Trump Campaign Said To Have 18 Previously Undisclosed Russia Contacts: Reuters

Tyler Durden's picture

Just when it seemed that Trump was about to put the Russian allegations in the rearview mirror, if only for the time being, thanks to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller tasked with overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, this morning Reuters reported citing "familiar sources" that "Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race." Specifically, the 18 calls and electronic messages took place between April and November 2016, a period that is already in the public domain as being the focus of ongoing investigations, focusing on Flynn and Trump's ex-advisor Paul Manafort.

According to the Reuters sources, "in the conversations during the campaign, Russian officials emphasized a pragmatic, business-style approach and stressed to Trump associates that they could make deals by focussing on common economic and other interests and leaving contentious issues aside"

On the surface the story is a recap of what is already known: as Reuters itself points out inside the report, these previously undisclosed interactions "form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators" which has now culminated with the appointment of a special counsel: one way or another, if Trump indeed colluded with Russia, as the daily barrage of media reports suggests, we will know shortly.

Furthermore, as Reuters also explicitly states, the sources "had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far", something which various FBI personnel have confirmed on more than one occasions under oath. 

However, it's a Russia story, it has details, it names Trump (and it's not from the WaPo or NYT) so as one would expect, early traders were transfixed by it, and have sent risk sliding to session lows.

Here are some more details from Reuters:

Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Kislyak and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said. Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said.

Furthermore, Reuters also notes that while "contact with foreign officials during a campaign was not unusual, the number of interactions between Trump aides and Russian officials and others with links to Putin was exceptional."

“It’s rare to have that many phone calls to foreign officials, especially to a country we consider an adversary or a hostile power,” Richard Armitage, a Republican and former deputy secretary of state, told Reuters.

Reuters adds that these "discussions focused on mending U.S.-Russian economic relations strained by sanctions imposed on Moscow, cooperating in fighting Islamic State in Syria and containing a more assertive China." Some further details:

In addition to the six phone calls involving Kislyak, the communications described to Reuters involved another 12 calls, emails or text messages between Russian officials or people considered to be close to Putin and Trump campaign advisers. One of those contacts was by Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and politician, according to one person with detailed knowledge of the exchange and two others familiar with the issue.


It was not clear with whom Medvedchuk was in contact within the Trump campaign but the themes included U.S.-Russia cooperation, the sources said. Putin is godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter. Medvedchuk denied having any contact with anyone in the Trump campaign.


"I am not acquainted with any of Donald Trump's close associates, therefore no such conversation could have taken place," he said in an email to Reuters.

Beyond Medvedchuk and Kislyak, the identities of the other Putin-linked participants in the contacts remain classified and the names of Trump advisers other than Flynn have been “masked” in intelligence reports on the contacts because of legal protections on their privacy as American citizens. However, officials can request that they be revealed for intelligence purposes.

On the Ukraine angle, it is likely that Medvedchuk communications took place with Paul Manafort, who was fired by Trump long ago. As for Flynn, who is the only campaign individual "unmasked" as part of the revelations, he too was sacked by Trump just three weeks into Trump's administration.

At its core, the Reuters report is a recap of what is already known, while putting some numbers to already known communications between the Trump campaign and various Russian individuals. As to whether this is a smoking gun, the good news is that with Mueller now supervising the probe, an answer will be provided in the not too distant future.

Expect an imminent response from the White House as well as something from Trump himself, who has been surprisingly quiet on Twitter over the past 24 hours.

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syzygysus's picture


President Pence.  Perhaps that was the plan all along.  Or the next in line, unelected President Ryan.


Both scare the shit out of me.

Harry Lightning's picture

Pence is the grown up form of Davey from Davey & Goliath, with the same clay for brains.

az_patriot's picture

Yet more sophomoric "journalism" from the virulently anti-Trump MSM.  All of it, of course, from "unnamed sources".

brushhog's picture

"Unnamed sources" usual. Basically, believe it because we say so.

Sandmann's picture

Unnamed Sources won the Pulitzer Prize

esum's picture

The clintons rake in $30 million plus a few more on the side while selling 20% of US uranium to RUSSIA..... bad bad RUSSIA....
Media doesn't say shit...
Flying monkeys coming out of obama/clinton's ass with anonymous sources tell of RUSSIA fixing the election and dealing with TRUMP...
Trumps past 10 year tax returns show only one real estate deal in Florida involving a RUSSIAN and no menu coming from or financing from RUSSIA....
Media starts an incessant sabotage campaign while congress sits idle and repubs yank their cranks...
TRUMP has it uphill all the way.... and the more they fuck with him the more he fights... and WINS..
Flynn got fired for being an unregistered Turkish agent..

Harry Lightning's picture

Can't all these "anonymous" and "familiar" sources provide even one instance of Trump's people talking with the Russians about helping to win the election ? Thta's all we have heard from these slime-mongering democrats and their lapdogs in the press, that the Russians worked with the Trump campaign to influence the election. Yet not one shread of evidence.

Now I understand how death squads form and assisinate journalists. After seeing what's gone on in this country for the last few months, I can't say I blame the countries where death squads are used to even the score.

Bada bing !

mary mary's picture

As soon as Donald Trump won the election, Jeff Bezos announced that his Washington Post would hire 100 new "journalists".  Apparently The One Hundred double as anonymous sources, and most of them are former Daytime Soap Opera writers.  Jeff Bezos loves Daytime Soap Opera, and always wanted to have his own show, and now he can afford to own one, and the Washington Post Gossip Scandal Soap Opera Titillator is it.  It's good to be the King.

I don't buy anything from Amazon.

Sandmann's picture

Any Americans having contact with foreigners should be reported to DHS. It is time DHS recruited Informelle Mitarbeiter (IM) to report in on foreign contacts and keep track of people travelling overseas.

Contacts with Russians are really suspect because they have a different alphabet. 

mary mary's picture

I demand that President Trump talk to the Russians on a regular basis until ISIS is destroyed.

brushhog's picture

Here's my take....why is this coming out now? They didnt just learn this they've been holding this in their back pocket. Why? Because by itself this is nothing but thrown into the fire they are building about Comey and the Russian intel it adds more shit to the storm. Likely it will go nowhere but just add to the hysteria of the moment. Its all carefully orchestrated and planned to destroy this president.

Sandmann's picture

Which comedy  does Washington remind you of most ?

Mr Ed ?

Beverly Hillbillies ?

Happy Days ?

Animal House ?


shadow54's picture

It's not a smoking gun, it's not anything other than old news repackaged. That is not a lot of contact and none of it was by Trump himself.

Why should Trump care if the Witch Hunt goes after some people long gone from his campaign? It doesn't touch him.

mary mary's picture

They just hate redheads.  Haters!  Racists!

shortonoil's picture

Trumps campaign had contact with some Russians. Thank God it wasn't some French or English. The next thing we are going to learn is that they got take out from a Chinese restaurant. It is a good thing that we have the media to protect American values.

highwaytoserfdom's picture

Mueller 13.9 b  VW fraud NOx lynching of most efficient engine technologies  (300mpg on board)


Carbon tax  Enron scammers .....

What rock do these people come out of?      legal mafia working for KKR Peutraus or Neo-con chaos dealers and Biden oil cabal..


tsuki's picture

How much is this bogus "investigation" going to cost the taxpayer?  Tens of millions?  Hundreds of million? 

Now, a special prosecutor to look into the murder?  assassination? of Seth Rich, the DNC leaker and the allegations that the DC Police were told to stand down, that is an investigation I would back.

Bernardo Gui's picture

The special counsel needs to take a look at Seth Rich. After ten months of investigation by the FBI, what is the evidence that Russia hacked the Podesta and DNC servers? If it existed, it would have been leaked by now.

barysenter's picture

(((Reuters))) = (((WSJ))) = Buffett = Murdoch = Clinton = Obama = Slim = Bezos = Fuckerberg = Musk = Gruber = Chomsky = CNN and so on.

Mroex's picture

 "Familiar Fources" So just what the fuck does that mean. The crack whore who stands on the same corner some Reuters hack passes every morning? 

roadhazard's picture

Just when it seemed that Trump was going to put the russian allegations in the rear view mirror...


Laughing my fucking ass off.


Orval Redenbacher approves of this post.

Deep Snorkeler's picture

Trump will resign and blame

everyone and everything but himself.

He will play the resurrected savior god

unjustly ousted for being too pure and righteous.

He will ascend Heaven in a golf cart

munching a dripping taco.

Tears will be shed.

oncemore's picture

Wholle Reuters is a jewish BS.o

highwaytoserfdom's picture

Mueller  FBI director 6th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation In office
September 4, 2001 – September 4, 2013


Exactly 7 days before  911...     

1st RULE: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB.

2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB.

3rd RULE: If someone says "stop" or goes limp, taps out the fight is over.

4th RULE: Only two guys to a fight.

5th RULE: One fight at a time.

6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes.

7th RULE: Fights will go on as long as they have to.

8th RULE: If this is your first night at FIGHT CLUB, you HAVE to fight.




frontierland's picture

No uproar over contacts with Israel or Saudi Arabia though...  Just a large, majority White Russia.


metafaux's picture

Lol. How can they possibly know this stuff? They're douchebag Chipotle-eating Starbucks-guzzling primadonnas, I simply can't see them discovering this by any legitimate method. 


18 and not 17, huh? Not 19? You sure it wasn't 14? A nice round number like 20? Nah, it was 18. 



barysenter's picture

Comey sucks even at blackmail, yet the FBI can't catch even him. FTWTF

Fake Trump's picture

America is controlled by Putin and Trump is his proxy. This is my guess and I hope I am wrong. 

roadhazard's picture

You just gave Pootin lovers wood.

barysenter's picture

Hillary's (((mysogonists))) want the money they pledged but never delivered back.

Might be useful to know where the rich arab men and women drink and whore when they're in town, dhimmis, and which parking meters are tribute to their criminal (((tribes))).

novictim's picture

The most damning and revelatory document uncovered was the Moscow phone book hiding in plain sight in the lobby of the White House. Unbelievable!  How could President Trump have betrayed his nation and with so many Russians! 

The FBI is overwhelmed with all the calling they are having to make, so much so that DNC staffers have had to be enlisted...but no thumb drives allowed in!  Obviously!  And then there are the blocked calls!  That means that agents will literally have to fly to Russia to interview literally millions of Russian citizens in the greater Moscow area! 

Needless to say, this will take some time.  Maybe 10 or 50 years.  But at the end of the process we will finally know the truth!

Mzhen's picture

Richard Armitage rises from the dead.  This guy is beyond dirty.

The so-far unnamed Trump adviser who was playing business footsie with Russian parties is the son-in-law Kushner.  Who has unfortunately positioned himself in Trump's blind spot.  Media may not be wanting to antagonize Kushner's "connections," so Flynn gets all the negative press.

Mike Rotsch's picture

What I find surprising about all of this, is that it's actually being taken "seriously".  After Hillary's humiliating defeat last November, it only took a couple of hours before the Democrats started crying "Russia".