Donald Trump associates had over 100 contacts with Russian-linked officials during the 2016 campaign and transition period, according to a report from the Moscow Project/Center for American Progress.
In total, we have learned of 101 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia linked operatives, including at least 28 meetings. And we know that at least 28 high-ranking campaign officials and Trump advisors were aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition.
USA Today reports the number got bumped to 101 this week following new reports that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, who had ties to Russian intelligence.
The count includes meetings with people who had ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as other government officials, bankers, and intelligence operatives. Each meeting, call, and/or message was counted as a separate contact even if it was with the same person.
It’s worth reiterating here that anywhere even close to 100 Russia contacts for the campaign of a U.S. presidential candidate is simply stunning. And as the Moscow Project points out, team Trump sought to cover up every last one of those contacts. The site lists at least 15 different instances in which the Trump campaign issued blanket denials about its contacts with Russia.
There’s no reason why that number should be any higher than zero during a campaign. Apparently, that’s also what the FBI thought based on the intelligence it was gathering, which ultimately led the bureau to open an investigation into whether Trump was working for Russian interests. Go figure.