Russia, Like A Cloud, Hovers Over President Trump’s Inauguration
Donald Trump is now officially the 45th President of the United States.
As he put his hand on the bible and recited the historic oath, Washington D.C. was filled with his supporters as well as protestors who doubt Trump’s ability to fully carry out this oath.
This doubt has been fueled by Trump’s lack of experience, unstable temperament, conflicts of interest, and questions over the legitimacy of his election to the highest office in the land spurred by U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia interfered in our election to help Trump get elected.
Last night, The New York Times published a report that revealed U.S. officials are currently investigating Trump’s former associates’ ties to Russia:
“American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said…Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.”
It has been previously reported that Paul Manafort has been under investigation by the FBI for this very same reason. Manafort reportedly received millions in cash while representing a pro-Russian politician in the Ukraine. Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager before being fired after reports of his foreign ties. Manafort’s ousting may not have fully severed his influence with Trump, seeing how he lives on the 43rd floor of Trump Tower.
Roger Stone, a former campaign advisor of Donald Trump, boasted about being in regular contact with Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, through “mutual friends.” This boast appeared to be validated by his eerie knowledge of upcoming Wikileaks centering around Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s emails. Several months before it occurred, Stone spoke of an October surprise involving Podesta, that would disrupt Clinton’s campaign.
Trust me, it will soon the Podesta's time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary
Carter Page, founder of Global Energy Capital, an investment firm in New York that has done business with Russia, is also under investigation for communications with Russia. He raised eyebrows in December when he visited Moscow. The New York Times reports:
“He worked as an investment banker in Russia for at least three years in the 2000s, advising on several major transactions involving Russian state companies. Mr. Page’s extensive business links in Russia prompted suggestions that he might be serving Mr. Trump as a back-channel liaison with senior Kremlin officials.”
This news comes as there is growing suspicion surrounding whether or not Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to win the presidency. This week, McClatchy reported that the FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies are investigating whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President Donald Trump. Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee announced that they would investigate Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and also links between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
These suspicions are nothing new. There have been reports that members of Trump’s team were in contact with Russian officials throughout the course of the campaign. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabko even confirmed the contacts to Interfax News Agency:
“There were contacts,” Interfax cited Ryabkov as saying. “We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign.”
Such contacts would continue, he added, saying the Russian government knew and had been in touch with many of Trump’s closest allies. He did not name names.
“Obviously, we know most of the people from his (Trump’s) entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions,” he said.
“I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.”
If its revealed that members of Trump’s campaign were not only in contact, but coordinated, with Russian officials…that would be quite the development. Whether that implicates Trump is unclear. What is clear, is that regardless of the outcome of these investigations, Trump has some questions to answer.