Now it can be told. Russia did meet with campaign team members of Donald Trump, declared the winner in the USA Election Results 2016.
During the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump has nothing but praises for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has been quoted as saying, “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”
However, he denied having links to Putin. “I have nothing to do with Putin, I have never spoken to him, I don’t know anything about him, other than he will respect me,” Trump said in July.
FBI Preliminary Investigation Found No Evidence
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has looked into allegations that Trump or his associates have questionable dealings with Russia. However, sources said the bureau did not find any evidence to support a full investigation.
But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed that they did have contacts with Trump’s campaign team.
“There were contacts. We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign,” Ryabkov told Interfax on Thursday.
He says the Russian government knew about the contacts with Trump’s closest allies.
“Obviously, we know most of the people from his (Trump’s) entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions,” he said.
He clarifies that the contacts were not with all of Trump’s associates. “I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives,” he says in the Interfax interview.
The Russian Parliament warmly applauded when USA Election Results 2016 showed Trump emerged the victor.
Trump Spokeswoman Says Ryabkov Revelation Untrue
But Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied Ryabkov’s statements. When asked if Ryabkov’s comments were accurate, Hicks answered: “absolutely not.”
Ryabkov’s statements alarmed European leaders and top military officials. They called on Trump to clarify his position on NATO and Russia.
During the campaign, Trump said the US should look at possible leaving NATO because it was “obsolete and extremely expensive.”
Lithuania’s incoming prime minister Saulius Skvernelis expressed hope Trump’s “rhetoric on defense and Russia” was just part of the election campaign, Telegraph reports.