The Russia-Trump Connection: Fabrication or Conspiracy?
During the course of the controversial 2016 American elections, there were allegations of criminal misconduct against both candidates. There were rumors throughout the campaign linking Russia and Trump and whispers that Russian president Vladimir Putin was helping to get Trump elected.
As evidence for this alliance, the Democrats pointed out how their computer servers were hacked which ended up revealing embarrassing information about how Bernie Sanders was unfairly treated by party leadership. The hack was traced back to Russian agents. To give weight to this conspiracy theory, Trump stated that he might not aid NATO nations against attack from Russia. This would certainly give Russia a motive for wanting to see Trump elected.
More disturbing revelations have recently come to light. In June 2016 Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer who claimed to have damning information on Donald Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, also had a meeting with four Russian ambassadors in April, 2016 . He has denied colluding with Russia. The meeting was initially omitted on the disclosure form.
According to him, ““All of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign. I did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did.”
For conspiracy theorists, the question is raised as to why two members of the Trump family met with Russian agents.
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, also met with a Russian ambassador on multiple occasions while working on the Trump campaign as National Security Advisory Committee chairman.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, had links to Russia and appeared in “black accounts” which were linked to Ukraine’s former president who himself had Russian ties.
On Jan. 10th, 2017 Sessions appeared before the Senate. He was asked by Senator Al Franken, “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”
Sessions responded that “Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, lied to the Pentagon about receiving income from Russia. Since becoming president, Trump has had one private meeting with the Russian president and revealed classified information to a Russian ambassador.
So far, the Russian investigation has been mostly a mixture of speculation, implication and innuendo. Evidence does exist to indicate that there was some sort of collusion between Trump and the Russian government, but the degree of such collusion is unclear. The investigation into Russia-Trump ties continues.