It’s easy in the age of a Trump presidency, where bombshells drop on a regular basis to expose the current president and his administration for everything from stunning gaffes to serious criminal activity, for a lot of information to get lost or forgotten in the chaos.
On Saturday, The New York Times cut through all the noise to review the exact timeline of Trump and his associates’ contacts with Russian government operatives to put the Mueller investigation and the Russian collusion scandal in context.
The above list, as startling as it looks, is not complete. The list actually continued from there, but the most consistent interactions are represented among these seventeen Trump campaign officials. Note that first on the list is the man who won the election and currently sits in the U.S. White House.
Trump himself had numerous interactions with Kremlin officials and operatives throughout his campaign, although he insisted the entire time that he had “nothing to do with Russia.” He had a multi-million dollar business deal, various Kremlin operatives willing to assist in his campaign, and was lying to the public about it repeatedly.
‘Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire who hosted a Miss Universe pageant with Mr. Trump in Moscow, and the billionaire’s son, Emin, reached out to Mr. Trump several times. (Separately, both men helped arrange the now-famous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-linked attorney about getting information that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton.) Mr. Trump was also pursuing a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.’
His most famous contact with Russian government operatives may have been that 2016 Trump Tower meeting, but Donald Trump, Jr. has been exposed for other contacts, as well, including direct contacts with WikiLeaks.
‘Mr. Trump Jr. had various contacts with Russians and a Russian intermediary regarding the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, as well as the possibility of setting up a campaign page on a Russian social media site. He also exchanged private messages with WikiLeaks.’
It’s unclear at this time exactly why Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was originally denied a security clearance. The list above, however, probably played at least some part in that decision.
‘Mr. Kushner met with Mr. Kislyak during the transition and discussed opening a communications channel with Russian officials. He also attended the Trump Tower meeting.’
The arrest of Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Trump’s who had been encouraging him to run for president for years and served as an informal advisor to the campaign once he made a serious run, has thrown Trump into a frenzy. Stone, it appears, was the central contact for Kremlin operatives who facilitated the alleged collusion currently under investigation.
‘Mr. Stone sold himself to the campaign as a conduit of inside information from WikiLeaks. In an indictment unsealed on Jan. 25, the special counsel disclosed evidence that a top campaign official dispatched Mr. Stone to get information from WikiLeaks about the thousands of hacked Democratic emails.’
Stone will now go to prison for his actions during the campaign. It’s just a matter of time before other names on the list will follow.