Sergey Kislyak, who served as Russia’s ambassador to the United States from 2008-2017, personally met with Donald Trump during the election.
Kislyak also met with numerous Trump campaign officials on multiple occasions, including ex-national-security adviser Michael Flynn, ex-Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser Carter Page, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, ex-Trump campaign policy adviser J.D. Gordon, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. In December 2016, while the Obama administration was considering sanctions against the Russian government, Kislyak held a private meeting with Flynn and Kushner at Trump Tower. During this meeting, Kislyak reportedly discussed the possibility of establishing a secure channel between the Trump team and the Kremlin. Kislyak met with then-Senator Jeff Sessions at least three times during the campaign and transition, twice during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016 and again in September in Sessions’ Senate office. Sessions had previously lied about the encounters, including while under oath at his confirmation hearing. During the Republican National Convention, Kislyak also met with Trump advisers Page and Gordon. Page has “refused to reveal the substance of the conversation, citing a confidentiality agreement.” On a number of occasions Kislyak privately discussed U.S. policy toward Russia, including sanctions, with Flynn. These conversations, which Flynn initially lied about, ultimately forced him to resign. Kislyak sat in the front row during Trump’s first campaign speech on foreign policy in April 2016, and Trump and Kislyak reportedly met after the speech. In May 2017, Trump reportedly revealed “highly classified information” to Kislyak in a White House meeting. (Photo credit: Valery Sharifulin / TASS via Getty Images)