On Thursday, a senior Russian diplomat revealed that the Russian government did meet with members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the election. This disclosure reopens scrutiny concerning what role the Kremlin might have played in the president-elect’s close and contentious race against Hillary Clinton.
Trump repeatedly said during the campaign that he never had contact with the Russian government.
“I can tell you I think if I came up with that they’d say, ‘Oh, it’s a conspiracy theory, it’s ridiculous,’” Trump told CBS4’s Jim DeFede during an interview at his golf resort in Doral. “I mean I have nothing to do with Russia. I don’t have any jobs in Russia. I’m all over the world but we’re not involved in Russia.”
When asked about outstanding loans with Russian banks or investors, Trump replied in July:
“Absolutely not. It’s ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, during his campaign, Trump repeatedly refused requests to disclose his tax returns to the American people.
Experts still speculate that Trump’s tax returns could contain damaging information regarding his relationship with a foreign government or business interest.
During an interview with Russia’s state-run Interfax News, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed that “there were contacts” with Trump’s team during the election.
“Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Rybakov said. “Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions. I cannot say that all of them but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.”
“We have just begun to consider ways of building dialogue with the future Donald Trump administration and channels we will be using for those purposes,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.
“We continue this work of course,” he added.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Bloomberg that it’s “normal practice” for Russian Embassy staff to meet with U.S. presidential campaigns.
Zakharova added that Clinton rejected similar requests to meet during the campaign.
From Moscow with love comrade Trump.
Featured image via Russia-Insider