On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released clear proof explaining how Russia and Trump worked together to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. The newly released information detailed communication made between Russian officials and associates of Donald Trump during and after the campaign, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was later convicted of financial fraud crimes.
According to the report, which is part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Manafort told Russian intelligence officer Konstantin Kilimnik the 2016’s campaign polling data and the Trump campaign’s plans to beat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. The report calls Manafort’s connection with Kilimnik a “grave counterintelligence threat.” It also discovered evidence that showed the Russian intelligence officer having been linked to the Russian government’s attempts to hack and leak Democratic Party emails.
The report also states that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the hack and leak operation that published stolen Democratic Party emails. It says that WikiLeaks played a key role and “very likely knew it was assisting a Russian intelligence influence effort.” The Trump campaign asked for advance notice of the WikiLeaks disclosures so that they had ample enough time to come up with public relations strategies surrounding the leak, and encouraging “further theft of information and continued leaks.”
The Senate partially faulted the FBI and the Democratic National Committee for the severity of the email leaks. The Senate Intelligence Committee said that the bureau should have acted more aggressively to warn the DNC about the hacking operation. They also held the DNC accountable for not taking the warnings seriously.
In true Trump fashion, the campaign responded to the report of the obvious collusion by saying that this report proved that “there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign,” adding its contention that the “Russia Collusion Hoax is the greatest political scandal in the history of this country.”