This week’s update brings the total number of Trump-Russia Timeline entries to almost 1,000. When I created the Timeline in February 2017, there were 25. The hits keep coming, and the best is yet to come.
For a while, it appeared that Brad Parscale’s appointment as the manager of Trump’s 2020 campaign would be last week’s biggest addition to the Trump-Russia Timeline. But then Hope Hicks resigned the day after testifying that she told “white lies” for Trump, who berated her for such candor.
So much has already happened this week that it’s easy for forget those bombshells. That would be a mistake.
Around 2011, Parscale had begun creating web designs for Trump family businesses. In early 2015, he was working alone from his home in San Antonio when he received a message: Donald Trump was planning to run for president and needed a website. Parscale offered to do the job for $1,500.
Eventually, he became the Trump campaign’s digital director. Facebook and Twitter embedded their employees in his organization, and by the end of 2016, the campaign had paid Parscale’s firm more than $90 million.
Where does Parscale fit in the broader Trump-Russia scandal? Here’s a little context:
June 2015: According to special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian entities behind one prong of the election interference project, Russia’s exploitation of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media begins.
June 16, 2015: Trump announces his candidacy. Within a month, he is boasting about his relationship with Putin’s oligarchs, praises the Russian dictator, and makes clear that he thinks the US should soften its position on Russian sanctions.
June 9, 2016: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort meet with Russians promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Six weeks earlier, other Russians had told George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, that they possessed Clinton’s stolen emails.
September 2016: Wikileaks contacts Donald Trump Jr. who, in turn, tells Parscale, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner about it. Meanwhile, Trump confidant Roger Stone claims repeatedly to be in communication with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. (Go to the Timeline and click on Stone’s name.) Through the election, Trump himself praises publicly WikiLeaks’ disclosures — all of which target Clinton.
January 2017: After the election, Parscale, Rick Gates, and other former Trump aides form a large, pro-Trump non-profit organization: “America First Policies.”
July 2017: After receiving a request to appear before the House Intelligence Committee, Parscale issues a statement saying that he is “unaware of any Russian involvement in the digital and data operations of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.”
Meanwhile, Facebook still denies that it has any evidence of Russian political ad purchases on its platform. In September, it finally begins to come clean.
Jan. 5, 2018: Parscale tweets:
Kushner and Eric? And now Parscale is managing the 2020 Trump campaign. Friends taking care of friends.
Hicks stole Parscale’s spotlight: She admitted to telling “white lies” for Trump and resigned the next day. Go to the Trump-Russia Timeline, and click on her name. Here’s a sample of what’s there:
July 2016; Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page informs Hicks about his trip to Russia.
September 2016: Hicks receives an email from Don Jr. about his contact with WikiLeaks.
November 2016: Hicks denies that there were any contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign.
March 2017; Hicks issues a statement trying to explain away Jared Kushner’s secret meeting with a Russian banker in December 2016.
May 2017: Hicks is a member of Trump’s core group as he decides to fire FBI Director James Comey and then initially lies about his reasons for doing so.
July 2017: As Trump participates in crafting Don Jr.’s misleading statement about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians promising “dirt” on Clinton, Hicks is there.
Hicks seems to know more than where some bodies are buried. She may have held a shovel that helped put them there.
Here is a complete list of entries for this week’s update to the Trump-Russia Timeline:
APRIL 2015: Trump and Torshin at NRA Convention
EARLY 2015: Trump Campaign Retains Parscale
APRIL 26, 2016: Papadopoulos Learns That Russians Have ‘Dirt’ on Hillary Clinton and Can Help Disseminate It (revision of previous entry)
OCT. 13, 2016: The Atlantic: Stone and WikiLeaks Communicate Directly
OCT. 30, 2016: WSJ: Internal FBI Feud Over Clinton Investigation
NOV. 8, 2016: Election Day Troubles (revision of previous entry)
NOV. 9, 2016: WikiLeaks Sends Message to Stone
NOV. 10, 2016: Zuckerberg Rejects “Crazy Idea” that Facebook Affected Election
JAN. 5, 2017: Intelligence Chiefs Brief Obama on Trump and Russia
MARCH 2017: Kushner Companies Gets Big Loans; SEC Drops Inquiry
OCT. 27, 2017: US Attorney Dana Boente Resigns; Later Gets New FBI Job (revision of previous entry)
FEB. 27, 2018: Trump Tweets
FEB. 27, 2018: Parscale Named Trump’s 2020 Campaign Manager
FEB. 27, 2018: Hicks Admits to “White Lies”; House Intelligence Committee Gets “Bannon’ed”
FEB. 27, 2018: Trump Dragging Feet on Disrupting Russian Interference Efforts
FEB. 27, 2018: Kushner Suffers Security Clearance Downgrade and Other Woes
FEB. 27-28, 2018: Trump Attacks Sessions Again; Sessions Counterpunches
FEB. 27-28, 2018: Mueller Eyes Trump’s Russian Connections and Hicks’ Denials
FEB. 28, 2018: Manafort Trial Date Set
FEB. 28, 2018: Hicks Announces Resignation
MARCH 3, 2018: Mueller Investigating UAE Election Influence
MARCH 4, 2018: Putin: Russia Will Never Allow US to Extradite Accused Russians
MARCH 5, 2018: Trump Tweets Another Lie About Russia Investigation