
Trump says critics will be thanking him for firing Comey
Mike Pence says the firing was not about the Russia collusion investigations:
“Let me be very clear that the president’s decision to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to remove Director Comey as the head of the FBI was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interest of the American people and to ensuring that the FBI has the trust and confidence of the people of this nation,”
White House says Comey’s firing has been in motion for months.
Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov And Kislyak in the Oval Office in a closed-door meeting where the U.S press is not allowed to take pictures.
The Russian government’s Twitter accounts post pictures of Trump with Kislyak and Lavrov in the Oval Office. That is the only reason that the U.S. media finds out about the meetings.
Trump fires Comey:
Trump’s letter specifically says that Comey told Trump “on three separate occasions” that Trump was not under investigation.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson “it’s time to move on” from the Russia investigations.
White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway denied on air that Trump is under investigation.
“Let me repeat that the president has been told by the FBI director that he is not under FBI investigation, that is right in the president’s letter… This has nothing to do with the campaign from six months ago. This has everything to do with the performance of the FBI director since the President has been in the White House.”
CNN reports subpoenas issued for Michael Flynn
Trump asks AG Sessions and Deputy AG Rosenstein to justify firing Comey.
Trump calls the “Russia-Trump” story “a total hoax” and says it needs to end.
Yates confirms that she told the White House that Flynn was “compromised” weeks before news broke that Flynn had lied to the vice president and was fired.
“When will the Fake Media ask about the Dems dealings with Russia & why the DNC wouldn’t allow the FBI to check their server or investigate?”
First week of May 2017
According to the New York Times, Comey had requested funding and resources for the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election in the days before he was fired.
“FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony……Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?”
Senate votes 94-6 to confirm Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general.
“We’re not getting along with Russia at all … we may be at an all-time low,” Trump says during a press conference at the White House with the NATO secretary general.
Tillerson and Putin meet in Moscow.
“Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!”
Trump says Comey was “very, very good” to Hillary Clinton, says he still likes him, but says “we’ll see what happens”
Trump orders air strikes against Syrian forces following chemical weapons attack. Russia bemoans the strikes.
“When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story? … It is the same Fake News Media that said there is “no path to victory for Trump” that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!”
“Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”
“Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!” He also questions why people do not focus on whether Hillary Clinton has ties to Russia.”
Comey appears at the White House in a private meeting
Spicer ridicules the CNN report, saying “associates” is too broad.
“Just watched the totally biased and fake news reports of the so-called Russia story on NBC and ABC. Such dishonesty!”
The Associated Press reports that Manafort previously secretly worked on behalf of a Russian billionaire to enhance the image of Putin and the Russian government in the West.
At the White House, Spicer says:
“And to be clear, the president has no personal financial dealings with Russia. His ties are limited to hosting a contest in Russia once, and selling a Palm Beach home to a businessman in 2005. That’s it.”
CNN reports that night:
“The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN. This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to one source.”
Comey confirms Russia investigation before Congress
Comey also tells Congress that the FBI was investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.”
During the hearing, Trump has an epic tweet tantrum:
“James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!”
“The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!”
“The real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!”
CNN reports that the FBI’s counter-intelligence team continues to investigate “computer server connection between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank.”
Trump claims Obama wiretapped him & Comey refuses to support it
Comey tells the House Intelligence Committee on March 20:
“With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets. And we have looked carefully inside the FBI.”
CNN reports on additional meetings that took place between Trump associates and Kislyak.
Kislyak cancels plans to attend the March 4 Gridiron Dinner.
AG Sessions recuses himself from Russia investigation after lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing
The Washington Post reports that Sessions spoke with the Russian ambassador during the campaign, contrary to what he has said in the past.
The Washington Post reports that the FBI found the former British Intelligence officer working on the Trump dossier credible.
Trump calls the Russia controversy “fake news” and says that the Times story from February 14 was “a joke.”
Trump also says:
“I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you, I have no deals there, I have no anything. Now, when WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they’re not giving classified information… I’m here today is to tell you the whole Russian thing, that’s a ruse. That’s a ruse. And by the way, it would be great if we could get along with Russia, just so you understand that. … I didn’t do anything for Russia. … If we could get along with Russia, that’s a positive thing. … I would love to be able to get along with Russia. … If we have a good relationship with Russia, believe me, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.”
“High-level advisers close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence, multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials tell CNN. President-elect Trump and then-President Barack Obama were both briefed on details of the extensive communications between suspected Russian operatives and people associated with the Trump campaign and the Trump business, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.”
The New York Times reports 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.”
The Washington Post reports that Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions in his phone calls with Kislyak.
The Senate confirms Sessions as attorney general in a 52-47 vote.
Trump defends Putin in an interview with Fox News, saying, “I do respect him,” and, when pressed on Putin’s human rights record, Trump responds: “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”
Trump fires Yates for refusing to defend his travel ban.
Yates and McGahn meet again.
Acting attorney general Sally Yates warns White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn is making false statements regarding his calls with Kislyak.
Spicer reiterates that Flynn’s call with Kislyak was not about sanctions.
Trump hugs Comey and pats him on the back at a White House reception
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated communications that President Donald Trump’s national security adviser had with Russian officials, according to people familiar with the matter.”
Putin says the dossier is “false.”
Pence tells CBS News that Flynn and Kislyak:
“did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”
Spicer tells reporters that Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak were about setting up a call between Trump and Putin.
Trump says in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he is open to lifting sanctions against Russia:
“If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?”
“Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is ‘A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.’ Very unfair! … Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING! … I win an election easily, a great “movement” is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state! … Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
Trump says during the news conference:
“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia. Russia can help us fight ISIS, which, by the way, is, No. 1, tricky. I mean if you look, this administration created ISIS by leaving at the wrong time. The void was created, ISIS was formed. If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks? That’s called an asset, not a liability. Now, I don’t know that I’m gonna get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do.”
Sessions states under oath at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing:
“I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
CNN reports that both Trump and Obama had been briefed on claims that Russia possessed compromising personal and financial information about Trump based on:
“memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work U.S. intelligence officials consider credible.”
BuzzFeed publishes a trump dossier that alleges that Trump associates had colluded with Russian operatives and that the Russian government had compromising information about Trump.
“FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”
“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad! We….. have enough problems around the world without yet another one. When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and…. both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”
Lawmakers are briefed on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases an unclassified report on their findings:
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments. We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”
The report concludes that DC Leaks, Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks all obtained the hacked documents with Russian government-backed hackers.
Clapper, FBI director James Comey and CIA director John Brennan brief Trump at Trump Tower on the intelligence community’s findings.
Trump tells The New York Times the Russia controversy is a “political witch hunt.”
Trump releases a statement saying the hacks had:
“absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election… Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying”
He later tweets:
“Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place. The Republican National Committee had strong defense!”
The intelligence community briefs Obama on their findings on Russian interference in the election.
“Julian Assange said ‘a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta’ – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!”
“The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”
Trump tells reporters at Mar-a-Lago that “hacking is a very hard thing to prove.”
“So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation,”
Putin announces he will not retaliate against the U.S. expulsions.
Trump tweets: “Great move on delay I always knew he was very smart!”
Obama orders 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the country and imposes sanctions on two Russian intelligence services as retaliation for the election interference campaign.
Flynn has a series of phone calls with Kislyak.
Oleg Erovinkin, who worked with a former British spy to build a dossier alleging Trump ties to Russia, is found dead in the back seat of his car in Moscow.
Trump releases the December 15 letter from Putin and says that the letter was “very nice” and that Putin is “so correct… I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path.”
Putin sends Trump a letter saying he hopes Trump will “restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level.”
Former Trump adviser Carter Page appears in Moscow, The New York Times reports. Page tells a Russian state-run news agency that he is there to meet with “business leaders and thought leaders.”
The Time magazine interview is published.
Putin praises Trump in a TV interview:
“Trump was an entrepreneur and a businessman. … Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man.”
In an interview with Time magazine, Trump says about Russia interfering in the election:
“I don’t believe they interfered. That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point. Any time I do something, they say, ‘Oh, Russia interfered.’ Why not get along with Russia? And they can help us fight ISIS, which is both costly in lives and costly in money. And they’re effective and smart. It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey. I believe that it could have been Russia and it could have been any one of many other people. Sources or even individuals.”
Trump names Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov tells Interfax news agency that there “were contacts” between the Russian government and the Trump campaign during the election campaign.
The Trump campaign denies it:
“There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”
Obama meets with Trump at the White House. Obama warns Trump against hiring Flynn.
Trump is elected President of the United States.
Trump doubts Comey’s investigation could be done in eight days.
Trump tells crowd that Comey and the “great, great special agents of the FBI” would be able to indict Clinton
Trump tells a crowd that it “took guts” for Comey to reopen the investigation
The New York Times publishes a story with the headline, “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link To Russia.”
Trump tweets that Democrats loved Comey until he reopened the investigation
“Hillary and Dems loved and praised FBI Director Comey just a few days ago. Original evidence was overwhelming, should not have delayed!”
Trump tells crowd:
“And I have to tell you, I respect that Director Comey was able to come back after what he did. I respect that very much.”
Trump praises Comey for reopening Clinton investigation
“Very proud that the FBI was willing to do this actually, really, very proud”
Trump promises to investigate the “phony” FBI investigation into Clinton
WikiLeaks dumps emails hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s personal email account. The release came hours after Trumps hot-mic incident was reported by the WaPo.
Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, says hacked documents posted on DC Leaks, Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks are linked to Russian intelligence and accuses “Russia’s senior-most officials” of directing the hacks
Foreign policy adviser Carter Page steps down from the Trump campaign.
At the first presidential debate, Trump casts doubt on reports that Russia was behind the DNC hacks.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, lodges a formal complaint with the U.N. over one U.N. official’s condemnation of Trump.
Senator Jeff Sessions meets in his Senate office with Kislyak.
Trump tells the Kremlin-backed Russia Today that “it’s probably unlikely” Russia is interfering in the election. Instead he says:
“I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out,” Adding that foreign interference in the election would be “inappropriate.”
In an interview with CNN, Pence says that:
“it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country.”
Clapper reiterates that Russia is behind the DNC hack.
Trump praises Putin at an NBC forum, saying Putin had an 82 percent approval rating in Russia and that:
“He’s been a leader far more than our president has been a leader.”
Trump also says that Putin has complimented him.
“I think when he calls me brilliant I’ll take the compliment, but it’s not going to get him anywhere,”
The Washington Post reports that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating:
“a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions.”
Trump receives his first classified intelligence briefing.
NBC reports that Trump received information at the briefing about “direct links” between the Russian government and the email hacks.
The New York Times publishes an exposé on Ukrainian documents that show that $12.7 million in cash was earmarked for Manafort by the pro-Russian Party of Regions.
Guccifer 2.0 releases the cellphone numbers and email addresses of almost all of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.
The digital security firm ThreatConnect announces that another site posting leaked documents, DC Leaks, is linked to Russian intelligence services.
In an interview on ABC Trump says of Russia’s annexation of Crimea:
“But you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also.”
Trump also denies during the interview that he personally lobbied for the pro-Ukranian language in the Republican Party platform.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Paul Manafort says the effort for the pro-Ukraine amendment “absolutely did not come from the Trump campaign. … No one, zero.
“If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!”
Intelligence officials say they have “high confidence” that Russia is behind the DNC hacks
The FBI announced it was investigating the DNC hack and stated that “a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously.”
That same day, The Daily Beast reports:
“The FBI suspects that Russian government hackers breached the networks of the Democratic National Committee and stole emails that were posted to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks on Friday. It’s an operation that several U.S. officials now suspect was a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, according to five individuals familiar with the investigation of the breach.”
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns amid the controversial fallout from the email dump.
WikiLeaks publishes about 20,000 emails stolen from the DNC.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, who endorsed Trump early and who led his national security advisory committee, meets with Ambassador Kislyak and a group of other ambassadors at an RNC event.
The Republican National Convention adopts the official Republican Party platform, with one particularly important change:
“We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored. We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning. … We will not accept any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine, Georgia, or elsewhere, and will use all appropriate constitutional measures to bring to justice the practitioners of aggression and assassination.”
“The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.”
Week of July 18
Three Trump national security advisers — Page, J.D. Gordon and Walid Phares — meet with Kislyak in Cleveland. They told him they hoped to see improved relations with Russia.
At a speech in Moscow, Page criticizes the United States and Western democracies.
“Washington and other Western powers have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change,”
“FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem” After Comey announced there would be no charges regarding Clinton’s handling of State department emails.
Guccifer 2.0 posts more stolen documents.
The hacker Guccifer 2.0 posts documents stolen from the DNC.
Trump releases a statement accusing the DNC of being behind the hack:
“as a way to distract from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate and failed party leader.”
James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, says at a Washington event there are “some indications” of cyberattacks aimed at the presidential campaigns.
Trump briefly meets with the Russian ambassador, along with four other members of the Trump campaign: Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and J.D. Gordon.
Donald Trump delivers a speech about his vision for foreign policy at the Mayflower Hotel
He calls for better relations with Russia in the speech:
“We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests. Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia, from a position of strength only, is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.”
Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak is in the front row.
Trump hires Paul Manafort to help lead his campaign. Manafort had worked recently as a senior adviser for pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Billy Rinehart, a former DNC employee working for the Clinton campaign, falls for the same email scam that Podesta was hacked with.
When asked who his foreign policy advisers are Trump names, among others, Carter Page. Page is an American banker who had lived in Moscow for three years.
John Podesta’s staff is told incorrectly that an email instructing him to change his password is legitimate. The action allows Russian hackers into Podesta’s account.
“Putin called me a genius,”
According to PolitiFact, Trump would repeat the claim:
“three times in April, in a May interview on CNN, at a June rally in California, twice in July, and at an August town hall in Ohio.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin praises Trump at his year-end news conference.
“He is a very flamboyant man, very talented, no doubt about that. But it’s not our business to judge his merits, it’s up to the voters of the United States… He is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level relations, a deeper level of relations with Russia … How can we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome it.”
Trump responds in kind.
“It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond… I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”
Michael Flynn attends Russia Today’s 10th-anniversary dinner. He participates in a paid speaking engagement and sits just two seats from Putin.
Trump says at a GOP debate that he got to know Putin:“very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes,’ we were stablemates, and we did very well that night.” He adds: “If Putin wants to go and knocked the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100 percent, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it.”
“very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes,’ we were stablemates, and we did very well that night… If Putin wants to go and knocked the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100 percent, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it.”
Trump casts doubt on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russian-backed separatists were behind the downing of civilian airliner, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
“That’s a horrible thing that happened… It’s disgusting and disgraceful but Putin and Russia say they didn’t do it, the other side said they did, no one really knows who did it, probably Putin knows who did it. Possibly it was Russia but they are totally denying it. … But they’re saying it wasn’t them. The other side says it is them. And we’re going to go through that arguing for probably for 50 years and nobody is ever going to know. Probably was Russia.”
FBI agent warns DNC that they may have been hacked
Trump goes to Pageant in Moscow and then writes on twitter:
“I just got back from Russia-learned lots & lots. Moscow is a very interesting and amazing place! U.S. MUST BE VERY SMART AND VERY STRATEGIC.”
Trump says in an interview with David Letterman he has conducted “a lot of business with the Russians.”
“Well, I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians… They’re smart and they’re tough.” Trump goes on to say that Putin is a “tough guy” and that he’s met him “once.”
“The Miss Universe Pageant will be broadcast live from MOSCOW, RUSSIA on November 9th. A big deal that will bring our countries together!… Do you think Putin will be going to the Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?“
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., told investors in Moscow that the Trump Organization had trademarked the Donald Trump name in Russia and planned to build housing and hotels in Russia.
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump Jr. said at the time. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
Trump Jr. traveled to Russia at least 6 times time in 18 months.
Trump debuted Trump Super Premium Vodka at the Millionaire’s Fair in Moscow.
The Trump Organization developed several projects abroad using Russian money.
Russians bought dozens of condominiums in Trump World Tower in the late 1990s, according to Dolly Lenz, a real estate broker who sold many of the units.
Trump was invited to Moscow by the Soviet ambassador to the United States to discuss luxury hotel developments. Trump later told Playboy magazine that his plans failed because the country “was out of control and the leadership knows it.”
Leanard Lauder gave a luncheon where Trump was seated next to Ambassador Yuri Dubinin of the Soviet Union. Dubinin’s daughter knew about the grandeur of Trump Tower, so the two had something to talk about. According to Trump:
“One thing led to another, and now I’m talking about building a luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin.”