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16 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Trump-Russia ties under investigation

AFP

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump’s summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin caps decades of efforts by the New York property tycoon to establish top-level relations in Moscow, reports AFP.

Back in Washington, however, investigators are trying to discover whether Trump, his family and advisors already had a surreptitious working relationship with Russians when he ran for and won the presidency in 2016.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, investigating Russian meddling on Trump’s behalf in 2016, has already indicted 31 people—including 12 Russia intelligence agents on Friday—for hacking Democratic computer networks.

Here is what Mueller is investigating:

The Ukraine link

Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort spent years working for Moscow-supported billionaire Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort also worked with tycoon Dmitry Firtash, who has close ties to the Kremlin, and Konstantin Kilimnik, a political operative in Ukraine believed tied to Russian intelligence. Manafort was in touch with both during the campaign.

Manafort is facing a raft of federal charges.

London connection

George Papadopoulos, a young, previously unknown foreign affairs advisor on the Trump campaign, worked Russian contacts in London with the aim of setting up a Trump trip to Moscow or a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

He also told the campaign that Moscow had damaging information on Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Nothing ever came of his efforts, but they were approved by senior campaign officials.

He has pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI.

Spy contacts

Another foreign policy advisor, former investment banker Carter Page, was investigated by US counterintelligence over meetings he held over several years through 2016 with Russian officials and other contacts either part of or linked to Russian intelligence.

The Trump Tower meeting

Top campaign officials Manafort, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and son Donald Trump Jr. met in New York on June 9, 2016 with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was offering dirt from the Russian government on Clinton.

Helping arrange the meeting was an Azeri-Russian tycoon close to Putin who was a former Trump business partner in Moscow. Veselnitskaya however apparently arrived empty-handed, wanting to discuss other issues.

Questions remain over what Trump himself knew about the meeting, and why members of Trump’s team tried to hide it.

Leaks of hacked Democratic

documents

An indictment released Friday of 12 Russia spies for hacking Democratic documents during the campaign makes clear Mueller is examining whether Trump staff and allies colluded with the leaks.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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