For someone who spent a lot of time whining about Hillary Clinton’s emails, Donald Trump is certainly getting hammered over the unethical behavior outlined in his team’s own communications.
In the latest development in Trump’s Russia scandal, it’s been discovered that a conservative operative had been trying to set up a “back-channel meeting” between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. And apparently, this operative wanted to use a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention as the site.
Earlier today, The New York Times reported that conservative operative and NRA member Paul Erickson and Trump campaign adviser Rick Dearborn had been in communication via a May 2016 email titled “Kremlin Connection”, and this is what transpired:
In it, the N.R.A. member said he wanted the advice of Mr. Dearborn and Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, then a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump and Mr. Dearborn’s longtime boss, about how to proceed in connecting the two leaders.
Russia, he wrote, was ‘quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the U.S.’ and would attempt to use the N.R.A.’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., to make ‘first contact.’ The email, which was among a trove of campaign-related documents turned over to investigators on Capitol Hill, was described in detail to The New York Times.”
Erickson had written:
Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump. He wants to extend an invitation to Mr. Trump to visit him in the Kremlin before the election. Let’s talk through what has transpired and Senator Sessions’s advice on how to proceed.”
The New York Times reported that this email was just one of many ways that Russia was reaching out to Trump:
Another contact came through an American advocate for Christian and veterans causes, and together, the outreach shows how, as Mr. Trump closed in on the nomination, Russians were using three foundational pillars of the Republican Party — guns, veterans and Christian conservatives — to try to make contact with his unorthodox campaign.”
Featured image via Richard Ellis / Getty Images