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FINAL MoscowProjectContacts 4.2019
Last Updated April 30, 2019
On April 18, 2019, a redacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election” (Mueller Report) was released to the public. The Mueller report builds on the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that there were two campaigns to elect Donald Trump— one run by Trump and one run by the Russian government. The Mueller report clearly identified collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, despite repeated denials from Trump and many of his senior advisers and close associates that there were any connections between the two campaigns.
A total of 251 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia-linked operatives have been identified, including at least 37 meetings. And we know that at least 33 high-ranking campaign officials and Trump advisers were aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition, including Trump himself. None of these contacts were ever reported to the proper authorities. Instead, the Trump team tried to cover up every single one of them.
Beyond the many lies the Trump team told to the American people, Mueller himself repeatedly remarked on how far the Trump team was willing to go to hide their Russian contacts, stating, “the investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.”
Below is a comprehensive chronological list of the contacts that have been discovered to date and some of the many lies Trump’s campaign, transition team, and White House told to hide them.
Extensive reporting, subsequent admissions, and special counsel Mueller’s indictments and report have revealed at least 251 contacts between the Trump team and Russia-linked operatives, despite repeated denials. Among these contacts were 37 meetings (which include Skype calls), which are highlighted below.
- July 22, 2015: British publicist Rob Goldstone emailed Trump’s executive assistant Rhona Graff, stating that Russian pop star Emin Agalrov wanted to invite Trump to a birthday celebration in Moscow for his father, Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov. Goldstone also stated that Emin wanted Trump to “write a small message of congratulations to his father.” Graff was Trump’s executive assistant at the Trump Organization, and the Mueller report and press reporting made it clear that Graff handled Trump’s communications while he was a candidate.
- July 24, 2015: Graff emailed Goldstone, stating that she would let Trump know about the invitation but that it was “highly unlikely” that he would be able to visit Moscow. Graff also stated that Trump would like to send a “congratulatory note.”
- July 24, 2015: Goldstone emailed Graff, saying “I totally understand re Moscow—unless maybe he would welcome a meeting with President Putin which Emin would set up.”
- September 2015: Sometime during or after September 2015, Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen “[reached] out to gauge Russia’s interest” in a meeting between Trump and Putin. The sentencing memo for Cohen does not specify the means by which Cohen reached out or specifically to whom he reached out.
- September 2015: Felix Sater, a Russian-born Trump business partner, contacted Cohen “on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov.”
- September 22, 2015: Cohen forwarded materials related to the Trump Tower Moscow deal to Georgian business executive Giorgi Rtskhiladze. The Mueller report indicates that Cohen “communicated” with Rtskhiladze during the fall of 2015 about the Trump Tower Moscow deal. This report only contains contacts between Cohen and Rtskhiladze that are explicitly listed in the Mueller report. The two men may have had more communications, and the contacts listed in this report represent a conservative estimate. Rtskhiladze has since disputed Mueller’s characterization of him, claiming the report has “glaring inaccuracies.”
- September 24, 2015: Rtskhiladze emailed Cohen about the Trump Tower Moscow deal. The email included a draft of a letter from the Trump Organization to the Mayor of Moscow, and Rtskhiladze explained “[w]e need to send this letter to the Mayor of Moscow (second guy in Russia) he is aware of the potential project and will pledge his support.”
- September 24, 2015: Rtskhiladze emailed Cohen again, providing a translation of the letter which stated that the Trump Tower Moscow deal would represent a stronger relationship between the U.S. and Russia.
- September 27, 2015: Rtskhiladze emailed Cohen again, suggesting that the Trump Organization work with a company controlled by a Russian architect on the Trump Tower Moscow deal.
- October 12, 2015: Sater emailed Cohen, telling him that “VTB Bank President and Chairman Andrey Kostin was on board to fund the project.”
- October 13, 2015: An individual by the name of Dmitry Chizhikov emailed Sater a copy of the Trump Tower Moscow letter of intent that had been signed by Rozov, asking him to have Trump sign it. Sater then passed the signed letter to Cohen.
- October 28, 2015: Trump signed the letter of intent, addressed to Rozov and I.C. Expert, for the Trump Tower Moscow deal. Cohen emailed the letter back to Rozov on November 2, 2015.
- November 4, 2015: Sometime around this date, Sater emailed Cohen that an unnamed individual would be joining him and Rozov on their vacation in the Bahamas, and that this individual was linked to the powerful Russian oligarchs Arkady and Boris Rotenberg.
- November 16, 2015: Lana Erchova, who was married at the time to Russian businessman Dmitry Klokov, emailed Ivanka Trump on behalf of her husband “to offer Klokov’s assistance to the Trump Campaign.”
- November 18-19, 2015: Klokov and Cohen “had at least one telephone call and exchanged several emails.”
- November 18, 2015: Klokov emailed Cohen, recommending that he visit Russia.
- November 18, 2015: Cohen emailed Klokov, indicating he was willing to meet.
- November 18, 2015: Klokov emailed Cohen, agreeing that if Trump were going to visit Russia, it would be an informal visit.
- November 18, 2015: Klokov emailed Cohen, suggesting that he separate the business negotiations from the potential plan for Trump to meet a “person of interest” in Moscow. This “person of interest” was identified by Klokov’s wife as Putin.
- November 19, 2015: Klokov emailed Cohen, emphasizing that this “person of interest” was critical.
- November 19, 2015: Cohen emailed Klokov, rejecting his suggestions.
- December 1, 2015: Sater emailed Cohen, “asking him to send [Sater] photographs of his passport to facilitate a trip to Moscow.”
- December 13, 2015: Evgeny Shmykov, a former Russian military intelligence (GRU) general working with Sater on the Trump Tower Moscow deal, requested passport information from Cohen in order to arrange a visa for a potential trip to Moscow. Shmykov made this request by calling Sater, who emailed Cohen saying “that he had Mr. Shmykov on the phone.”
- December 19, 2015: Sater informed Cohen that the Russian state-owned sanctioned VTB Bank was arranging visas and an invitation to Russia.
- December 19, 2015: Cohen sent Sater his passport details for the Russian visa, and Sater passed these details along to his GRU contact.
- December 19, 2015: Sater asked for Trump’s passport details. Cohen replied that he would give them to Sater after Cohen returned from Moscow.
- December 19, 2015: Sater asked for clarification, and Cohen replied “it’s premature for his and I am the one going.”
- December 21, 2015: Mira Duma, described as “a contact of Ivanka Trump’s from the fashion industry,” invited Ivanka Trump and her father to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on behalf of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko.
- December 31, 2015: Sater sent Cohen an invitation to Moscow from the sanctioned Russian bank GenBank.
- January 11, 2016: Cohen attempted to email Russian president Vladimir Putin’s top spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. The email reportedly did not go through because of an incorrect email address.
- January 14, 2016: Cohen emailed Peskov—the equivalent of the White House press secretary—at the Kremlin asking for assistance the Trump Tower Moscow deal. The Kremlin originally confirmed that it received the email but stated that it did not reply.
- January 14, 2016: Graff emailed Duma, declining the invitation to the economic forum.
- January 15, 2016: Duma emailed Graff saying that a formal note to the Deputy Prime Minister declining the invitation would be “great.”
- January 16, 2016: Cohen emailed Peskov’s office again, saying that “he was trying to reach another high-level Russian official, and asked for someone who spoke English to contact him.”
- January 19, 2016: Goldstone emailed Donald Trump Jr., copying Graff, stating that he was “just in Moscow and met with a good friend who runs the marketing for [Russian social media site] VK.” Goldstone relayed the offer from VK to create a “campaign page on VK for Mr. Trump and market it to the almost 3 million influential Russian American voters living in the USA.”
- January 19, 2016: Graff emailed Goldstone saying she had copied Dan Scavino, who would “be in touch.” Scavino headed the Trump campaign’s social media efforts.
- January 19, 2016: Goldstone emailed Scavino and Graff, saying “Emin will be in NYC in January and I am sure would love to stop by.”
- January 19, 2016: Scavino emailed Goldstone, copying Graff, saying “please feel free to send me whatever you have on this system” and stating that he would “share it with the team.”
- January 20, 2016: Cohen received an email from Peskov’s assistant, “stating that she had been trying to reach [Cohen] and requesting that he call her using a Moscow-based phone number she provided.”
- January 20, 2016: Sometime shortly on or after January 20, 2016, Cohen called Peskov’s assistant and spoke with her for around 20 minutes, describing his position at the Trump Organization and the proposed Trump Tower Moscow deal. He reportedly “requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction.”
- January 21, 2016: While working on the Trump Tower Moscow deal, Cohen received a letter from Russian mortgage tycoon Andrey Ryabinskiy, inviting him to Moscow “for a working visit.”
- January 22, 2016: Sater asked Cohen to take a call with his former GRU contact.
- January 22, 2016: Cohen replied that he could take the call.
- January 22, 2016: Cohen took a call with a former GRU officer about the Trump Tower Moscow deal.
- January 22, 2016: Sater then emailed Cohen saying “it’s all set.”
- February 2016: Ukrainian politician Andrii V. Artemenko allegedly spoke with Cohen and Sater about a Ukrainian peace plan “at the time of the primaries, when no one believed that Trump would even be nominated.” This peace plan, which was ultimately delivered to then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, involved lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia. The Ukrainian ambassador to the United States noted that the plan could have been “pitched or pushed through only by those openly or covertly representing Russian interests.”
- February 29, 2016: Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. and Graff stating that Aras Agalarov asked Goldstone to “pass on his congratulations” to Trump and that Agalarov wanted to offer “his support and that of many of his important Russian friends and colleagues.” Emin Agalarov was copied on the email. The email contained a letter addressed to Trump from Aras Agalarov stating “all of us at Crocus Group follow with great interest your bright electoral campaign. On the eve of Super Tuesday we would like to wish you success in winning this major ballot.”
- March 2016: Paul Manafort visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Manafort had reportedly made multiple visits to Assange since 2013. The exact date of this visit is unclear, and while Manafort did not officially join the Trump campaign until March 28, 2016, he had been actively seeking to join the campaign for a number of weeks. As early as February 29, 2016, Manafort “reached out to Mr. Trump with a slick, carefully calibrated offer that appealed to the candidate’s need for professional guidance, thirst for political payback — and parsimony.”
- March 14, 2016: George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, met with Joseph Mifsud in Italy. Mifsud is alleged to have high-level contacts within the Kremlin, although he has denied these allegations.
- March 17, 2016: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Prikhodko emailed Graff “inviting Trump to participate in the 2016 Forum in St. Petersburg.”
- March 24, 2016: Papadopoulos met with Mifsud and a “female Russian national” who he incorrectly believed was a relative of Putin’s. This individual was later revealed to be a woman by the name of Olga Polonskaya.
- March 30, 2016: Trump’s former Deputy Campaign Chairman and aide Rick Gates emailed Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian political operative and former member of Russian intelligence, materials related to Manafort’s involvement in the Trump campaign “for translation and dissemination.”
- March 31, 2016: New York banker Robert Foresman “began reaching out to Graff to secure an in-person meeting with candidate Trump. According to Foresman, he had been asked by Anton Kobyakov, a Russian presidential aide involved with the Roscongress Foundation, to see if Trump could speak at the Forum.” Foresman was introduced to Graff over the phone through Trump business associate Mark Burnett.
- Late March 2016: After their phone introduction, Foresman emailed Graff as part of his attempt to pass along an overture from a Russian presidential aide.
- April 10, 2016: Papadopoulos emailed Polonskaya, saying that he was a Trump adviser.
- April 11, 2016: Manafort corresponded with Kilimnik, asking if Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska had seen news coverage of Manafort joining the Trump campaign.
- April 11, 2016: Kilimnik replied to Manafort’s email, saying “absolutely.”
- April 11, 2016: Manafort emailed him again, asking “How do we use to get whole?”
- April 11, 2016: Polonskaya emailed Papadopoulos back, stating that she “would be very pleased to support [his] initiatives between [their] two countries.”
- April 11, 2016: Papadopoulos emailed Polonskaya (cc’ing Mifsud) about the possibility of arranging a foreign policy trip to Russia.
- April 11, 2016: Mifsud replied to Papadopoulos, saying, “this is already been agreed [sic].”
- April 11, 2016: Polonskaya replied to Papadopoulos, saying, “we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump. The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.”
- April 11, 2016: Papadopoulos emailed Mifsud, thanking him.
- April 12, 2016: Mifsud emailed Papadopoulos, forwarding him a Libya-related document.
- April 12, 2016: Mifsud emailed Papadopoulos again.
- April 12, 2016: Mifsud and Papadopoulos exchanged at least one text message.
- April 12, 2016: Papadopoulos and Mifsud met.
- April 18, 2016: Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos (over email) to an individual claiming to have connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ivan Timofeev.
- April 18-April 22, 2016: At some point within this date range, Papadopoulos and Timofeev held a Skype call.
- April 22, 2016: Timofeev emailed Papadopoulos.
- April 22-May 4, 2016: After the April 22 email exchange, at some point within this date range, Papadopoulos and Timofeev had “additional email communications […] including setting up conversations over Skype.” The contact above may be the “email communications” to which this refers, and this contact and the following one refer to the “conversations over Skype.”
- April 22-May 4, 2016: As noted above, Papadopoulos and Timofeev set up “conversations over Skype,” indicating at least two Skype conversations during this time period.
- April 25, 2016: Timofeev emailed Papadopoulos.
- April 26, 2016: Foresman sent a reminder to Graff about setting up a meeting with Trump or another senior campaign official.
- April 26, 2016: Mifsud told Papadopoulos that Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London.
- April 27, 2016: Trump was introduced to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak by Simes at a reception before Trump’s foreign policy speech.
- April 27, 2016: Senior Trump campaign advisers Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner met with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., before Trump’s first foreign policy speech.
- April 29, 2016: Papadopoulos emailed Polonskaya about a potential trip to Russia.
- April 30, 2016: Papadopoulos contacted Mifsud to thank him “for his ‘critical help’ in arranging a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government.”
- April 30, 2016: Foresman sent a reminder to Graff.
- Late April 2016: Graff sent an apology to Foresman and forwarded his April 26, 2016 email (as well as his initial March 2016 email) to Corey Lewandowski.
- May 2016-August 2016: During this time period, Gates “periodically sent Kilimnik polling data via WhatsApp.” Gates “sent Kilimnik polling data less frequently” after Manafort left the campaign in August.
- May 2016-August 2016: This contact represents the second time Gates send Kilimnik polling data. The wording of the Mueller report suggests that Gates sent Kilimnik polling data at least five separate instances during this time period. The Mueller report makes it clear that Gates had been sending Kilimnik polling data frequently, and after August 2016, he began sending it less frequently. This implies Gates sent Kilimnik data multiple times after August 2016, which we will conservatively consider two contacts. That in turn implies that Gates must have sent Kilimnik polling data more times prior to August than he did after August—that is, at least three times. As such, we conservatively interpret the report to include at least five contacts between Gates and Kilimnik regarding polling data. Gates may have had many more contacts with Kilimnik during this time period. It is also unclear if Kilimnik replied to Gates’ messages, which would also entail additional contacts.
- May 2016-August 2016: As indicated above, this contact represents the third time Gates sent Kilimnik polling data.
- May 2016: Russian central banker Alexander Torshin passed a proposal through conservative activist Rick Clay to Trump campaign aide Rick Dearborn. Torshin was advocating for a meeting between Trump and Putin. Torshin and alleged Russian ageny Maria Butina reportedly made the request to Clay “through a longtime friend.” Dearborn forwarded Clay’s email to Manafort, Gates, and Kushner. Kushner reportedly told Dearborn to decline the invitation.
- May 2016: Dearborn emailed Clay to reject the proposed meeting.
- May 4, 2016: Timofeev emailed Papadopoulos claiming to have talked to his colleagues in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who were “open for cooperation.”
- May 5, 2016: Cohen received an invitation from Peskov to visit Russia, delivered through Sater. Sater wrote to Cohen that Peskov “would like to invite you as his guest to the St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia’s Davos it’s June 16–19. He wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to either [the President of Russia] or [the Prime Minister of Russia], as they are not sure if 1 or both will be there. . . . He said anything you want to discuss including dates and subjects are on the table to discuss.”
- May 6, 2016: Gates arranged for Kilimnik to travel to New York to meeting Manafort the following day.
- May 7, 2016: Manafort met with Kilimnik.
- May 8, 2016: Timofeev emailed Papadopoulos about putting him in touch with the “MFA head of the U.S. desk.”
- May 10, 2016: Republican operative Paul Erickson emailed Dearborn, saying “Russia is quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the U.S. that isn’t forthcoming under the current administration” and that “the Kremlin believes that the only possibility of a true re-set in this relationship would be with a new Republican White House.” Erickson at the time was an NRA member and, according to the House Intelligence Committee, maintained “close ties with Torshin and Butina.” The email stated that Russia wanted to make “first contact” with the Trump campaign at the annual NRA convention that that Putin wanted to invite Trump to Moscow before the election.
- Mid May, 2016: In the subsequent weeks after May 4, 2016, Timofeev reportedly “set up Skype calls with [Papadopoulos] and discussed, among other things, the fact that Foreign Contact 2 reported ‘a good reaction from the U.S. desk at the MFA.’”
- May 13, 2016: Mifsud emailed Papadopoulos, stating, “we will continue to liaise through you with the Russian counterparts in terms of what is needed for a high level meeting of Mr. Trump with the Russian federation.”
- May 21, 2016: Trump Jr. dined with Torshin at the NRA national convention.
- Late May 2016: Trump campaign official Michael Caputo spoke with Russian national Henry Greenberg over the phone (Greenberg also goes by the name of Henry Oknyansky). Greenberg claimed to have helpful information for the Trump campaign, and after this conversation, Caputo put Greenberg in touch with longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone.
- Late May 2016: Stone met with Greenberg in Sunny Isles, Florida. Stone claimed Greenberg promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Greenberg allegedly wanted Trump to pay $2 million for the information, and Stone claimed he rejects this offer. A Ukrainian individual by the name of Alexei Rasin also attended the meeting. The Mueller report indicates that Rasin was “involved in Florida real estate” and “offered to sell Stone derogatory information in Clinton.” Stone refused the offer. Although Greenberg claimed that Caputo attended this meeting, it is unclear if he did so.
- Summer 2016: Gates “remained in email contact with Kilimnik through the summer and fall of 2016.”
- June 3, 2016: Goldstone emailed Trump Jr., informing him that “the crown prosecutor” of Russia met with Aras Agalarov and “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary.” Goldstone stated that this information was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
- June 3, 2016: Trump Jr. replied to Goldstone’s email, saying “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
- June 6, 2016: Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. asking when he would be free to talk with Emin over the phone “about this Hillary info.”
- June 6, 2016: Trump Jr. emailed Goldstone, asking if they could speak.
- June 6, 2016: Goldstone emailed Trump Jr., saying he would “track” Emin down.
- June 6, 2016: Trump Jr. provided a cellphone number to Goldstone.
- June 6, 2016: Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. that he was “sure” Emin could call.
- June 6, 2016: Trump Jr. emailed Goldstone, thanking him “for the help.”
- June 6-June 7, 2016: As Trump Jr. later stated, “my phone records show three very short phone calls between Emin and me between June 6th and June 7th. I do not recall speaking to Emin Agalarov. It is possible that we left each other voice mail messages. I simply do not remember.” An attorney for Emin Agalarov also stated that his client did not recall speaking with Trump Jr.
- June 6-June 7, 2016: As stated above, Trump Jr. and Agalarov allegedly spoke for a second time within this date range.
- June 6-June 7, 2016: As stated above, Trump Jr. and Agalarov allegedly spoke for a third time within this date range.
- June 7, 2016: Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. to schedule the meeting.
- June 7, 2016: Trump Jr. emailed Goldstone to set a time for the meeting.
- June 7, 2016: Goldstone emailed Trump Jr., saying “perfect.”
- June 7, 2016: Trump Jr. emailed Goldstone stating that Manafort and Kushner would also likely attend the meeting.
- June 8, 2016: Goldstone asked Trump Jr. to change the meeting time.
- June 8, 2016: Trump Jr. emailed Goldstone confirming the changed time.
- June 9, 2016: Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. again regarding the time change.
- June 9, 2016: Trump Jr., Manafort, Kushner, and Goldstone met in Trump Towerwith Russian attorney and lobbyistNatalia Veselnitskaya, former State Department contractor Anatoli Samochornov, Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin, and Georgian real estate and finance executive Irakly Kaveladze.
- June 10, 2016: Agalarov “delivered to candidate Trump an expensive painting for the candidate’s birthday.”
- June 17, 2016: Trump reportedly sent Agalarov a thank you note for the birthday gift, saying “I can only say how much I appreciate your friendship and to thank you for this fantastic gift.”
- June 19, 2016: Papadopoulos had “several email and Skype exchanges” with Timofeev. During one of these exchanges, Timofeev reportedly suggested that a Trump campaign official come to Russia for a meeting.
- June 19, 2016: As stated above, Papadopoulos continued to have “several email and Skype exchanges” with Timofeev, indicating at least two contacts.
- June 29, 2016: Goldstone emailed Scavino, copying Trump Jr. and Graff. Goldstone stated that VK wanted “to create a VOTE Trump 2016 promotion” aimed at Russian American voters living in the U.S. The email copied the head of Partner Relations for VK, Konstantin Sidorkov. Goldstone stated that Sidorkov was a “good friend of [his] and Emin’s.”
- July 2016: Stone allegedly spoke with Assange over the phone, and Assange reportedly told Stone that “within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” Stone appears to have denied Cohen’s statement disclosing this contact.
- July 7, 2016: Manafort emailed Kilimnik about offering private briefings on the campaign to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, to whom Manafort owed at least $19 million.
- July 7-8, 2016: Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, traveled to Moscow to give a speech. While there, he met with Andrey Baranov, head of investor relations at Rosneft.
- July 7-8, 2016: While Page was in Moscow, he spoke to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
- July 8, 2016: Kilimnik replied to Manafort, indicating that he thought the rift between Manafort and Deripaska would be mended and they would “get back to the original relationship with” Deripaska.
- July 14, 2016: Papadopoulos emailed Timofeev, trying to set a meeting between Trump team officials and Russian officials.
- July 15, 2016: Sergei Millian, a businessman who was born in Belarus, messaged Papadopoulos on LinkedIn, introducing himself and claiming to have “insider knowledge and direct access to the top hierarchy in Russian politics.”
- July 16, 2016: Papadopoulos and Millian exchanged at least one text message.
- July 18, 2016: Sessions keynoteda luncheon in Cleveland, co-hosted by the Heritage Foundation and the U.S. Department of State. He met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak following his remarks
- July 20, 2016: Page and J.D. Gordon, the Trump campaign’s director of national security,also metwith Kislyak during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Gordon and Kislyak shook hands and Gordon “reiterated that he had meant what he said in the speech about improving U.S.-Russia relations.”
- July 20, 2016: Gordon and Kislyak “ran into” each other at an evening reception as part of the conference. They ate at the same table and talked for approximately five minutes.
- July 22, 2016: Papadopoulos messaged Timofeev on Facebook, asking if he knew Millian.
- July 23, 2016: Timofeev messaged Papadopoulos on Facebook, saying he did not know Millian.
- July 25, 2016: Stone emailed right-wing activist Jerome Corsi directing him to “get to” Assange. Corsi forwarded Stone’s email to an individual believed to be conservative author Ted Malloch. For the purposes of this report, we count directions from a member of the Trump team to an intermediary to contact a Russia-linked operative.
- July 26, 2016: Papadopoulos messaged Timofeev on Facebook.
- July 26, 2016: Timofeev messaged Papadopoulos on Facebook.
- July 29, 2016: Kilimnik emailed Manafort, and they agreed to meet again.
- July 29, 2016: Manafort emailed Kilimnik.
- July 30, 2016: Papadopoulos and Millian exchanged two text messages.
- July 30, 2016: As noted above, Papadopoulos and Millian exchanged two text messages.
- July 30, 2016: Papadopoulos and Millian met in New York City.
- July 31, 2016: Papadopoulos and Millian exchanged two text messages.
- July 31, 2016: As noted above, Papadopoulos and Millian exchanged two text messages.
- July 31, 2016: Manafort emailed Kilimnik.
- July 31, 2016: Stone emailed Corsi directing him to call Stone and saying that Malloch “should see” Assange.
- August 2016-November 2016: As indicated earlier in this report, Gates sent Kilimnik polling data during this time period “less frequently.” This contact represents the fourth time Gates sent Kilimnik polling data.
- August 2016-November 2016: As indicated earlier in this report, Gates sent Kilimnik polling data during this time period less frequently. This contact represents the fifth time Gates sent Kilimnik polling data.
- August 2016: A Russian embassy representative contacted Sessions about arranging a meeting with Kislyak.
- August 1, 2016: Millian texted Papadopoulos.
- August 1, 2016: Papadopoulos and Millian met in New York City.
- August 2, 2016: Millian and Papadopoulos exchanged two text messages about the possibility of Papadopoulos attending or speaking at two international energy conferences, one of which was in Moscow.
- August 2, 2016: Millian and Papadopoulos exchanged two text messages about the energy conferences.
- August 2, 2016: Manafort met with Kilimnik.
- August 3, 2016: A Russian embassy official wrote to Gordon to invite him for breakfast with Kislyak.
- August 3, 2016: Millian and Papadopoulos exchanged two Facebook messages about the energy conferences.
- August 3, 2016: As noted above, Millian and Papadopoulos exchanged two Facebook messages about the energy conferences.
- August 8, 2016: Gordon declined the invitation for breakfast with Kislyak.
- August 14, 2016: Stone sent a direct message over Twitter to Guccifer 2.0, saying “delighted you are reinstated.” Guccifer 2.0, a persona created by Russian GRU officers, worked with WikiLeaks “to release the stolen materials in the US election.”
- August 15, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 replied to Stone, thanking him for writing.
- August 15, 2016: Stone replied to Guccifer 2.0, asking Guccifer 2.0 to retweet a link.
- August 17, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 sent Stone numerous direct messages over Twitter, praising him and offering assistance.
- August 23, 2016: Millian messaged Papadopoulos over Facebook claiming he would “share with [Papadopoulos] a disruptive technology that might be instrumental in [his] political work for the campaign.”
- September 2016: Gates was in contact with an unnamed individual who the FBI assessed had ongoing ties to Russian intelligence.
- September 8, 2016: Sessions met againwith Kislyak in his D.C. Senate office; the meeting went undisclosed until March 2, 2017. Sessions reportedlysaid that at the meeting, he “listened to the ambassador and what his concerns might be.” Sessions noted that they discussed travel to Russia, terrorism, and Ukraine, although Sessions could not recall “any specific political discussions.”
- September 9, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 sent a direct message to Stone containing a link to hacked voter turnout data from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Guccifer 2.0 provided this hacked information to a Republican political operative, who published it on his blog.
- September 9, 2016: Stone replied to Guccifer 2.0, saying that the information was “pretty standard.”
- September 18, 2016: Stone texted radio host Randy Credico, saying “I am e-mailing u a request to pass on to [Assange.]” Credico replied to Stone to confirm that he was passing the request along to Assange.
- September 19, 2016: Stone texted Credico asking him to pass a message to Assange. Credico replied “I did,” apparently indicating that he had sent at least one message to Assange on Stone’s behalf.
- September 20, 2016: Credico forwarded Stone’s request “to a friend who was an attorney with the ability to contact [Assange,]” bcc’ing Stone on the email.
- September 20, 2016: WikiLeaks contacted Trump Jr. via Twitter, giving him the login credentials for what WikiLeaks described as “a PAC run anti-Trump site.”
- September 21, 2016: Trump Jr. replied, thanking WikiLeaks.
- September 29, 2016: Butina and Gordon met “at a party at the Swiss ambassador’s residence.”
- September 29, 2016: Erickson emailed Gordon and Butina after a party at the Swiss ambassador’s residence. Erickson noted to Butina that Gordon was “playing a crucial role in the Trump transition effort,” and noted to Gordon that Butina had links to Torshin.
- September 2016–October 2016: Gordon emailed Butina and Erickson with “a clip of a recent appearance he had made on RT, the Russian state-run English language television network.”
- September 2016–October 2016: Butina responded to Gordon’s email, inviting him to a dinner hosted by conservative writer and Rockefeller heir George O’Neill Jr. As The Washington Post noted, “Prosecutors cited the dinners organized by O’Neill, described in court documents as ‘person 2,’ as part of Butina’s efforts to influence thought leaders.”
- September 2016–October 2016: Gordon responded to Butina’s email, declining the dinner invitation but inviting her for drinks and to a concert. In his correspondence with Butina, he reportedly “included a link to a September 2016 Politico story reporting that he was a part of Trump’s growing transition effort.”
- October 2016: Gates had another contact with the unnamed individual who had ongoing ties to Russian intelligence.
- October 3, 2016: WikiLeaks contacted Trump Jr. over Twitter, asking him to “comment on/push” a story about Hillary Clinton.
- October 3, 2016: Trump Jr. replied to the message, stating that he “already did.” He then asked WikiLeaks about a leak that had been foreshadowed by a tweet from Stone.
- October 12, 2016: WikiLeaks contacted Trump Jr., urging him to ask his father to tweet WikiLeaks links (which he did). WikiLeaks contacted Trump Jr. several other times, although he stopped replying to the messages. WikiLeaks suggested to Trump Jr. that if Trump were to lose the election, Trump should not concede and instead should “[challenge] the media and other types of rigging that occurred.” These reciprocated contacts between Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks continued through the election and into summer 2017.
- October 13, 2016: After WikiLeaks released a statement claiming they had not communicated with Stone, Stone sent WikiLeaks a direct message “about his defense of Assange and the organization.”
- October 13, 2016: WikiLeaks replied to Stone’s earlier message, telling him not to claim an association with WikiLeaks.
- October 15, 2016: Stone sent a direct message to WikiLeaks, saying they should “figure out who [their] friends are.”
- Late October 2016: Gordon reportedly invited Butina to his birthday party. According to The Washington Post, “the two had no additional contact after the birthday party in October 2016.”
- November 9, 2016: WikiLeaks sent a direct message to Stone after the election, saying that they were “more free to communicate.”
- November 9, 2016: Papadopoulos “arranged to meet Millian in Chicago to discuss business opportunities.”
- November 9, 2016: At approximately 3 a.m., campaign press secretary Hope Hicks received a call “from a person who sounded foreign” and Hicks “could make out the words ‘Putin call.’” Hicks asked the caller to email her. The Mueller report strongly implies that this phone call was made by or on behalf of a Russian embassy official who emailed Hicks a few hours later.
- November 9, 2016: Hicks received an email from Sergey Kuznetsov, a Russian embassy official. Kuznetsov emailed from his Gmail account and the subject line of the email was “Message from Putin.” The Mueller report stated, “Attached to the email was a message from Putin, in both English and Russian, which Kuznetsov asked Hicks to convey to the President-Elect. In the message, Putin offered his congratulations to Trump for his electoral victory, stating he ‘look[ed] forward to working with [Trump] on leading Russian-American relations out of crisis.’” The Mueller report strongly implies that this email was related to the phone call Hicks received earlier that morning.
- November 10, 2016: Millian messaged Papadopoulos over Facebook, presumably to arrange their upcoming meeting.
- November 10, 2016: Emin Agalarov texted Trump Jr., congratulating him and his father on the win and saying, “always at your disposal here in Russia. [ ] Emin and Aras Agalarov@.”
- November 14, 2016: Millian messaged Papadopoulos over Facebook, presumably to arrange their upcoming meeting.
- November 14, 2016: Papadopoulos and Millian met in Chicago.
- November 16, 2016: Kushner’s assistant received a request for a meeting with Kislyak.
- November 26, 2016: Kirill Dmitriev, head of the sanctioned Russian Direct Investment Fund, texted Gerson.
- November 28, 2016: Goldstone emailed Graff to say that Aras Agalarov asked Goldstone to pass on a document related to the Magnitsky Act.
- November 29, 2016: Papadopoulos exchanged multiple Facebook messages with Millian.
- November 29, 2016: As noted above, Papadopoulos exchanged multiple Facebook messages with Millian.
- Late November 2016: Dmitriev was introduced to Rick Gerson, described in the Mueller report as “a hedge fund manager and friend of Jared Kushner.” UAE advisor George Nader facilitated this introduction. The Mueller report indicates that Dmitriev and Gerson met, but does not provide details about whether this meeting was separate from their introduction. This report contains one contact for their introduction and meeting as a conservative estimate, although it is possible that these were two separate contacts, and this contact is not included in the meetings count.
- December 2016-January 2017: Dmitriev and Gerson worked on a “proposal for reconciliation between the United States and Russia, which Dmitriev implied he cleared through Putin.” This work presumably included at least two contacts, although this is a conservative estimate.
- December 2016-January 2017: As noted above, Dmitriev and Gerson worked on a joint proposal.
- December 2016: Kushner met with Kislyak at a meeting in Trump Tower, during which the two men “discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin.” Michael Flynn, who had been named as Trump’s national security adviser, also attended. During the meeting, it was reportedly suggested that the Trump team use Russian diplomatic facilities in order to facilitate this backdoor channel. Kislyak subsequently arranged for Kushner to meet with Sergey Gorkov, the president of the Russian state-run bank VEB.
- December 2016: Avrahm Berkowitz, a longtime Kushner associate and White House aide who worked on the transition, met with Kislyak on Kushner’s behalf.
- December 2016: Kushner met with Gorkov. Kushner described the meeting as an official meeting in which he represented the Trump transition team, and CNN reported that a source characterized the meeting as an effort “to establish a back channel to Putin.” The Russian bank claimed that Kushner met with Gorkov in his capacity as “the head of his family’s real estate company.”
- December 2, 2016: Dmitriev and Gerson exchanged multiple text messages.
- December 2, 2016: Dmitriev and Gerson exchanged multiple text messages. This report includes two contacts here, a conservative estimate.
- December 2, 2016: The Mueller report indicates an individual by the name of Tolokonnikov emailed Gerson, and the footnote mentioning this email links to a sentence referring to Dmitriev and Gerson’s meeting and “potential joint ventures between Gerson’s hedge fund and RDIF.” While the report does not describe Tolokonnikov, RDIF’s Deputy CEO for Investment Projects and Funds is Dmitry Tolokonnikov, and this individual is likely the same person who emailed Gerson.
- December 6, 2016: The Mueller report notes, “the Russian Embassy reached out to Kushner’s assistant to set up a second meeting between Kislyak and Kushner.”
- December 6, 2016: Sometime on or after this date, Kushner “declined several proposed meeting dates, but Kushner’s assistant indicated that Kislyak was very insistent about securing a second meeting.”
- December 7, 2016: Russian embassy official Sergey Kuznetsov wrote to Berkowitz.
- December 7, 2016: Millian messaged Papadopoulos over Facebook.
- December 8, 2016: Kilimnik emailed Manafort about “the Yanukovych peace plan.”
- December 9, 2016: Page visited Moscow again and ate dinner with Dvorkovich. While this visit likely involved more contacts between Page and Russia-linked operatives, this contact is the only one listed in the Mueller report. Although Page was not on the Trump transition team at the time, the Mueller report indicates that Kilimnik told Manafort that Page was “sending messages he is authorized to talk to Russia on behalf of DT on a range of mutual interest, including Ukraine.”
- December 13, 2016: Emin Agalarov texted Trump Jr., reportedly “posing a ‘quick question.’”
- December 14, 2016: Dmitriev and Gerson exchanged multiple text messages. This report includes two contacts here, although this is a conservative estimate.
- December 14, 2016: As noted above, Dmitriev and Gerson exchanged multiple text messages.
- Mid-December, 2016: “A few days after” December 12, 2016, Kushner’s assistant received a text from Gorkov’s assistant.
- December 2016-January 2017: After the mid-December text from Gorkov’s assistant to Kushner’s assistant, “the two assistants exchanged a handful of additional cordial texts” over the following weeks. This report lists two separate contacts for this exchange, although this is a conservative estimate and there were likely more texts between the two assistants.
- December 2016-January 2017: As stated above, Gorkov’s assistant exchanged “a handful of additional cordial texts” with Kushner’s assistant.
- December 20, 2016: The day after Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was assassinated, Flynn reportedly called Kislyak “to say he was sorry and to reinforce that terrorism was [their] common problem.”
- December 22, 2016: Flynn contacted Kislyak about a pending vote on a UN resolution on the issue of Israeli settlements, asking that Russia “vote against or delay the resolution.”
- December 23, 2016: Flynn spoke with Kislyak again, and Kislyak informed Flynn that Russia would not vote against the UN resolution.
- December 25, 2016: Flynn texted Kislyak, reportedly “to wish him a merry Christmas and to express condolences for a plane crash.”
- December 28, 2016: Kislyak reportedly texted Flynn, asking, “Can you call me?”
- December 29, 2016: A Russian embassy representative called Flynn but the two individuals did not speak.
- December 29, 2016: Due to poor cellphone reception, Flynn reportedly did not see the previous text “until approximately 24 hours later.” Flynn then allegedly “responded that he would call in 15–20 minutes.”
- December 29, 2016: Flynn called Kislyak.
- December 29, 2016: Flynn called Kislyak a second time.
- December 29, 2016: Flynn called Kislyak a third time.
- December 29, 2016: Flynn called Kislyak a fourth time.
- December 29, 2016: Flynn called Kislyak a fifth time. According to three sources, the “calls occurred between the time the Russian embassy was told about U.S. sanctions and the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he had decided against reprisals.”
- December 31, 2016: Kislyak called Flynn to inform him that Russia did not retaliate against the most recent round of U.S. sanctions “at the Trump team’s request.”
- January 2017: Manafort met with a former Russian embassy official and current senior executive at one of Deripaska’s companies, Georgiy Oganov, in Madrid. Although Manafort did not officially serve on the transition team, reporting indicated that he was in continual contact with the Trump team during the transition period.
- January 2017: Kilimnik and Manafort exchanged text messages about the meeting with Oganov.
- January 2017: Kilimnik and Manafort exchanged text messages about the meeting with Oganov.
- January 2017: Kilimnik and Manafort exchanged text messages about the meeting with Oganov.
- January 3, 2017: Gerson texted Dmitriev.
- January 3, 2017: After Dmitriev had repeatedly and explicitly made it clear that he wanted to be put in touch with members of the Trump team, Nader discussed Dmitriev with Blackwater founder Erik Prince (brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos) Prince and “Nader informed Prince that the Russians were looking to build a link with the incoming Trump Administration.” Nader suggested that Prince and Dmitriev meet.
- January 4, 2017: Nader told Dmitriev that he had dined with Prince and spoken with him about Dmitriev, and that “the people he met had asked for Dmitriev’s bio.” Dmitriev later sent Nader his bio, which Nader forwarded to Prince.
- January 7-January 8, 2017: During this time period, Prince booked a ticket to the Seychelles and Nader informed Dmitriev that he had arrange for him to meet Prince. Nader “asked Dmitriev if he could come to the Seychelles for the meeting.”
- January 9, 2017: Dmitriev sent his biography to Gerson and asked him to share it with senior Trump team members.
- January 9, 2017: Cohen reportedly met with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselbergin Trump Tower, and the two men reportedly discussed “a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump.”
- January 11, 2017: Prince (brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos) met with Dmitriev in the Seychelles. Prince “presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump” to high-ranking officials from the United Arab Emirates who brokered the meeting. Prince initially claimed the meeting was unplanned and that he was not acting as “an official or unofficial emissary of the Trump transition team.” Nader later revealed that the purpose of the meeting involved an attempt “to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin.”
- January 11, 2017: Prince called Nader and asked him to set up a second meeting with Dmitriev. Nader then contacted Dmitriev and arranged a second meeting.
- January 11, 2017: Prince had a second meeting with Dmitriev to tell him “that the United States could not accept any Russian involvement in Libya because it would make the situation there much worse.”
- January 16, 2017: Dmitriev and Gerson exchanged at least two text messages about a proposal Dmitriev put together with “ideas for U.S.-Russia reconciliation” that he had been discussing with Gerson.
- January 16, 2017: As noted above, Dmitriev and Gerson exchanged at least two text messages.
- January 17-20, 2017: Anthony Scaramucci met with Dmitriev at the 2017 Davos World Economic Forum; after the meeting, he criticized U.S. sanctions on Russia in an interview with a Russian news agency. Scaramucci “served on the executive committee for Trump’s transition team” and later briefly served as White House communications director for ten days.
- January 18, 2017: Gerson texted Dmitriev, letting him know that he had given the proposal to Kushner.
- January 18, 2017: Dmitriev and Gerson exchanged at least one more text message on this date.
At least 33 high-level campaign officials and Trump advisers had or were aware of contacts between the Trump team and Russia, including Trump and the three successive people who ran his campaign.
Yet none of them ever revealed to federal law enforcement that the Russians were seeking to interfere with the election by aiding the campaign.
Trump, by signing a Letter of Intent for the Trump Tower Moscow deal that was addressed to a Russian developer, had contact with Russians during the campaign. Other members of the Trump team who had contacts with Russians during the campaign or transition include:
- Michael Cohen
- Donald Trump Jr.
- Paul Manafort
- Jared Kushner
- Michael Flynn
- George Papadopoulos
- Roger Stone
- Jeff Sessions
- Hope Hicks
- Rhona Graff
- J.D. Gordon
- Carter Page
- Erik Prince
- Anthony Scaramucci
- Rick Gates
- Michael Caputo
- Ivanka Trump
- Avrahm Berkowitz
A number of other campaign officials were reportedly aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives, including:
- Corey Lewandowski
- Hope Hicks
- Sam Clovis
- Stephen Miller
- K.T. McFarland
- Tom Bossert
- Kellyanne Conway
- Reince Priebus
- Stephen Bannon
- Sean Spicer
- John Mashburn
- David Bossie
- Brad Parscale
- Walid Phares
36 of these contacts, including 3 meetings, were with individuals alleged to have links to Russian intelligence.
88 of these contacts, including 13 meetings, were held after Trump received his first intelligence briefing as a presidential candidate on August 17, 2016, when he was specifically warned about Russian attempts to infiltrate his campaign.
Despite the overwhelming number of contacts and widespread knowledge within the Trump team about them, the Trump campaign issued numerous blanket denials of contacts with Russia. Here are 15 examples:
- July 24, 2016: Trump’s Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and George Stephanopoulos asked him, “Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin and his regime?” To which Manafort responded, “No, there are not. That’s absurd. And you know, there’s no basis to it.”
- July 24, 2016: Donald Trump Jr. appeared on CNN and told Jake Tapper that the Clinton campaign’s suggestion that Russia was helping Trump was “disgusting” and “phony,” noting, “Well, it just goes to show you their exact moral compass. I mean, they will say anything to be able to win this. I mean, this is time and time again, lie after lie.”
- July 27, 2016:Trump appeared on a CBS Miami news station and, in response to allegations that Russia was trying to help him win the election, told Jim DeFed, “I can tell you I think if I came up with that they’d say, ‘Oh, it’s a conspiracy theory, it’s ridiculous’ … 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.”
- October 24, 2016:At a rally in Tampa, Florida, Trump stated he has “nothing to do with Russia, folks. I’ll give you a written statement.”
- November 11, 2016:Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks gave the Associated Press a blanket denial of Trump campaign contacts with Russia, stating, “It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”
- December 18, 2016:Kellyanne Conway went on “Face the Nation,” and John Dickerson asked her, “Did anyone involved … in the Trump campaign have any contact with Russians trying to meddle with the election?” Conway responded, “Absolutely not. And I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened. I hear people saying it like it’s a fact on television. That is just not only inaccurate and false, but it’s dangerous.”
- January 10, 2017:At a hearing for Jeff Sessions’ nomination for the position of attorney general, Senator Al Franken asked him what he would do if there was evidence “that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign.” Sessions replied, “I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
- January 15, 2017: Vice President-elect Mike Pence went on “Fox News Sunday,” and Chris Wallace asked him, “So, I’m asking a direct question: was there any contact in any way between Trump or his associates and the Kremlin or cutouts they had?” Pence replied, “Of course not. Why would there be any contacts between the campaign?
- January 15, 2017: That same day, Pence also went on “Face the Nation,” where Dickerson asked him, “Just to button up one question, did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?” Pence replied, “Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”
- February 16, 2017:Trump held a press conference and told reporters, “Russia is a ruse. I know you have to get up and ask a question. It’s so important. Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years. Don’t speak to people from Russia. Not that I wouldn’t. I just have nobody to speak to. I spoke to Putin twice. He called me on the election. I told you this. And he called me on the inauguration, a few days ago. We had a very good talk, especially the second one, lasted for a pretty long period of time. I’m sure you probably get it because it was classified. So I’m sure everybody in this room perhaps has it. But we had a very, very good talk. I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.”
- February 19, 2017: White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus went on “Fox News Sunday,” and when Wallace asked whether the Trump team had any connections to Russia, Preibus said “No.” Preibus later went on to add, “Let me give you an example. First of all, The New York Timesput out an article with no direct sources that said that the Trump campaign had constant contacts with Russian spies, basically, you know, some treasonous type of accusations. We have now all kinds of people looking into this. I can assure you and I have been approved to say this—that the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that that story is not only inaccurate, but it’s grossly overstated and it was wrong. And there’s nothing to it.”
- February 20, 2017: White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign, stating, “This is a nonstory because to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place, so it’s hard to make a comment on something that never happened.”
- February 24, 2017: At a White House press briefing, Sean Spicer was asked whether “the President has an improper relationship with Russia” and responded, “He has no interests in Russia. He has no—there’s only so many times he can deny something that doesn’t exist.”
- May 11, 2017:In an interview with NBC, Trump told Lester Holt, “I have had dealings over the years where I sold a house to a very wealthy Russian many years ago. I had the Miss Universe pageant—which I owned for quite a while—I had it in Moscow a long time ago. But other than that I have nothing to do with Russia.” Later in the interview, when discussing the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, Trump stated, “And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself—I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election they should’ve won.”
- May 18, 2017: At a press conference in May 2017, Trump repeatedly denied any collusion occurred between his campaign and Russia, at one point stating, “[T]he entire thing has been a witch hunt. And there is no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign, but I can only speak for myself and the Russians—zero.”
Numerous other contacts have surfaced throughout the Russia investigation that this report does not count in the overall tally.
The Mueller report states that in January 2017, “around the time of the Presidential Inauguration,” Manafort met with Kilimnik and Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Lyovochkin. The exact date of this meeting is unclear, although a footnote in the Mueller report states “1/19/17 & 1/22/17 Kilimnik CBP Records.” Since this date period covers Trump’s inauguration, it is unclear whether this contact took place during the transition or post-inauguration, and this report does not count this meeting as a contact.
The Mueller report makes it clear that Putin directed numerous Russian businessmen to establish contact with the Trump transition team. Russian oligarch Petr Aven, the head of Alfa Bank, provided the Special Counsel’s office with an interview on this topic. Aven stated that there are approximately 50 oligarchs who regularly meet with Putin and noted that he “understood that any suggestions or critiques that Putin made during these meetings were implicit directives, and that there would be consequences for Aven if he did not follow through.” In a one-on-one meeting with Putin after the 2016 election, Putin suggested to Aven that he needed to protect himself and Alfa Bank from U.S. sanctions. In response, Aven told Putin he would try to establish communication with the incoming administration. Aven got in touch with former U.S. diplomat Richard Burt and asked him to establish communication with the Trump team. Burt approached Simes, who was at the time “lobbying the Trump Transition Team, on Burt’s behalf, to appoint Burt U.S. ambassador to Russia.” Burt asked Simes to arrange a meeting with Kushner, but Simes informed the Special Counsel that he declined this offer. Burt then emailed Aven, informing him that he had been unsuccessful, and Aven relayed that message to Putin in an early 2017 meeting. Aven was also subpoenaed by the FBI, and he informed Putin’s chief of staff “that he had been asked by the FBI about whether he had worked to create a back channel between the Russian government and the Trump Administration.” Aven’s attempts at contacting the Trump team are not listed above because they did not move past individuals who are considered to be Russian intermediaries; his attempt appears to have gotten as far as Simes, who is considered to be an intermediary for the Russian government, but was not passed on to the Trump team. The Mueller report’s discussion of Aven’s outreach does indicate that other Russian oligarchs may have had similar meetings with Putin and may have been given similar directives, and it is unknown if any other oligarchs were successful in their outreach.
According to the Mueller report, Peter Smith was a Republican operative who attempted to find deleted Clinton emails during the campaign. After being directed by Trump to find the emails, Flynn contacted Smith “in an effort to obtain the emails,” and Smith subsequently claimed that a company he had set up had organized meetings with parties with “ties and affiliations to Russia,” although the report notes that “the investigation did not identify evidence that any such meetings occurred.” The report also states, “associates and security experts who worked with Smith on the initiative did not believe that Smith was in contact with Russian hackers and were aware of no such connection,” and the investigation “did not establish that Smith was in contact with Russian hackers.” It is unclear when Smith’s alleged contact with Russian hackers occurred, and the identities of the individuals he believed to be Russian hackers are unknown. This report does not count these contacts, as Smith’s associates, subject matter experts, and the Special Counsel all had unanswered questions about whether the contact occurred.
Dmitri Simes is the President and CEO of the Center for the National Interest (CNI). Simes was born in the Soviet Union and later immigrated to the U.S. The Mueller report notes that “Simes personally has many contacts with current and former Russian government officials,” and CNI boasted that it had “unparalleled access to Russian officials.” Kushner repeatedly sought Simes’ advice on Russia-related issues, once even asking his assistant to confirm with Simes whether then-Russian ambassador Kislyak was “the right guy.” While there were a number of contacts between Simes and the campaign, as noted below, the Mueller report states “the investigation did not identify evidence that the Campaign passed or received any messages to or from the Russian government through CNI or Simes.” Given that the report does not establish that CNI or Simes passed information to or from the Russian government, the following contacts noted in the Mueller report have not been included for purposes of this report:
- March 14, 2016: Kushner and Simes attended a CNI luncheon together. According to the Mueller report, Kushner “decided to seek Simes’s assistance” at the event because “the Trump Campaign was having trouble securing support from experienced foreign policy professionals.”
- March 24, 2016: Kushner and Simes spoke over the phone.
- March 31, 2016: Kushner and Simes held a one-on-one meeting.
- Mid-April 2016: Kushner put Simes in touch with senior Trump policy advisor Stephen Miller “and forwarded to Simes an outline of the foreign-policy speech that Miller had prepared.”
- Mid-April 2016: Simes “sent back to the Campaign bullet points” for a foreign policy speech.
- Mid-April 2016: Simes received subsequent drafts of the speech from Miller.
- Mid-April 2016: Simes spoke with Miller over the phone.
- June 17, 2016: Simes emailed J.D. Gordon a memo for Sessions.
- August 9, 2016: Simes emailed Kushner “a ‘Russia Policy Memo’ laying out ‘what Mr. Trump may want to say about Russia.”
- Early August 2016: Simes and Kushner had a phone call to set up a meeting.
- August 17, 2016: Kushner and Simes met in Kushner’s New York office at Simes’ request.
- April 2016-November 2016: According to the Mueller report, between April 2016 and the November 2016 election, “Kushner had periodic contacts with Simes. Those contacts consisted of both in-person meetings and phone conversations.” This indicates Kushner and Simes had at least two phone conversations and two meetings during this time period. This contact represents the second phone conversation.
- April 2016-November 2016: According to the Mueller report, between April 2016 and the November 2016 election, “Jared Kushner had periodic contacts with Simes. Those contacts consisted of both in-person meetings and phone conversations.” This indicates Kushner and Simes had at least two phone conversations and two meetings during this time period. This contact represents the second meeting.
- November 9, 2016: Kushner emailed Simes because he was “unable to recall the Russian Ambassador’s name.”
- November 9, 2016: Simes responded to Kushner.
- November 17, 2016: Kushner confirmed with Simes that Kislyak “is the right guy.” He did this through two intermediaries: he asked his assistant to “confirm with Dmitri Simes,” and his assistant reached out to “a colleague of Simes at CNI.”
The Mueller report states that beginning in June 2016, the Internet Research Agency (IRA) contacted “U.S. persons affiliated with the Trump campaign,” claiming to be U.S. political activists. The IRA requested “signs and other materials to use at rallies,” and “certain campaign volunteers agreed to provide the requested support.” As the Mueller report makes it clear that the campaign was unaware these contacts were coming from Russia, these contacts are not included in the list above.
Felix Sater is a Russian-American real-estate developer and a longtime Trump business partner. Throughout the Trump campaign, Sater worked on the Trump Tower Moscow deal, acting as a broker between the Trump Organization and Michael Cohen and various Russian individuals who were involved in the project. This report includes contacts where Sater operated as an intermediary and conveyed information between the Trump team and Russia-linked operatives.
George Nader is a Lebanese-American businessman with extensive contacts in the Middle East. Nader helped broker meetings between Erik Prince and RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev, and these contacts are included in the report above.
Rob Goldstone is a British publicist who worked on behalf of Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov and his father, Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov. The Mueller report states that Goldstone represented Emin Agalarov from 2012 to 2016 and “facilitated the ongoing contact between the Trumps and the Agalarovs.” Goldstone was instrumental in setting up the infamous June 9th, 2016 Trump Tower meeting, which he did explicitly on behalf of Emin Agalarov. The Mueller report notes that Goldstone “facilitated the ongoing contact between the Trumps and the Agalarvos,” and this report considers him to be an intermediary working on behalf of Russia-linked operatives.
Dmitry Klokov is a Russian energy executive and, according to the Mueller report, a “former aide to Russia’s minister of energy.” In November 2015, Klokov’s wife at the time, Lana Erchova, emailed Ivanka Trump and stated “if you ask anyone who knows Russian to google my husband Dmitry Klokov, you’ll see who he is close to and that he has done Putin’s political campaigns.” Cohen initially mistakenly believed that Klokov was a Russian athlete. In subsequent emails with Cohen, Klokov proposed arranging a meeting between Trump and an individual who Klokov initially described as “our person of interest.” According to the Mueller report, Klokov’s wife later identified this “person of interest” as Putin.
Giorgi Rtskhiladze is a Russian business executive who had previously worked with the Trump Organization on a failed project in Georgia. The Mueller report states that Cohen was in touch with him about the Trump Tower Moscow deal “in part because Rtskhiladze had pursued business ventures in Moscow, including a licensing deal with the Agalarov-owned Crocus Group.” Rtskhiladze forwarded an email about the project to an associate and suggested that they “organize the meeting in New York at the highest level of the Russian Government.” In a later email to Cohen, Rtskhiladze suggested that they send a letter to the Mayor of Moscow. According to the Mueller report, Rtskhiladze repeatedly represented himself as a link between the Russian government and the Trump team, and this report considers him to be an intermediary working on behalf of Russia-linked operatives.
Robert Foresman is an investment banker who, according to the Mueller report, was tasked by a Russian presidential aide with inviting Trump to an economic forum in St. Petersburg. After receiving this request, he began reaching out to Graff to try to secure a meeting with Trump. Foresman boasted about his “long-standing personal and professional expertise in Russia and Ukraine, his work setting up an early ‘private channel between Vladimir Putin and former U.S. President George W. Bush, and an approach’ he had received from ‘senior Kremlin officials’ about the candidate.” Shortly before Gorkov met with Kushner in December 2016, Foresman also met with Gorkov and one of his deputies in Moscow. Although Foresman denied any plans to establish a backchannel to Trump and claimed that the Russian official had also extended invitations through him to other candidates, the Mueller report states that he did pass along an explicit invitation from a Russian government official to the Trump team, and this report considers him to be an intermediary working on behalf of Russia-linked operatives.
Sergei Millian is an American citizen who was born in Belarus and, according to the Mueller report, claimed to have “insider knowledge and direct access to the top hierarchy in Russian politics.” The Special Counsel’s office investigated Millian’s contacts with Papadopoulos but was “not fully able to explore the contact because [Millian] remained out of the country since the inception of [the] investigation and declined to meet with members of the Office.” After meeting in person with Millian, Papadopoulos emailed a campaign official saying that he had been contacted “by some leaders of Russian-American voters here in the US about their interest in voting for Mr. Trump.” Due to Millian’s claim to have access “to the top hierarchy in Russian politics,” this report considers him to be an intermediary working on behalf of Russia-linked operatives.
Rick Gerson is a hedge fund manager and a friend of Jared Kushner. According to the Mueller report, during the campaign, he worked with Dmitriev on a proposal regarding U.S. Russia relations “which Dmitriev implied he cleared through Putin.” Gerson passed the proposal to Kushner and immediately told Dmitriev he had passed it along. Gerson noted that he did not have a formal role in the campaign or transition “other than occasional casual discussions about the Campaign with Kushner,” although he did arrange several high-profile meetings for transition officials. He also told Dmitriev that he would arrange introductions between Dmitriev and the incoming administration. Due to his work communicating with the Trump team on Dmitriev’s behalf, this report considers him to be an intermediary working on behalf of Russia-linked operatives.
In determining the number of contacts, in some cases it is unclear exactly how many contacts occurred. For example, the Papadopoulos indictment says at one point that he had “several email and Skype exchanges.” In these situations, the authors used the conservative estimate of two contacts.
In this document, the authors consider Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, to be Russia-linked operatives. The authors base this determination, in part, on the words of Trump’s own former CIA Director Mike Pompeo who called WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia” and referred to Assange as an individual who poses “very real threats to our country.” Furthermore, the January 2017 intelligence community report stated, “We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets.” The report also stated that the GRU “relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks,” and noted that “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet RT (formerly Russia Today) has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks.”
The Mueller report states, “During the campaign period, Papadopoulos connected over LinkedIn with several MFA-affiliated individuals in addition to Timofeev. On April 25, 2016, he connected with Dmitry Andreyko, publicly identified as a First Secretary at the Russian Embassy in Ireland. In July 2016, he connected with Yuriy Melnik, the spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington and with Alexey Krasilnikov, publicly identified as a counselor with the MFA. And on September 16, 2016, he connected with Sergei Nalobin, also identified as an MFA official.” This report does not consider the act of connecting with an individual over LinkedIn to be a contact unless there is an indication that the two parties exchanged an actual message. Papadopoulos did message Millian over LinkedIn several times, and those are counted in the list above. If further reporting indicates that Papadopoulos sent any of the aforementioned individuals personalized messages when connecting with them (or after connecting), those will be counted as separate contacts.