“The dots continue to connect around Paul Manafort and his ties to Russia”, Representative Eric Swalwell, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, said.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer addressed the issue during Wednesday’s press briefing. “I prefer to communicate with the president through short, pithy memos, as I have for 39 years”, he said.
Since before President Trump’s inauguration, the public has seen a steady stream of reports alleging contact between members of his inner circle and the Kremlin.
Trump officials initially declined to comment on the Manafort story, saying they wouldn’t speak about a non-White House employee. Nunes’ statements on Wednesday appeared meant to validate the general point that Trump’s camp had been surveilled, although Nunes continued to make clear there had been no physical “wiretap” of Trump Tower in NY. He told the National Review on Monday that he still advises Trump, in fact.
During a Wednesday press conference, House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he “recently confirmed that, on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about USA citizens involved in the Trump transition”, according to CNBC. He’s been a leading focus of the USA government’s investigation into whether Trump associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign.
Nunes’ charges followed a report earlier in the day by the Associated Press that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had been paid millions by a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin to draft a strategy to improve Putin’s image in the West.
She also predicted that the constant trickle of new information about Russian involvement in the U.S. election process would force Republicans to yield to Democrats demand to task an independent, outside prosecutor to investigate the issue.
But Nunes said Wednesday his discovery did prove there was more general surveillance of Trump and his camp, apparently as part of legal and routine monitoring by USA intelligence of foreign targets overseas.
The statement brought another freakish turn in the hall of mirrors storyline about Trump, Russia, the election and its aftermath. Stone is reportedly under investigation by the FBI, and a Senate committee has asked him to retain all documents that could be related to its investigation into links between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
Manafort ran Trump’s campaign during the crucial months leading up to the Republican National Convention, where the billionaire real estate mogul claimed the party’s presidential nomination. “I don’t think we can describe Paul’s role as limited”, financier Anthony Scaramucci, who worked on Trump’s transition team, said on CNN. Stone also became a topic of FBI Director James Comey’s hearing Monday, in which House Democrats pressed for answers as to how Stone could have obtained such information.
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, along with the Obama Administration, approved a deal that gave Russian Federation one-fifth of America’s uranium reserves. In attempting to put together an $850 million deal to build luxury housing on the site of the Drake Hotel in New York City, the legal complaint alleged, Manafort and Gates were investing ill-gotten gains Firtash received for an energy deal he had done with a Russian firm.