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Trump, cabinet found to have ties to Russia

Many artists have satirized the Trump administration's connections with Russia, as shown here.

Photo via Google under Creative Commons license

Many artists have satirized the Trump administration's connections with Russia, as shown here.

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Russian hackers have been tied to hacks in the recent American presidential election since late July when they were found to have infiltrated the servers of the DNC, and later, the RNC. Although only DNC documents were leaked to the public, it has become apparent that Russia still has its hands in the RNC with the recent termination of Mike Flynn, former national security advisor under the newly formed Trump administration, for having extensive ties to Russia.

It has been shown that Flynn collected nearly $68,000 in fees from Russian entities in 2015, most of which was from the Russian national television network, RT. He has recently requested immunity in the proceedings of Senate investigations regarding Russian involvement in recent electoral proceedings.

Although it appears that only Flynn has been chastised for Russian connections, it appears that he is not the only member of the Trump administration that has them.

There are now officially two separate Senate committees investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, in addition to the FBI as a part of their investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election in general.

Jared Kushner, son-in-law to President Donald Trump and husband to Ivanka Trump, has recently allowed one such Senate committee to investigate his personal business dealings with Russia. This came up as a result of conflicting reports from the Kremlin and from the White House of meetings between Kushner and the CEO of a state-owned Russian bank.

The Kremlin claims that they were meeting “…as part of the preparation of the new strategy, [and that] executives of Vnesheconombank met with representatives of leading financial institutes in Europe, Asia, and America multiple times during 2016…,” the bank told Reuters.  

“…During the talks, the existing practices of foreign development banks and promising trends were discussed,” the bank continued. The meeting took place “…with a number of representatives of the largest banks and business establishments of the United States, including Jared Kushner, the head of Kushner Companies…”

Despite Kremlin claims, the Trump administration claims that “…Jared attended the meeting in his capacity as a transition official…,” according to a Business Insider interview with a senior White House official.

The unclear nature of Kushner’s meetings with the bank is not only concerning due to the circumstances regarding the election in which his father-in-law came to power, but also due to the fact that the Vnesheconombank was sanctioned by the United States following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. The situation reflects that of Flynn, who previously misrepresented his contact with Russian ambassadors prior to his appointment to the White House.

In addition to this, Trump’s personal connections to Russia have become so extensive that Mother Jones has gone so far as to create an entire list, tracking Trump’s interactions with Russia all of the way back to the 1980s. The list includes everything from relocating Miss Universe Pageants to Moscow, to praising Putin’s personal policies on national television, to receiving personal gifts from the Russian politician.

Recently, a dossier recollecting illicit activities of Trump while on a visit to Russia has been released by a counter intelligence agency. The report has been widely dismissed as a result of its inclusion of a report of Trump’s interaction with Russian prostitutes.  

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Trump, cabinet found to have ties to Russia