President Donald Trump became the official Republican nominee for President on July 19, 2016. In the weeks that followed, the FBI warned his administration that Russia would attempt to infiltrate and spy on his campaign and influence the outcome of the Presidential race.
Senior officials at the FBI approached Trump and Hillary Clinton and warned them that Russia was attempting to position the candidate of their choosing.
Officials at the FBI then asked Trump and Clinton to turn over any suspicious activity that might be discovered as they continued towards a Presidential showdown.
The report was generated by counterintelligence specialists from the FBI, a source told NBC News. Trump was “briefed and warned” that serious potential espionage threats from Russia. A spokesperson for Trump says the President was not made aware of the briefings that occurred.
The New York Post reports that “by the time the feds warning came in late July or August, at least seven Trump campaign officials had been in contact with Russians or people linked to Russia.”
There is no evidence in any public reports that Trump’s campaign reported any of those Russian contacts to the bureau.
President Trump has continued to maintain his innocence regarding any involvement with the Russians. In recent days he has reportedly told White House staffers that he will be “exonerated” by Robert Mueller and the FBI in “writing.” Many of his allies fear that Trump may have a complete meltdown if the investigation doesn’t close in his favor by the end of the year.
In private conversations, Trump has completely written off the Russia investigation, referring to it as “bulls—” and telling his advisers, “I don’t know any Russians!” numerous sources told CNN.
The FBI typically goes after smaller fish in an attempt to work up the chain of command. In recent weeks Mueller and his team managed to land a guilty plea and the cooperation of Trump’s former adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. If the dominoes continue to fall, Trump may be singing a different tune in the weeks and months to come.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.