Report: Trump Aides, Russian Intel Spoke

According to a report in The New York Times, four current and former U.S. officials contend that members of President Trump’s campaign staff and other associates of Trump had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials during the year before the 2016 election. Three of the officials contend that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the time they were finding evidence that Russia was involved in hacking of the Democratic National Committee. One of the advisers who was allegedly on the calls was former campaign manager Paul Manafort. “This is absurd,” Manafort said in response to the allegations. “I have no idea what this is referring to. I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.” He added: “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.’”