Trump team in contact with Russian intelligence before election: report Express News

Members of President Donald Trump’s campaign team had ongoing contacts with Russian intelligence officials before the presidential election, the New York Times reported Monday night.

The report said U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted a number of communications last year as they were investigating claims that Russia was trying to influence the U.S. election. The Times said that there was no evidence as of yet that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia, but the amount of contact was worrisome as it occurred while Trump was praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Times reported that communications were not limited to Trump’s campaign team, and also involved other Trump associates, as well as other Russian officials not associated with intelligence agencies.

CNN corroborated the report, saying investigators were particularly concerned about the unusual frequency of the contacts and how they involved senior Trump advisers.

Two members of Trump’s inner circle have resigned over their close ties to Russia: campaign chairman Paul Manafort quit his post last August after growing criticism over his ties to pro-Russian interests in Ukraine; on Monday, national security adviser Mike Flynn resigned over a scandal involving conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. before Trump’s inauguration.

Flynn’s Russian Contacts: The Unanswered Questions

After National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned on Monday, questions remain about his discussion of sanctions with Russia’s ambassador. What are some of the unknowns? WSJ’s Jason Bellini reports. Photo: AP

Earlier Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported the FBI had questioned Flynn in January, after the White House had already denied that Flynn had talked about easing U.S. sanctions against Russia with the ambassador. The Journal reported intelligence officials had intercepted communications between the two that revealed Flynn did talk about the sanctions, raising the possibility of criminal charges.

Congressional Democrats — and a growing number of Republicans — have called for an investigation into the matter.

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