Far from being shy about having meddled in the 2016 election, members of the Russian government immediately spiked the proverbial football. On November 9, the morning after the election, Russian parliament burst into applause upon hearing the results of the election. The next day, Sergei Ryabkov, the country’s deputy foreign minister, told the news agency Interfax that “there were contacts” between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. “We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign,” Ryabkov said; “obviously, we know most of the people from [Trump’s] entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions. I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.”
Despite statements from multiple Trump administration officials saying there had been no interactions between the Trump campaign and Kremlin-linked individuals, the American public has since come to know about dozens of these contacts, including more than 70 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia linked operatives. We also know that at least 22 high-ranking campaign officials and Trump advisors were aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition.
For a complete list of these 82+ contacts, including 24 meetings, please see our report.