Friday, November 11, 2016

'Russian officials were openly jubilant about Trump’s victory'

The headline is an observation reported by the Washington Post: Moscow had contacts with Trump team during campaign, Russian diplomat says. The NY Times reported the same thing: Russian Officials Were in Contact With Trump Campaign, Diplomat Says.

The Trump spokewoman flatly denied it.

After the latest statement by the Russian diplomat, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied that there were interactions between Russia and the Trump team before Tuesday’s election.

“The campaign had no contact with Russian officials,” she said in an email.

But Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said in an interview with the state-run Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with the Trump team.

The assertion of the Russian diplomat jives with earlier reports of extensive contacts and connections between Moscow and Trump Tower none of which is mentioned in these most recent news stories. Notably, there is no mention of the secret communications link between the Trump Organization and the Russian Alfa Bank. See my post on all that from November 3rd, Evidence that Trump is The Moskovian Candidate.

Speaking to Bloomberg News, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said staff of Russia’s embassy in the United States met with members of Trump’s campaign — meetings she described as “normal practice.” Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign refused similar requests for meetings, she told the agency.

Asked later for clarification, a Foreign Ministry official declined to elaborate on Ryabkov’s remarks but said standard diplomacy called for “contact with the leaders in the campaign” on matters such as clarifying statements by the candidate or conveying interview requests from Russian journalists. The ministry official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The overall picture, of contacts between a candidate for president and a foreign power, is one of more than “normal practice”.

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