THE TRUMP/RUSSIA TIMELINE — UPDATES THROUGH JUNE 26, 2017

These are my latest additions to the Bill Moyers & Company overall Timeline relating to Trump and Russia. You can read the entire Timeline here. The Pence Timeline, Comey Firing Timeline, and Kushner Timeline have also been updated to include relevant entries. 

  • Early August 2016: According to a subsequent report in The Washington Post, the CIA informs President Obama that based on intelligence sources within the Russian government, Putin had given Russian officials specific objectives for the ongoing cyberattack on the US election: defeat or at least damage Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump. Upon receiving the news, Obama directs the entire intelligence community to provide him with as much information as soon as possible. CIA Director John Brennan convenes a secret task force composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, NSA and FBI. [Added June 26, 2017]

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  • Also on Aug. 15, 2016: Concerned about additional intelligence reports about Russia’s cyberattack efforts, the Obama administration seeks bipartisan support from the states to designate election systems as “critical infrastructure” that would entitle them to priority in shoring up defenses against such attacks. The reaction from the states ranges “from neutral to negative,” according to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. [Added June 26, 2017]

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  • Early September 2016: Stung by unsuccessful efforts to enlist the states’ bipartisan support for shoring up the nation’s election system, senior members of the Obama administration meet with 12 key congressional leaders to seek their help. The response devolves into partisan wrangling, with Democrats wanting to alert the public about Russia’s efforts and Republicans dissenting. According to a later report in The Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voices skepticism about whether the underlying intelligence truly supports the White House’s claims about Russian interference. [Added June 26, 2017]

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  • October 2016: Jared Kushner’s real estate company finalizes a $285 million loan with Deutsche Bank as part of a refinancing package for its property near Times Square. In total, the refinancing deal reportedly results in Kushner’s company receiving $74 million more than it had paid for the property in 2015, when Kushner had negotiated the purchase with Lev Leviev. According to a 2007 New York Times report, Leviev—a Uzbek-born Israeli citizen who is one of the world’s wealthiest men—kept a framed photo of Vladimir Putin on his office shelf and described Putin as a “true friend,” who has helped him work with an influential Jewish organization in Russia. At the time of the October 2016 refinancing with Kushner’s company, Deutsche Bank was negotiating to settle New York state regulators’ charges that it had aided a possible Russian money-laundering scheme. Eventually, the state cases were settled in December and January. [Added June 26, 2017]

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  • Also on March 10, 2017: Senior Democratic members of the House Committee on Financial Services write to the Committee’s chairman requesting “a formal assessment of the Justice Department’s investigation into Deutsche Bank’s Russian money-laundering scheme,” including a review of Attorney General Session’s role in conducting the investigation.” The letter cites the bank’s recent payment of more than $600 million to settle claims that its inadequate controls “failed to prevent a group of corrupt traders from improperly and secretly transferring more than $10 billion out of Russia.” The letter also expresses concern that Deutsche Bank “is one of the Trump’s top creditors with an estimated $360 million in outstanding loans to his companies.” [Added June 26, 2017]

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  • Also on May 23, 2017: Senior Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee ask Deutsche Bank to provide information about the bank’s internal reviews relating to: 1) alleged Russian money laundering, and 2) personal accounts of Trump and his family. Citing US privacy laws, the bank refuses. [Added June 26, 2017]

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  • Also on June 9, 2017: The House Intelligence Committee sends two letters relating to its investigation. One requests that the FBI produce any notes or memoranda of Comey’s conversations with Trump. The second asks White House counsel Don McGahn to inform the Committee whether any White House recordings or memoranda of Comey’s conversations with Trump have ever existed and, to the extent they still exist, produce them by June 23. [Added June 26, 2017]

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  • June 20, 2017: White House press secretary Sean Spicer says he doesn’t know if Trump believes that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. [Added June 26, 2017]
  • June 21, 2017: Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Department of Homeland Security’s acting director of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Cyber Division says that individuals connected to the Russian government tried to hack election-related computer systems in 21 states. A week earlier, Bloomberg had reported that Russian hackers had tried to penetrate voting systems in 39 states. [Added June 26, 2017]
  • Also on June 21, 2017: The New York Times reports that the White House has been lobbying the House of Representatives to weaken the Senate bill that would limit Trump’s power to curtail Russian sanctions. The bipartisan legislation had passed the Senate a week earlier, and would allow Congress to thwart any effort by the White House to curtail those sanctions without congressional approval. On June 20, the Treasury Department issued sanctions directed against more than three dozen Russian individuals and organizations that had participated in the country’s incursion into Ukraine. [Added June 26, 2017]
  • June 22, 2017: Trump tweets:

 

[Added June 26, 2017]

  • June 23, 2017: In an interview on Fox & Friends, Trump says that special counsel Robert Mueller is “very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome… Look, there has been no obstruction. There has been no collusion. There has been leaking by Comey.” Asked about Mueller’s legal team, Trump says, “I can say that the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters. Some of them worked for Hillary Clinton. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth.” [Added June 22, 2017]
  • Also on June 23, 2017: In a two-sentence response to the House Intelligence Committee’s prior request for any and all records memorializing conversations between Trump and James Comey, the White House refers to and quotes from Trump’s June 22, 2017 tweets (above) and provides no other information. [Added June 26, 2017]
  • Also June 23, 2017: The New York Times reports that federal investigators and the New York state attorney general are looking into Paul Manafort’s real estate dealings in recent years. [Added June 26, 2017]
  • Also on June 23, 2017: Trump tweets:

 

 

  • June 24, 2017: Trump tweets:

 

[Added June 26, 2017]

  • June 25, 2017: Interviewing Kellyanne Conway, ABC News’ This Week, George Stephanopoulos says, “The president said he did not tape James Comey, but I am confused by the top part of that (tweet). Does the president have any evidence at all that his personal conversations were somehow taped? And has he asked the intelligence agencies for that evidence?” When Conway doesn’t answer those questions directly, Stephanopoulos persists, “Has the president asked the intelligence agencies if they have any tapes of his conversations? Does he know if they have that? Does he have any evidence to back up that suggestion that he put out in the tweet?” Conway answers, “I’m not going to comment on his conversations with his intelligence community… I mean, what are we talking about here with this never ending Russian discussion?” [Added June 26, 2017]
  • June 26, 2017: Trump tweets:

 

and

[Added June 26, 2017]

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