A timeline of the Trump campaign's interactions with Russian Federation
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Mar 03, 2017,
Mar 03, 2017, 4:50
The White House has admitted that former national security advisor Michael Flynn, along with U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, met with Russian officials in Trump Tower past year.
Jeff Sessions, Attorney General under the Trump administration, allegedly met with the ambassador on multiple occasions.
And they fed mounting calls for Sessions to recuse himself from oversight of Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation probes into the alleged Russian meddling and contacts with Trump campaign advisers.
On Thursday, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Channing Phillips requesting an "immediate criminal investigation" into statements made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law and now a senior adviser, also participated in the meeting at Trump Tower with Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.
One meeting occurred inside Sessions Senate office this fall.
Sessions, who was a frequent Trump surrogate, today promised to recuse himself from any probes related to the campaign's alleged contacts with the Russians.
Although it's not improper for an incoming administration to hold meetings with foreign ambassadors, the NY Times makes pointed mention of how "all meetings between Trump associates and Russians are now significant".
In 2015, when Kislyak invited a group of Washington-based journalists, including one from the Associated Press, to the Russian Embassy for tea, he used the meeting to push warmer relations between the two nations - despite the conflict over Russia's seizure of Crimea and the crisis in Ukraine. Before his appointment as ambassador, he served as Russia's deputy minister of foreign affairs and before that, Russia's ambassador to Belgium and representative to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Kislyak is often thought by U.S. intelligence to be one of Russia's top spies and spy-recruiters in the USA, former United States government officials have told CNN.
Observers note Kislyak is a somewhat unlikely figure to cause controversy.
At a seminar at Stanford University on November 10, two days after Trump was elected, Kislyak insisted that what he does isn't nefarious.
During the 1990s, Kislyak was first the deputy director and then director of the Soviet and then Russian foreign ministry's department of worldwide scientific and technical cooperation.
During his first debate against Clinton, Trump says he doesn't know who hacked the DNC.