Trump Team’s Links to Russia Crisscross in Washington

A growing list of contacts between the president’s associates and Russia is drawing increasing scrutiny, a furor that Mr. Trump called a “total witch hunt.”

Comments: 216

  1. Why should the Russians care at all? They should be enjoying this.

  2. They might not be enjoying the exposé. Presumably they prefer their machinations to remain covert. Then again, they may not care indeed.

  3. Why would they enjoy so much scrutiny?

  4. I'll tell you why they aren't enjoying this - they put their efforts into Trump, most likely with his help or what have you, but they expected Clinton to win and have a so-so dragging your baggage around kind of presidency. But what they get is an unpredictable idiot in the White House and half his staff now connected to them so there is now 3 or 4 times the scrutiny on them from our intelligence agencies. We are on to their hacking. Their connections etc etc.

    I bet this is the last thing they really expected and or wanted.

  5. I wonder if so many who obviously knew better going in but have boarded the Trump train for political expediency ( I'm looking at you Mr. House Speaker) are waking up in the middle of the night terrified of the premonitions they are having as to where history will judge them ?

  6. We should also be looking at McConnell

  7. I don't. These people don't care about history. Or about doing the right thing. Ryan used to quote and probably still does worship the selfishness of Ayn Rand, unless, of course, he is on the campaign trail, Presidential or Representative, in which case he quotes St. Thomas Aquinas.

  8. They are sleeping like babies.

  9. Keep digging NY Times a complete picture of what went on in our national election and what crimes have or have not been committed by Trump and his surrogates. If there was collusion to effect the outcome of the election with a foreign power, if there were financial dealings that were illegal we may be able to rid ourselves of this crude con man and the posse of billionaires and misanthropes he has brought with him. Thank you for the hard work you are doing.

  10. I fully support this comment. Our 'Grey Lady', together with her respected print colleagues of America's newspapers and their associated investigators are now rising as our critical national bulwark, again. The truth will save our nation. As noted many decades ago by H. L. Mencken — 'Truth would quickly cease to be stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it.'

  11. As citizens of this country, we have a right to know if the so called POTUS who lost the popular vote by 3 million and won't release his tax returns is a Russian puppet.

    A full investigation into the Russian connection now!

  12. Losing the popular vote is like your opponent, who lost, gaining more yards in a football game. Totally meaningless.

  13. AZ, football games and yards are just that, only games without much, if any, meaning. They pale in comparison to our elections and our voters. One person one vote. Count it up.

  14. @interested9: but we DO NOT elect the President by a purely democratic "one man, one vote" system -- we have a Constitution which clearly spells out how the President is elected, and it is by the Electoral College.

    I know you and some others WANT a popular vote to determine the Presidency, but it is simply not possible without changing the Constitution -- a long & difficult job you Democrats DID NOT UNDERTAKE after the 2000 election debacle. If THAT did not convince you to change the rules, what would?

    Also: you are forgetting that prior to the election, serious analysts like Nate Cohen of The Upshot predicted that while Trump might have a long shot at the popular vote...he had NO path to victory in the Electoral College, as Hillary had a "wall" of states there she had a lock on.

    So an election where a DEMOCRAT lost the popular vote, but won the EC is entirely possible. You could change the law and then LOSE. Would that make you happy?

  15. So much smoke...... we'll see the fire soon enough. What will it take for GOP senators and house members to do the right thing and save our democracy?

  16. You expect traitors "to do the right thing"?

  17. The twelfth of never, they are fascists, the are traitors of our country.

  18. It is important for everyone to put pressure on the GOP to stand for our country over their party.

    This is all on them. Trump is the anomaly. The GOP has chosen Trump over America so they must now do the dirty work or go down with the ship.

  19. There's no way around it; there must be a special prosecutor. There are obvious questions that the Trump administration won't answer:

    * What was Flynn talking to the Ambassador about? Why did he lie to Pence?

    * What was Sessions talking to the Ambassador about? Why lie ditto?

    * Why was the Trump campaign making so much contact with the Russians, more generally?

    * The hacking, the hacking, the hacking....

  20. And why won't Trump release his tax returns? If not his returns for 2015 because of them still being audited, then how about his returns for 2014, or 2013, or 2012???

  21. * Manafort: think he knows a lot about the Russian hacking.

  22. The impeachment process should start now so by the time Trump's treason is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, the legal requirement, he will be removed quickly,before causing catastrophic damage.

  23. Too late. Trump has already caused catastrophic damage.

  24. "Mr. Trump’s adamant insistence that he and his associates “have nothing to do with Russia."
    How do we know? there is a lot of business transactions with Russia. it is time for Donald Trump to release his tax returns. Is it still in audit?

  25. An audit was never a viable reason for not releasing his tax returns. It was nonsense.

  26. The IRS has said repeatedly, it can release its tax returns during an audit, they are its to release. I have a feeling that its tax returns never leave an audit status.

  27. In 2005 the Trump boys noted that a lot of Russian money was pouring into Trump Inc.

  28. Mr. Beyrle, former US ambassador to Moscow, says we shouldn't assume meeting with Russian officials is wrong. The problem is, though, that Trump's people deny they ever met with Russian officials, and when confronted with evidence they say they forgot the meeting. If Trump's advisors and Cabinet members weren't doing something wrong, why do they initially deny the phone calls or meetings took place? The fact that they lie about it suggests they are guilty of something.

  29. Maybe not. Some or many could be pathological liars who lie as a matter of course regardless of the importance of the matter.

  30. You are so correct about this. It isn't the contact these people had with Russian officials, it is the denial of contact. But the new information about possible FISA approved wiretapping (don't know if this has been verified yet but was on BBC because President Trump went all twitteraholic about it) muddies the water.
    But in the end it isn't the crime, it is the cover up that will get you.

  31. Follow the money then we'll see what's what. When Mr. Trump and his associates reveal their taxes and financial accounts a clearer picture will emerge. So far, they have hidden their financials and their meetings; this constitutes the smoke and the fire. What the ambassador gets wrong in his assessment is that there may be financial entanglements, along with secret meetings, that have not been made transparent.

  32. I agree with Ambassador Beyrle that "we're beginning to out-Russian the Russians" by treating all contacts as suspicious. It is an anti-Russian hysteria. Sure, we need to investigate thoroughly any Russian hacking, propaganda, and other efforts to influence the elections. We need to do this in order to protect ourselves and respond effectively and pre-emptively to future efforts here and abroad by Russians or others. But, we don't need to talk about "acts of war" or assume a pious stance when we have routinely sought, through fair and foul means, to elect or install friendly governments around the world, and remove unfriendly ones. Yes, we need to investigate thoroughly any evidence of wrongdoing in the Trump campaign: collusion in electoral interference, shady financial transactions, potential blackmail. We should press hard for Trump's tax returns and we must hold American citizens accountable to US law. Finally, those who oppose Mr. Trump and want to see the Trump Era end quickly should reflect on whether championing a new Cold War is the best way to do that. Trump's presidency is an attack on values, institutions, and programs millions of Americans hold dear, let's keep our eye on the ball and defend those. Let's also reflect on why Trump won an election he should have lost in a landslide: Russia is not responsible for that. I'm sick of the drumbeat of Russia bashing. It's dangerous and distracting.

  33. Grow up, James. We are in the position of France in July 1940, but the military conquest turned into a cyber conquest. Trump and his team are collaborators, and the GOP is so besotted by their trifecta that they don't care who the true masters are.
    If you learned ANYTHING in your history classes, you'll realize what's happening, and what needs to be done to fix it.
    Allons, enfants!

  34. The Russians did everything they could to interfere with our election. That is not acceptable.

  35. You write: Let's also reflect on why Trump won an election he should have lost in a landslide.
    Okay

    #1 Drive Hillary's numbers down with endless Benghazi hearings
    #2 Keep chanting 'lock her up!' until people forget there's no there there
    #3 Hands off Bernie!
    #4 Release stolen emails from DNC when Trump's self confessed sexual assaults hit the fan.
    #5 Cue Comey

    James of Falstaff. A majority of three million were sick of the drumbeat of Hillary bashing, especially since so little of it was anything but lies whipped up into hysteria. Sorry you're currently feeling endangered and distracted!

  36. If all the meetings were innocent, why lie about them, either under oath or to the Vice President?

  37. Deny, deny, and keep denying until you can't deny any longer.

    The Trump administration hasn't gotten off the ground. You can't govern only by EO's. The Trump administration may not get off the ground easily. Major distraction and this Russia-Putin gate will be with us until it's concluded. Mike Pence will have to wait for a while.

  38. But they're not interested in governing. They're interested in dismantling it. That's the reason behind the nonsensical nominees whose purpose is to undermine the very agencies they are tasked to head, and the delays in handing over critical documents for the hearings.

  39. Trump just isn't the sort one consents to be governed by, if one believes reason and equitable negotiation are crucial elements of sustainable civilized public behavior.

  40. Obama governed only by executive orders (EO's).

  41. I certainly don't think Russia "threw" the election in any real sense. But even if you charitably assume that Trump just has some cozy business connections with the Russians, there are two facts that are hard to get past: 1) the choice of Tillerson as Secretary of State. In U.S. history, we've never had a Secretary of State with no real foreign policy experience. Why wouldn't Trump put an experienced diplomat in that role, in the same way he put experienced military guys into military roles? The only plausible reason to pick Tillerson is because he'd been asked to by the Russians (because of potential oil deals) or had cut a deal with the Russians. 2) The fact that Trump said in his campaign that he hoped the Russians hacked Hillary's emails. It was a weird comment to make unless he was in on that choice from the beginning. I'm pretty sure the "big thing" that Trump is hiding is that he was in on the DNC hack ahead of time. (Interestingly, according to Comey, the only Republicans who got hacked by Russia were Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who are both openly critical of Trump. That makes the whole thing look a lot like opposition research.) Because of Watergate, Trump knows that being in on the hack is an impeachable offense. That's the big mystery that Trump is covering up. And that's why he wants his supporters to distrust: the press that could dig up the dirt, the intelligence community that could confirm it, and the justice system that could prosecute it.

  42. Trump isn't an equitable negotiator. He will cut off his own nose to spite your face.

  43. Trump did NOT SAY he "hoped the Russians hacked Hillary's emails". Nor did he tell them to hack her emails.

    At the point he made the comment about the emails...Hillary had not been Secretary of State for 3.5 years. He was talking about something (the hacking) that had happened that long ago! There was nobody to direct anymore. It was a done deal.

    What he SAID was that SINCE they had ALREADY hacked Hillary's servers...they had the MISSING 33,000 emails that Hillary had her staff remove by using "bleach bit" to destroy them. And Trump said therefore, the Russians had her 33,000 emails and boy, wouldn't it be great if they RELEASED THOSE to the public (via Wikileaks).

    Releasing vs. hacking: two different things.

    Frankly, I'd love to read those missing 33,000 emails.

  44. Instructive lesson from past. Reagan and Iran-Contra. Reagan escaped impeachment because it could not be proven he knew.

  45. Trump's tax returns will go a long way to clearing the air surrounding this affair.

  46. Trump's tax returns no doubt lead to shell corporations with bombproof law firms hiding them. I wonder why he will not release them, like other Presidential candidates do?

  47. @Allen: I have no doubt, if Trump borrowed massive sums from anyone, it is hidden under layers of shell corporations.

    BUT THAT IS NOT ILLEGAL in and of itself. Even borrowing from Russian banks is NOT ILLEGAL.

    Why won't Trump release his tax returns? DUH! Read the comments here. You don't want to simply peruse his taxes; you want to use them to bash and denigrate and humiliate Trump as was done to Mitt Romney (also for perfectly legal tax returns).

    Trump learned from Romney, and I think in the future we'll see other candidates refuse to reveal their tax returns. It is just a path to envy and nasty snark.

    It is also not legally required. There is NO LAW requiring a candidate or a President to reveal their tax returns.

    If you want such a law....pass the law. Don't just sit there on your hands, complaining, but doing nothing.

  48. The premise of this so-called scandal is debatable -- it wrongly assumes that Russia is our enemy.
    Who cares ? Except for some cold war relics who still see Russia as a threat, millennials are more interested in MAGA.
    It's getting rather dull and tedious. Move on.

  49. Here's why Millennials should care. Because Putin and the Russian oligarchs are essentially a mob. Raking in billions from oil and gas, and when Putin has finished rolling across Ukraine, he may well turn to the Baltics and Poland. And while he does that, he's bankrolling the European far right.

    No, it isn't Rocky and Bullwinkle and Natasha and Boris anymore. Its something far more sinister. And ultimately destabilizing.

  50. Theres so much smoke here that the burden of proof has definitely shifted to the Trumpster. If there's nothing to see here, then why not do what you can to prove it? Why not open your doors and invite a full investigation? Why not show us your taxes? I think you're smart enough to know why not...

  51. 1. Hacking is a crime. If any of Trump's campaign advisors colluded with the hacking in any way, they are guilty of conspiracy.

    2. Trump seems to have deep financial ties to Russia which may create a conflict of interest and unduly influence our policy. The American people at the very least deserve to know the extent of those interests.

    3. We need a thorough investigation and analysis of all the methods Russia used to influence our electoral process covertly so that we can figure out how to thwart them in the future. Exactly how much interference by a foreign entity do you consider acceptable?

  52. All of this could very easily be disproved. All Trump has to do is to shoe his tax returns. the returns will show that he has not connection what so ever with Russia I wonder why Trump. ( the Fruher), will not release his tax retruns

  53. Do you never file your own taxes? Tax returns don't show things like that. If Trump borrowed money...it was to a dozen shell corporations in tax havens, buried under tons of legalese.

    His returns are not going to say "I.O.U. Vladimir Putin $100 million in exchange for messing up the 2016 elections".

    Come on! go get a copy of a tax form, and read it. It doesn't show the kind of information you think (or wish) it would.

  54. CC- So if he has nothing to hide or can keep it hidden so well, what is he afraid of??
    He promised to release his taxes after the campaign. Why the silence about breaking his promises? Obama was attacked endlessly for naively stating you could keep your doctor and the rights' heads exploded! So why the silence on yet one more broken promise? Mexico will pay for the wall? I'll release my taxes? Repeal Obamacare day one? We'll be winning so much we'll get sick of winning?
    Again if he has NOTHING to hide why refuse? It would put the matter to rest once and for all. Just come clean and that will be the end of it. Nixon proclaimed his innocence as well. So did Reagan in Iran/Contra Affair. Things didn't go too well for either of their administrations. The taxpayers, those who actually PAY the salaries, have a right to know if our president or any of his advisors colluded with Russia. When we abdicate our rights our democracy is finished. Trump and company WORK for us. As their EMPLOYERS we demand to know the truth!!

  55. There will be no relenting on this issue, nor should there be, until Mr. Trump releases his financial records, including his tax return. He must prove to the American people that he is not in debt to Russians, that he owes no financial allegiance to Russia, that he is truly independent of Russia.

    His actions tell us otherwise. His words tell us otherwise. We should be deeply suspicious until there is clear proof that he is looking out for our interests.

  56. "White House accused of blocking information on bank's Trump-Russia links"
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/27/commerce-nominee-wilbur-...
    Article examines, in part, Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross' role at the Bank of Cypress where he maintained contacts with long-time Putin ally and investor Viktor Vekselberg and Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former vice-chairman of Bank of Cyprus who is also a former KGB agent with a close relationship to Putin. Ross recruited Deutsch Bank CE Ackerman to the bank's board. Deutsch Bank is rumored to be Trump's larger creditor.

  57. Even if the Russians owned him so what? He is our president. People still loved Reagan after his team sold weapons to Iran. The very Iran Trump wants to go to war with. What is different now? Do you see a pattern? I do. Awful fiscal policy mostly plagued our last GOP presidents except for George HW Bush and they also had dicey foreign policy ideas which included consorting with the enemy, Nixon and China, Reagan and Iran and now Trump and Russia. No we don't care what that GOP does so long as the economy doesn't get to bad. Why else is Trump in office?

  58. Someone please hack the IRS and release this bufoons taxes. Follow the money, his lust for power compromised our democracy to the point of treason.

  59. As detailed in a Forbes article by Bryan Camp and Victor Thuronyi (2/21/17), an IRS employee with authorization to view Trump's returns is allowed to leak them. Quote: Section §6103(f)(5) is a whistleblower exception to the general rule of nondisclosure... It permits disclosure of tax returns to one of the tax-writing committees by “any person who otherwise has or had access to any return or return information under this section” when that person believes that “such return or return information may relate to possible misconduct, maladministration, or taxpayer abuse.”

    Can we pass this info around? Surely we can get it an authorized IRS employee.

  60. You are opposed to Trump because of "Russian hacking".

    Ergo, you call to hack Trump's PRIVATE tax returns within the IRS -- making the IRS both corrupt and vulnerable. Do you want your tax returns published to the world? No privacy, it's all public info?

    Calling on the IRS to be hacked is saying you want YOUR OWN NATION to have no control over private documents or citizen's tax records! Just to try and attack Donald Trump.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  61. I agree. I cannot believe there is not one single patriotic IRS employee who will do the decent thing and get us the liar in chief's tax returns. What is wrong with the IRS employees? And what about the other hackers out there? Not one decent patriot among them?

  62. Would have have ever thought the Russians would reveal Republicans believe in nothing?

  63. They might believe in active CYA, as the Russians also hacked the official (and unofficial) RNC servers. What misdeeds might be documented there?

  64. The water level in the D.C. swanp got a lot higher since trump took office.

  65. and emptied into the wh

  66. No, no. He drained the swamp. And built a cesspool.

  67. That's not water; it's sewage.

  68. They are getting Putin's help to make America great again.

  69. Technicians still don't know the date to reset the clock to American greatness.

  70. "They" better watch what they wish for. Putin will find China a harder nut to crack.

    The take-away from all the controversy is to "Make China great again." Will our allies look to a weather vane leadership or to a steady, you-can-take-it-to-the-bank (if inimical) regime? To a backward looking, nationalistic economic vision, or a forward-looking, international (if selfish) vision?

    In all the ways that count, America is turning from leadership to losership. Who will others follow?

  71. It's pretty silly of this current president to think that burying his investments in Russia with offshore shell companies will work when his team obsessively called their contacts to confirm that things are fine and nothing would come to light.

  72. While it is possible and even commendable to have meetings with foreign officials while running campaigns and holding public office, it is never commendable to lie about it later, either by denying it ever happened, changing your story or conveniently forgetting what was talked about. One would be hard-pressed to find a Republican who did something good who didn't shout it from the mountaintops. What they are trying to hide regarding Russia's role in the election may ultimately be exposed, but we all know they were doing everything they could, legal, illegal, ethical and unethical, to defeat Hillary Clinton and regain the Presidency, and the American people are the worse for it.

  73. If one behaves as though one believes one is guilty, people will ask why.

  74. Perhaps the Russian-hacked RNC server(s) exposed secrets worth holding over the Republicans' heads.

  75. This has been Republican strategy for some time think Nixon meeting with So Vietnam encouraging the boycotting of peace talks for domestic political gain. Reagan dealing with Iran to keep the hostages until after the election and then trading arms for their release. Now trump and Russia it doesn't take much to imagine trump's smarmy lieutenants Bannon, Miller, and Sessions making a similar play. This is just business as usual for Republicans.

  76. Is there fire behind the smoke, or is it just shade and suspicion? If there is nothing to hide, then Team Trump should have nothing to fear from an independent investigation. The alarming tendency of Trump advisors to develop amnesia about their Russian contacts makes me suspicious.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we could use some sunlight just about now.

  77. With Trump, one is forced to ask if there is anything there in the first place.

  78. Who among us is surprised by the growing list of contacts with Russian leaders?

    Who among us think that there hasn't been a momentous amount of Russian financial support for Trump's businesses?

    Who among us can't see the connections between these two things?

  79. Me, for one. You say there's a momentous amount of Russian financial support for Trump's businesses. Can you please name two?

  80. One has to ask if Putin has bank rolled Trump's campaign. If Trump is broke as I suspect he is, where has all that money come from?

  81. One can avoid seeing, hearing, or speaking at any stage of the process.

  82. All those named or identified (Trump campaign team) who spoke to the Russians during the campaign must appear in front of the investigative committee and testify under oath. Nothing else will satisfy the American public.

  83. Then so too should all those who've been leaking this stuff. No secrets. No keeping Democratic secrets either.

  84. Mark, if your boy and his minions are guilty, it will be found out and they shall pay for it. Then whom shall thou so stuffily defend?

  85. we had a senator, now the ag lie to its confirmation committee, duh.

  86. Obviously none of the disclosures to date is clear, smoking-gun proof of wrong-doing. I think it's not good to jump to conclusions. (This goes double for those pre-disposed to wanting Trump in trouble so he loses power.)

    That said, one would at least like a decent explanation, which is as yet unavailable.

    The sheer quantity of these contacts; other less confirmed leads, such as the reports of a deeply concealed server-to-server link between the Trump Org and a Russian group, which might be nothing or might be something; of course the infamous dossier; and perhaps most of all the bizarre behavior of the administration--in sum they do start to shift one's view.

    If there's nothing to see here, why not just let investigators in, throw open your records, come out with a forceful statement that there's nothing to hide?

    Why try and bully the FBI? Or give misleading testimony to congress that's slippery at best and possibly perjury? Or lie to your boss about talking to the ambassador? Or say your people have "nothing to do with the Russians" while also claiming that talking to them is business as usual?

    Remember the time during the DNC that Trump gave a press conference and asked the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's email?

    I really don't want to jump to conclusions. The truth is important, and speculation serves no one.

    On the other hand: It feels like the burden of proof is really starting to shift here.

  87. Well put, reasonable argument. Thank you.

  88. Let's see Trump's taxes!

  89. Show us the TAX RETURNS.

  90. INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION NOW.

  91. Independent of what?

  92. If this is a witch hunt, call me Dorothy. This is definitely worse than Watergate.

  93. Why do our esteemed Republican members of Congress not step forward and demand a complete explanation? Do these guy think that when the Hammer and Sickle is flying over the US Capital they will be spared?

  94. Of course; they envy the oligarchs and want to become oligarchs themselves!

  95. 'Why do our esteemed Republican members of Congress not step forward and demand a complete explanation?' Is this really your question or were you being ironic? What has the Republican party been doing to this country for the last thirty years? They just weren't prepared for Trump/Putin or Putin/Trump.

  96. << rolls eyes >>

    You do know that the USSR is gone for over 25 years now? and that THE RUSSIAN REPUBLIC does not fly the hammer & sickle flag of the USSR?

  97. We are well past believing the prevarications and excuses and pretzel logic. The only thing remaining is a full and forceful investigation and then, indictments.

  98. If they just resign, don't pursue them vindictively.

  99. Trump owned the Miss Universe Beauty contest, held in Russia, then he denies having had relations with authorities. You can not do ny business in Russia without the approval of the Kremlin.

    Sessions denies under oath having met with Russians, oh it was just an inadvertent memory lapse. The guy who is supposed to the the U.S. AG has memory lapses? The whole Trump collection of friends and acquaintances is corrupt, a collection of perjurers. What they talked about is immaterial, they are just plain liars.

    However what is worse, is those who do not believe it and support him. Those who support a documented swindler, liar, abuser of women, a braggart, a fearmonger, someone polite society would not have in their home, they are the real threat to our liberty and peace, they prefer totalitarianism to democratic rule, they are the dregs of society.

  100. It is very liberating to follow in the footsteps of an idol who was senile, like Ronald Reagan.

  101. David, there are lots of business that went to Russian, The big MacDonald’s burgers and pies are there too. Liberals is showing their true face that this system of Democracy is not good for them. If they win then it’s ok if they lose than the liberal extremism starts calling and cursing bad names. You guys had 8 years of a liberal agenda and want keep that way forever? Better chose a dictatorial system.

  102. Trump thinks his adolescent sarcasm about an old photo of Putin and Schnumer is appropriate for a president of the United States whose word and deeds trouble his fellow Americans? The immaturity of Trump and his responses is almost as troubling and dangerous as his cavalier attitude toward the office he holds.

  103. Grown-ups know that ambassadors are official spies with diplomatic immunity. Everybody needs to verify to trust.

  104. You can easily see where he got his slanted info---Breitbart. There was NO fact checking at all.

  105. Donald Trump built his fortune (albeit starting on second base) on lies. He has bragged about it for decades. Lying is an addiction that starts with a small fib and grows into an inability to tell the truth. He lied his way into office. He continues to lie -- every day -- in the most outlandish ways. So why should we take anything he says seriously? "A witch hunt"? No, Donald. A majority of the American people, who voted against you, want the truth about your connections to the Kremlin. Yell and scream if you want, but we want the truth.

  106. Come on you traitorous republicans, do your job.
    you are pitiful.

  107. REVOTE this sorry excuse for an election!
    We deserve and need better governance than this.
    Not sayin we deserve much...just sayin we deserve a whole lot more than this!!!

  108. What did President Bannon know and when did he know it?

  109. Even Blind Freddy can see we need an inquiry...trouble is who to trust with the overseeing?!?

  110. I do not think "witch hunt" and "fake news" mean what Trump thinks they mean.

  111. This is going to be bigger than watergate, if is not there already.

    The reaction by the trump administration is like deja-vu all over again, complete with denials, cover ups, and demonization of the media covering the scandal.

    Woodward and Bernstein, we need you !

  112. The tip of an iceberg ...

  113. Let's have another round of sturgeon eggs and vodka for a transition team enamored with making "Amerika Red Again!" Too bad it's "America", not a satellite that furthers the interest of a Neo-Soviet Russia. No Donald…it's time to make America America again.

  114. It's a WHICH hunt:

    * Which Trumpite to be shown to have met with a Russian agent next?
    * Which Trumpite will lie next?
    * Which Trumpite will go to prison first?

  115. How many investigations did the Republicans put the Clintons, Bill and Hillary, through? And this is not considered an issue for them?

    Isn't this the party that's always waving the flag and claiming they are the REAL Americans? The one that's always claimed the moral high ground? Yeah, right.

    Now they're led by a three-time married, adulterous liar with dubious ties to Russia. And how's that private email account working for you Mr. Vice President?

  116. did you ever peel an onion?

  117. We all know that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it probably is a duck.

    Well, what do you get if you cross a duck with a Trojan horse?

    Donald Duck!

  118. How many cuts does this bring the total to, and how many remain until we reach the magic 1,000?

  119. Given how very plausible a Trump-Russia connection has always been--Trump in debt to his eyeballs, persona non grata with American banks, clearly loyal only to himself--it makes me sick the NYT is really investigating this only now.

  120. Let's see the tax returns. Income (or lack thereof) from Russians would be quite interesting to know about

  121. Make America Great Again? Hardly. Everyone who fell for this line are complicit in destroying our democracy. Who knew? Well some of us tried to warn you, but you were too fired up chanting Lock Her Up! to notice you were helping Trump and company sell America out to Russia.

  122. Romney warned about the Russians in 2007 and everyone laughed at him..but after the loss in 2012, the GOP has clearly opened the door to anything that would give them power. They have it now thanks to to the deal with the Russians and it seems that no one is patriotic enough to stand up for the American people. The GOP will be destroyed by this..it is very deep and they are complicit if not all in.

  123. Romney warned about Russia in 2012 in the foreign policy debate. Obama made fun of him. How things have changed!

  124. Donald Trump is not a customer of major New York investment bankers and reportedly sought and obtained financing, loans and investors from Russia, the Ukraine and other eastern European sources. All this began in the late 1980's and continue(s) into the present. When the President of the United States is a debtor to foreign nations whose politics and objectives are adverse to U.S. interest it is a matter of concern. Or isn't it? Those elected Republican Congressmen/women and Senators turn a blind eye. When Mr. Trump said "Put America First" it means something to his followers. I need to know if Mr. Trump is being "trumped" by his debts to non-US lenders and if he is being compromised to their purposes. Speak to me Mr. Trump.

  125. Benghazi. Whitewater. Emails.

    Tell the architect of the Birther Lie to ask Hillary Clinton about witch hunts.

  126. Yep - I guess this Times and its readers think it's pretty much of a scandal that the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Sessions) net with the Russian Ambassador. How dare Mr Sessions do his job of protecting the country?

  127. Actually, Amy, we don't.

    We think it's a scandal that the Attorney General LIED about those meetings.

    What part of this don't you get?

    Meetings with representatives of foreign governments--fine. Lying under oath about meetings with representatives of foreign governments--perjury and treason.

  128. I'm pretty sure that deliberately lying in one's confirmation hearing is not in the "protecting the country" job description.

  129. Remember the Wizard of Oz scene when the Wicked Witch of the west gets doused with water and all the winged monkeys "turncoat"and cheer her demise. That was a witch hunt. We are getting close. Who's got that pail?

  130. Congress needs to conduct a thorough and independent investigation. We should not have to have the slightest concern that our Executive Branch colluded with the Russians to tamper with the election, wittingly or unwittingly,. And tax returns would demonstrate a motive for Trump to speak so favorably about Putin. Or not. But much of what we do know is frightening so let's waste no more time figuring out the entire story.

  131. It is difficult to understand why, in this day and age of instant communication and cameras everywhere--Trump would so vehemently deny his associations and communications with Russia. It seems the only explanation that makes sense is Trump is hoping no one noticed. Fat chance!

  132. The GOP should be forced into investigating the Russians as interlopers in our election. There is smoke and probably some flames in this miserable political imbroglio. A witch hunt, as Trump describes it, is required to clear the air. Maybe I will get my wish for this GOP administration, that being an early termination of this government. There are so many dogs in office with this cabal of wealth and corruption that an early end to it would be very welcome.

  133. Consider the misinformation coming from so many individuals in Trump's administration about Russian connections and the misinformation coming from President Trump himself.

    The encouraging yet frightening news is that the Trump-Russian puzzle pieces are assembling to form a picture not only of collusion but of a kind of Keystone Cops degree of incompetence. No wonder the Russians are having buyers remorse, just like the increasing number of Trump voters except the latter are more clueless.

  134. I doubt it's buyer's remorse. If Trump was their pick, it was probably never as a friend but as someone who would send the USA into a spiral of discord and dislocation.

  135. Trump's Russian ties keep growing:
    #1-Sessions, General Flynn, Carter Page lie under oath about Russian contacts
    #2-US intelligence agencies confirm truth of elements contained in Russian dossier on Trump
    #3-Add'l staff Roger Stone, son-in-law Kushner, Trump's lawyer have multiple Russian contacts; Trump's lawyer shows up at WH with a Russian-friendly Ukraine peace plan
    #4-"The Curious World of Donald Trump’s Private Russian Connections" details how Russia funneled money to Trump through U.S.-based emigre retirees
    #5- Trump Server Communicates With Russia reports Slate Magazine, 10/31/2016
    #6-Putin ties to Exxon Chief Rex Tillerson to push $500B oil dev deal
    #7-Russian-paid fake news bloggers release fake news stories critical of Clinton
    #8-Wikileaks under Russians tutelage publish Democratic Party-hacked info to tip election
    #9-17 U.S. intelligence agencies report U.S. election, hack dismissed by Trump
    #10-Trump threatens other countries, long-time U.S. supporters, allies -- but praises, defends Putin
    #11-Trump appoints Wilber Ross commerce secretary; Ross' Bank of Cypress has ties to long-time Putin ally Viktor Vekselberg & former vice-chairman Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent with a close relationship to Putin. Russia invests in Bank. Deutsch Bank CE recruited by Ross. Deutsch largest Trump creditor.
    #12--Trump campaign manager Manafort, paid $12+m to lobby for Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych; changes Republican platform.

  136. I'm not so sure it's buyer's remorse. One plausible theory is that Putin desires a domestically distracted US separated from her traditional European allies. With the chaos the Trump Administration is bringing he will be able to expand in eastern Europe.

    In unrelated news Sweden has reinstated a military draft.

  137. It's obvious that Mr. Sessions' answer to Senator Franken had been prepared. Why else would he have volunteered more information than was requested? But I think he meant to say something in the nature of 'as a representative of the Trump campaign, I would not have had a meeting with the Russian authorities'--giving him the potential dodge that his meeting was not as a representative of the campaign.

    But, once again, we see corruption tempered by incompetence.

    The question needs to be asked: why did he see the need to withhold information about these meetings? (It's not possible to believe that he didn't remember them.) And why did they feel the need to prepare this answer.

    One might also ask whether we need an Attorney General so incompetent that he can't properly deliver a prepared answer.

  138. The dots are laid out– they're all but connected. They could be, but we have a Justice Department (and it's FBI offspring) that cannot oversee its own partisan desires to find the justice which they are hired to seek. Of course, every American that takes the time to look through the public facts can quickly figure out that the Trump campaign and the Kremlin were in fact colluding during the election. Unfortunately, looking through the available information is nuanced and not simple enough for the average American to take the time to care for– it's not a slogan that can fit on a red trucker hat. Until we have a functioning Justice Department and FBI, it's up to the press and us curious Americans to do the job for them. And for that, I commend you the Times, and every reader that's taking the time to parse through this information: our democracy depends on it.

  139. As a student of international affairs, I find it hard to believe that this matrix of contacts between current and former Trump surrogates and Russian power players was so content free and uncoordinated that, on balance, it doesn't constitute a violation of the Logan Act.
    Pay particular attention to the events around the application of sanctions by the Obama Administration. These people weren't discussing the unseasonable weather nor the Bolshoi. As private citizens Trump surrogates were attempting to bend perceptions of a sitting American Administration's conduct of foreign policy.
    What cockamamie standard of evidence do Republicans expect patriotic Americans to apply to this fiasco? Do you folks need a corpse?

  140. The issue is not that the contacts in of themselves were harmless but the repeated statements and then denials that the Trump team had no contacts with Russia. Even the President stated that he hasn't called Russia in over 10 years but was in Russia 3 years ago as part of the Miss Universe Pagent. When some one or some group constantly lies, gets caught, then further denies it, has to make one question that person or group's integrity.

  141. The only president in our history to have been forced from office, by resignation, was Richard Nixon. Two others, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were impeached but not convicted. To hold Trump to the lowest standard possible of Richard Nixon would require Trump on the basis of what is known now to appoint a special prosecutor, as Nixon did. He does not have an attorney general capable of doing this, because Sessions has already recused himself from any investigation involving Russia and the 2016 election. The objective media and anyone who wishes to get to the bottom of the Russian involvement in the 2016 election should be vociferously demanding a special prosecutor every day, and make it understood why it is necessary. If Donald Trump does not appoint a special prosecutor, he will have demonstarted within the first two months of his administration that he is a more disgraced and shameful president than even Richard Nixon.

  142. I suspect what happened is that Trump ran out of financing because Western banks would no longer loan to him after six bankruptcies. So, Trump turned to Russian financing. When the Russians learned of Trump's intent to run for president, they really stepped up their efforts to funnel money to Trump. This would explain Trump's sale of that Florida estate to a friend of Putin's for $100 million just two years after Trump bought it for $40 million. They used that sale to launder a $60 million payment to Trump in return for favorable treatment from a Trump presidency. The kicker was that the risk of discovery was offset by the benefit that their revelation would undermine our democracy. Thus Putin would win either way.

  143. The smoke in Washington and New York seems very dense, but it is the parts of the World we can't see that points to disastrous implications for all of us if there is a 'some deal' between Putin and Trump. Is it true that the numbers of refugees moving across the Russian-Finland border are increasing? How are the Poles now preparing given that the Swedes have just reintroduced conscription to deflect Russian movements in Eastern Ukraine. Will the upcoming German and French elections also be compromised by hacking. What are the people in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia being told by their governments. Does it really make sense that the stock market gains running at 5% a month can be sustained? The disruption caused by the Trump regime is real, but it is the unknown unknowns in the business dealings between Trump and Putin that is making the world less stable. If the Russians are destabilizing democratic processes in the US and Europe through diplomatic and digital subterfuge, then the diplomatic and cyber war is happening. Surely that means we are at War? Is it time for the US to fight back?

  144. I would suggest you first take a look at a map and then tell me how Swedish conscription is intended too counter Russian moves in Eastern Ukraine. The rest of you hyperbole deserves equal scrutiny.

  145. The Russians endeavored to influence the American election, and that is a threat to our democracy.

    There is evidence that Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with the Russians during the campaign, and we need to know all we can about the nature of those conversations in order to determine whether there was collusion between the campaign and the Russian government, and to discover whether or not the candidate — now president — had any direct involvement.

    But Republicans are resisting a call for a broader Russian inquiry. We know that if 80,000 people in three states had voted differently and the president was the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, there would be no such resistance — indeed there would be great enthusiasm — on the part of the Republicans for a wide and exhaustive investigation.

    While they are American lawmakers and not officials of a foreign government, the Republicans, by resisting all effort to let the inquiry go where the facts lead, are attempting to influence, after the fact, what may have been a tainted and illegitimate election and its outcome.

    How is this any less of a threat to our democracy than what the Russians did?

    We need an independent special prosecutor, now.

  146. Two actions would dispel the cloud of doubt hanging over the Trump investigation:

    1. The appointment of a truly independent investigator to examine all credible accusations against Mr. Trump and his associates; and

    2. The release of Mr. Trump's tax returns.

    If the Republican party were serious about ensuring transparency and integrity in governance, they would demand both actions. As is, the Republican party is shielding Mr. Trump from appropriate scrutiny. This cannot end well.

  147. There is an interview with one of the trump sons(2008?) who says they see a lot of money flowing into their coffers from Russia. How is this possible if there are no contacts, no deals made? Why were there ongoing contacts with Russian officials, including, now, the son-in-law? Let's see the tax returns; in my mind, the reason not to release them is fear of what is there, what they will perhaps prove. Smoke=Fire?
    In another article in today's paper, Trump feels under siege....he created this atmosphere himself. What the heck did he expect when he "declared war" on the press, the intelligence agencies, and some of our very foundations of nationhood?

  148. The issue is not so the contacts with Russia, as the lack of disclosure about those contacts, even extending to the point of falsehoods under oath. When this is added to Trump's refusal to disclose his tax returns (under the false pretext that doing so would not be permissible during an ongoing audit), we see that this administration is abnormally addicted to secrecy, and hostile to the idea of public accountability.

  149. The Republicans are against an inquiry into Trump's Russian contacts, but if the president a fraction of what's flying around would result immediately in several House investigations. There may be not much in it (like Benghazi), but it's in the interest of the country to investigate it and put the issue to rest (or not). The Republicans' interest takes precedence, as usual.

  150. But where is the outrage from the citizenry of our country? To be so indifferent to the Russian hacking of our presidential election is simply astounding. Yes, the Republican Party's denunciation of the Russian meddling as a 'tempest in a teapot' is partly to blame, but that in itself, their contrived, cunning indifference to Russian officials attempting and succeeding in throwing an election is practically tantamount to treason. We were attacked by a foreign power no matter how falsely these Republicans try to frame what happened. And because we are still in the early stages of investigating our president's nefarious history of involvement with Russia, one can only hope 'the devil in the details' that surface will wake our nation up. After all, Trump's refusal to turn over his tax returns is beginning to look a lot more like an act of concealment than anything else. Just what is he hiding from us? What is so threatening that he cannot do something every president in our history has done as a matter of performance of duty? The time for Trump to be forced to turn over his tax returns has come, before things get worse. This man is too close to the nuclear arsenal of our country and be squeezed at the same time to be forced to do anything, let alone release documents that would lead to his downfall.

  151. One possible explanation for these stories and their second lives
    lived in different media chambers is the vague and imprecise language
    used originally by the so called POTUS and his inner circle in responding
    to the original "leaks" beginning last summer, combined with
    the inability or disinclination by journalists to try and tie down
    specifically what certain words and descriptions used by the campaign leaders actually meant. This can also be understood to be a problem with
    what Sessions said in his confirmation testimony.

    When phraseology is imprecise and it is reported by journalists
    with a possible interest in heightening a story for dramatic effect,
    confusion compounds and leads to serious distortions
    in interpreting what happened originally.

    It does not help that heightened partisan sniping and defensiveness
    then proceeds to make serious discussion of grave
    events/charges all but impossible. What should be done
    in a calm and bipartisan way degenerates into useless babble.

    The only way anything of value can be deduced from the
    variety of contacts that have been reported is to
    study the transcripts of the intercepted phone calls and
    make clear with whom the discussion was made and for what
    reason. Everything else becomes hearsay and speculation
    that is grist for the theatrical mill.

    It does not help that in the meantime the so called POTUS
    continues to see no reason to release his returns from any
    period of time, inviting additional suspicion.

  152. Russia hacked the election and Trump won. Russia and many on Trump's team have been discussing what? A quid pro quo - drop sanctions for a dump of Clinton emails? What do Russians have on Trump. How true are the stories of blackmail? What are Trump's financial ties to Russia - let's see his tax returns if its is so inconsequential. The more they hide, lie, refute and then have to eat their words, the worse it gets for them. The Watergate parallels with all the non-denial denials is telling.

  153. There is clearly a case for Russian intervention and the American public demands answers.

    The Russian ambassador visited the White House on at least six different occasions while Obama was in office. Shortly thereafter, the Obama Administration, including Hillary Clinton, approved the Russian takeover of the largest uranium mining company in the U.S. This company was owned by Frank Giustra, who then donated $31 million to the Clinton Foundation.

    Connect the dots and follow the money.

    Nothing short of a full Congressional inquiry will suffice.

  154. Agreed but doesn't negate investigating these dots either. Republicans focused on Benghazi. More will focus on this.

  155. How many times did President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton lie about it under oath?

    I don't care if President Trump's team had breakfast every day with Putin for a month. That's not illegal.

    I do care that they have repeatedly lied about it, including under oath. When the Attorney General lies under oath about contact with a foreign national--that's perjury and treason.

  156. Nice try.

  157. Speaking of connecting dots: I am trying to understand how many separate investigations are supposedly in process. I have even drawn myself a Donald graphic that locates the committees geographically. So there appear to be at least six discrete investigations (and more if we count the media). We know the FBI is not sharing information. We, or, at least, I, do not know which committee is doing what or if any are sharing information, nor do I have a sense of who makes up each committee beyond the Senate group. My sense is no committee trusts any other group. It appears this might not be a bad thing and may be why the Obama administration spread their information around. I do have to ask, however, how and when do all of this discrete investigations add up to answers for the American public? Would an independent investigation under a special prosecutor bring all of this under one roof? Would that process be public or is it, as I understand, behind closed doors? Aye yi yi.

  158. This Republican Congress will not undertake an independent investigation. Why? For the simple reason that the voters who put them in power simply don't care about any issue relating to this Administration's seemingly endless ties to Russia.

    Congressional Republicans know that their constituents have absolutely no qualms about any number of federal laws that might have been broken by Trump and his toadies. Nor would it bother these voters in the slightest if they were handed absolute proof that the Russians interfered with our election, and that their Dear Leader was complicit.

    For the same reasons, the Justice Department's investigation (post Sessions recusal) will likely be closed in short order, with the admonition, "Nothing to see here, keep moving along." As long as Trump controls the Justice Department, there will be no findings of illegality, or impropriety of any kind.

    We all need to understand that we live in a very different America than we lived in just a few short months ago. This is what a fascist state looks like. While we should never normalize or tolerate the actions of this administration and this Congress, we should understand that a return to our democracy will be a long time coming.

  159. I think Trump's mystifying praise for Russia is mainly related to his business interests there. He is non-ideological and agnostic about anything that doesn't relate to his business, so ti makes great sense for him to praise Putin. The investigation of Trump's love for Russia may or may not turn up collusion, but if his tax returns are subpoenaed, it will probably reveal that Trump has major business-related conflicts of interest on Russia. If that is true, then his failure to disclose that to the American public is grounds for impeachment.

  160. N=1000. That's the number of recent executive, academic, business and other respondents from private polling in Chicago, that believe this story is just that; a story. It is statistically significant. Moreover, even its central narrative, if one were to lend it potential credibility, is deductively false. That is, even as a story, it's a really bad one, poorly crafted: it has no basis in law violation, and it has no basis in fact. The assertion is merely that an "investigation" is warranted based on a fallacy of assertion. There are two especially dangerous, or at least, unfortunate consequences however, of such irresponsibility: public distraction from substantive issues; and, a pretextually motivated cognitive public conditioning that Russia is an inherent foe. One might also make a potential case that the deliberate insertion--and dissemination--into the public domain by elected officials, of a fabricated accusation involving national security, with potential lethal consequences, is inherently violating Article III, Section 3, or engaging in treason (or 18 US Code, Chapter 115).

  161. Mr. Beyrle's comments are completely untethered from reality. Nobody is objecting to the fact that Trump associates met with Russians. They're objecting to the fact that those associates (Sessions, Flynn, etc.) lied about doing so -- including under oath -- and that they did so in the context of Russia's aggressive meddling in U.S. elections for the express purpose of boosting Trump's electoral prospects so as to weaken the United States.

  162. Clearly Mr Sessions won't be able to get away with what Trump can.
    Only Trump himself can shoot a random citizen on 5th Avenue and get awAy clean.
    I've seen people try and be as reckless as the truly careless in our crowd ... it never works for them....it's not transferable.
    The court is in Session...

  163. The net's cast widens
    As the noose shrinks:
    In the state of this country,
    Methinks something stinks!

  164. The stench rises higher and higher in this situation.

    It seems that everyone who mattered in the Trump campaign was in bed with the Russians. And the cover-up is festering day by day.

    Think of Watergate. Think how it proceeded as one domino after another fell until it reached Richard Nixon, whose lies and chicanery were finally exposed.

    Donald Trump denied again and again that he had anything to do with the Russians. It is certainly a lie. I have faith that will pay the price for his dishonesty as his world unravels.

  165. The Trump team have obviously been colluding with the Russians. Reagan's team negotiated with Iran to not release the hostages until after Reagan was elected. Nixon tried to sabotage Johnson's Vietnam peace talks in '68 and of course, burglarized the DNC. This is just what people, particularly Republican people, do. The working with a foreign government to swing an election is a new angle, but we don't know how much they were directly involved with that. Yet.

    Nice job on the Schumer tweet though. That Presidential speech wore right off, huh!

  166. Tell me, please, how it is possible that this Congress can betray our great country? How can "My party right or wrong" take precedence over "My country 'tis of thee sweet land of liberty?"

  167. Plenty of voices will support an investigation and hopefully removal of Sessions now, Trump soon. What I want to say and hope millions of others say is that we respect the New York Times for keeping this issue alive. Now however we expect the Times and others to ratchet up the pressure. This is a critical time for the nation. We count on the media to rub this matter in the fascist faces daily. We are solidly behind you.
    Carl, Portland

  168. #45 is a traitor, apparently, like the majority of Republicans. If they are not traitors, they are definitely racists/misogynists for whom the terms "double standard" and "hypocrisy" have no meaning.

  169. This all hearsay is this for real ? The Times seems to have lost it's moorings.....Like or hate the Times this trac is really going to hurt the NY Times rep...

  170. what a mess. This is amateur hour. And the MC is clueless DJT.

    Just watched Anderson Cooper interview Carter Page. Surreal. This guy should not be in the news. He is as clueless as the POTUS. Period. The only reason we're talking about him is that the Donald, when pressed, over the summer, to reveal his foreign relations team threw out this guy's name. Now we learn he never was remotely associated with his non-existing team. In his own words, he attended some of Trump's rallies!

    This is just one of Trump's campaign lies that's come back to bite him. Stay tuned, because there is a lot more to come.

    Sad thing is, while we're all waisting our time over these dust-ups, nobody's governing.

  171. For those of us who want to believe the furor over Russian connections is not a "total witch hunt", it would be useful if the New York Times could ask the frequently cited "current and former American officials" for a recording or at least a transcript of a nefarious conversation.

  172. To whom was this NOT all patently obvious during the summer? Please, this is news because the man "won". It is not news in the sense of being unknown and unexpected. For those of us who live in and around New York, we evil people whom those in the red middle feel so hard done by despite the taxes we transfer to their states and for their welfare without complaint, this is truly no surprise: we have been aware of this appalling, angry, dishonest little swindler and his tactics for decades now. We warned you, but you all knew better. Incidentally, your coal mines and factory jobs are not going to return, and America was already great. Now it is more isolated and less powerful in the hands of an authoritarian kleptocracy much like....the one in Moscow! And the "reality" TV nationalists will keep lapping it up.

  173. Understand. Should point out that Trump's election heist was enabled by the GOP's systematic campaign to disenfranchise voters by the millions. Citizen's United enabled dark money to poor into states and ensure--with gerrymandering (Operation Redmap) that Republicans would be in charge and control 70% of the E.C. as a fall-back. The list of thuggering-type tactics is long which makes me wonder did the Russians obtain some worthwhile dirt when they hacked the RNC's public and private servers? I'm ready to bet.

  174. Please please please let the Russian connection be the straw that breaks the back of the grossly deformed camel otherwise known as the "Trump Administration."

  175. Just imagine that Hillary Clinton had won the election... What would Mitch McConnel and Paul Ryan be saying right now? Republican voters, are you just playing a game or are you sincere Americans? The fate of our nation literally depends on you. DO THE RIGHT THING. Investigate this mess until we get to the bottom of it!

  176. The President should listen to John Dean.

    He would be well advised to watch the movie "All The President's Men."

    Drip - Drip - Drip!!
    Domino Fall after Domino Fall.
    Just like in spring 1973.

    The truth always comes out...wait until we get a look at the Trump tax returns....and we will. I just hope the Times has the same guts to publish them as it did "The Pentagon Papers" in 1971.

  177. The tax returns would answer just as many if not more questions as an investigation. . .

  178. Trump and the GOP set the standard of what is disqualifying "pay to play' during the campaign - when they declared that donations to a 501(c)(3) - transparent charity were sufficient to disqualify Ms. Clinton and have her be a puppet to any regime that donated. So I will hold Trump to that standard if not a higher one given that any investment in Trump industries is for personal gain and profit. Trump, the GOP and his supporters are on record with their "clinton standard" - and now I will hold them accountable and demand they apply it to Trump. My guess is he will be out of office by the end of the year.

  179. "Democrats see suspicious connections?" Stevie Wonder could see suspicious connections! And the rank hypocrisy for Rs to say with a straight face that Benghazi or emails needed to be investigated by an independent committee but not this?

  180. It's time for Trump to hold a rally in Moscow.

  181. "The harder you try to suppress the truth, the more inevitable it is that it will find a way to come out."

    - Arianna Huffington

  182. The American President, nor any other American of whatever stripe should ever, ever speak to a Russian. Never ever.
    America exists in a global community but not with the Russians!

  183. Putin is probably thrilled beyond his wildest dreams by all the chaos and dissension he helped create in America. Both Obama and W tried to reset relations with Russia. Does team Trump actually believe cooperation will actually be betting under this regime?

  184. Start with Dutsche Bank, the Bank of Cyprus, money laundering, Trump lackeys and Trump loans. Connecting the dollars might be easier and quicker than "he said, she said".

  185. Also follow Dmitry Rybolovlev, his control of 9.9% of the Cyprus Bank, Rybolovle's plane activities and Trump's flights to the same locations at the same days, Rybolovlev's purchase of a Florida mansion from Trump for $100 million when Trump was pressed for cash, Wilbur Ross's involvement in the Cyprus Bank as an owner and officer, Deutsche Bank's use of the Cyprus Bank as a correspondent bank, and other connections.

    There are too many connections for these to just be "coincidences."

  186. Jan. 10, 2017;

    At the confirmation hearing for attorney general, Senator
    Al Franken, a Democrat, asks Mr. Sessions what he would
    do if “there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the
    Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government
    in the course of this campaign.” Mr. Sessions replies, “I
    have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that
    campaign, and I didn’t have — did not have communications
    with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
    Jan. 17;
    Senator Patrick J. Leahy, a Democrat, asks Mr.
    Sessions in a written questionnaire whether he had been
    “in contact with anyone connected to any part of the
    Russian government about the 2016 election, either
    before or after Election Day.” Mr. Sessions replies, “No.”

    What part of NO can be nuanced into "not being a lie"?

  187. To make matters worse, Sessions them stated the two contacts with the Russian Ambassador/Spy were to do with his position as a Senator, yet it was just released that he paid both hotel bills from his campaign funds, rather than his Senate budget, which would make him appear even more crooked. It's time the Trump Administration comes clean, lays out all the details, shows his taxes and lets the American public know the truth. No more waffling! No more lies! No more coverups!

  188. His involvement, or compromise more likely, came well before the campaign even started.
    That's where the real answers are , including why he, despite his America First rhetoric, puts Putin first, time and time again.

  189. Watergate II

  190. This is a fact hunt, not a witch hunt. If those being investigated are indeed innocent, then they should be welcoming all this, and cooperate with all of the people that are trying to sort all this out.

  191. NYT, could you please help your readers put this in perspective? It would be very helpful to know how much contact Obama and his team had with any Russians like Putin, Kislyak, etc. during comparable time frames (i.e., during Obama's first campaign and from the day he won the election until he was installed as president).

  192. We weren't being hacked by them then. Big difference.

  193. It isn't about contact. Our government will always have contact. What is the issue is the fact that we do know that Russia meddled in our election and Trump has real financial ties with Russia. (You can look up the various stories yourself), that amount to him being in debt to Russians who bailed out his businesses as he was facing bankruptcy again, when American banks wouldn't touch him with a 10 foot pole. Couple that with Tillerson and his other millionaires who have had regular financial dealings with Russia, the constant contacts that the Trump Campaign has had with Russia, and the lousy attempt to hide his taxes and cover up, the downplaying of Russia as a threat, and you have a real issue. That issue strikes to the very heart of our nation. How is that even the same as regular diplomatic contact?

  194. Trump could never utter a single negative statement against Russia/Putin, his team of surrogates (Flynt, and co) meeting left and right with FSK/diplomats, clear statement to promote hacking of DNC and support of Wikileaks to smear HRC....refusal to disclose his tax return that will clearly identify receiving $$ from russian oligarchs as Trump was basically being funded by Russia ...plain and simple!..... they are covering up with admissions after being forced to resign or recuse themselves.... It STINKS !!!!
    IMPEACH the whole bunch for treason...

  195. Keep on digging NYT..and hold your breath..the stink will soon emerge in all it's ugly glory. The Whole Administration is in bed with Russia and it smells like
    SWAMP. We need a full investigation and we need it now....Keep on digging..we are digging it.

  196. I am concerned that if Democrats keep treading the path of Cold War hysteria, how far off can we be from an accidental nuclear exchange or firing turning into a complete nuclear Armaggedon? Are Democrats against detente and peaceful co-existence now? How are they ever going to be able to walk back from this road now? Surely there are plenty of reasons to look into the Trump administration without having to manufacture a Red Scare. This is unnecessary. The Trump administration is already seriously stumbling around without any further help needed.

  197. Meanwhile, top articles in Fox News - something all NYT readers should check out - include "Invanka's First 100 Days: First daughter expands White House role" and "Vegan woman arrested after repeatedly crashing her car into chicken truck."

  198. Russian hacking of the DNC in the last election was intended, we are told, to weaken our belief in the legitimacy in the democratic process. The Democratic Party is now in the process of furthering Russia's goals. If the Dems, along with their propaganda arms in the media are successful, we will end up with no functioning government, and they think they will be there to pick up the pieces.

  199. You paint the whole spectrum of those that analyze the Russian involvement with what 'only some' suppose. There are many of us who steadfastly believe it wasn't just an attempt to undermine the process, but a real attempt to sway the election to Trump. A successful attempt at that. Russia has done it before and is busy doing the same in Europe right now. And of course there are a whole spectrum of other opinions. By selectively choosing the story that appeals to you the most and ridiculing it, you have attempted to use the false logic known as 'The Straw Man'. long term debaters pick that suspect out of the lineup with no effort whatsoever.

  200. Trump can settle this discussion immediately--he must allow the public to examine his past tax returns. Then all of the questions as to his subservience to Putin can be cleared up. This is easy! And will be informative!

  201. Now more than ever we need the 21st century "Woodward and Bernstein" to crack this story. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

  202. We can't Trump campaign staffers were in multiple contacts with Russian intelligence before legitimate purposes. In fact, it's hard to imagine what Russian intelligence and a campaign would have to discuss. So people should be put under oath, questioned and the transcripts made public (sorry, campaign, no right of privacy in chatting up foreign intelligence operatives). Let's find out if it's as innocent as all that; I'm willing to be surprised.

  203. If Trump really has nothing to hide he ought to demand a special prosecutor and release his tax returns. After promising to do so multiple times, he only said people don't care after he won and the heat got turned up on the Russia contacts and hacking. Then he wonders why his stupid pet tricks of releasing photos of Schumer and Pelosi photos makes him look even more like he really is hiding something.

  204. The witch hunt continues. There is 0 evidence of any wrongdoing. The libs and the times are connecting the dots based on the outcomes they desire; wishing and hoping they lost the election because of some a dreamt up scheme. A special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the Clintons ties to Russia while Hillary was SOS. The special prosecutor can also investigate and identify the leakers of classified information and charge them.

  205. Brian

    You will be singing the same song as they frog march Emperor Donnie out of the White House in handcuffs.

  206. This is so crazy, so unstable - I would not discount any possibility. Kennedy feared a military coup and Donald Trump (to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen) is no Jack Kennedy. In but a few, short weeks Trump has ably demonstrated his lack of fitness for office. Simple corruption is one thing. This is altogether different. Trump has lost the confidence of the most powerful ruling circles in this country and they will find a way to replace him. That's what this is all about. Too much is at stake and this time around Trump will not survive the calling in of loans by those who really call the shots. Pence will be 46. He was so far out of the loop he's another Gerald Ford.

  207. Donald Trump Jr. in 2008:

    "And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. There's indeed a lot of money coming for new-builds and resale reflecting a trend in the Russian economy and, of course, the weak dollar versus the ruble,"

    So, how about those tax returns?

  208. A disgrace. But the greatest disgrace and shame is our president's groveling admiration of Putin's brutal, agonistic, and unethical ways. Whether this means Trump will simply give Putin what he wants, or that Trump will act in a similarly barbaric manner on the world stage and within this country, remains to be seen. In either case (or both), this is regress.

    Peace and civilization are fragile and imperfect achievements. Woe be to those (and everyone else) who attempt to "improve" civilization with a hammer.

  209. The media and many other interested parties have been digging into these Trump-Russia allegations for many months. Other than speculation and Niue's do, nothing illegal or of any substance has been unearthed. As Freud once reminded, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. While we've been diverted, though, Congress is ready to pass an unconscionable military spending hike in order to rearm our depleted stocks of ammunition and drones.

  210. In a related article, President Trump blamed the "leakers" who told reporters about the meetings. If it weren't for the leakers, he'd feel fine.

    That, in a nutshell, is the issue.

    In what universe is telling the truth about something the problem? And lying would have been perfectly acceptable if the liars hadn't been caught?

    Regardless of what's going on between Trump and the Russians--and it's beginning to look more and more sketchy--if the President of the United States casts truth-telling as the problem and lying as acceptable, then his administration is losing all legitimacy.

  211. The Trump house of cards has started to fall apart. The revelations continue, unabated. The Trump regime is being exposed as the most dishonest and corrupt administration in American presidential history. The lies and the threats and the bluster continue to build from this so-called, self absorbed and extremely ignorant and hubris filled man. His hatred for the people and the institutions of this country and his admiration for Putin and Russia is nothing short of astounding, and down right scary. Our spineless Congress needs to decide whether they love this country more than they do Trump. This aberration needs to be removed before he destroys this country. The longer they wait, the worse things are going to become. Act now before it's too late.

  212. I'm (somewhat) relieved this is unfolding so quickly. But I hope we will not stop with Trump. The designs began early, what of Pence, Ryan, the other dupes salivating over all Trumps solicitous, destructive words, acts, and deeds. They are so deeply implicit and complicit.

  213. Maybe I underestimate Jeff Sessions intelligence, but I believe that he purposefully answered Sen. Franken's question in a way that would avoid further questions regarding the subject of his conversations with the Russians. Mr. Sessions is an experienced lawyer and politician; he knew he was risking perjury charges with that answer. Besides the immediate problem that the attorney general of the United States has committed perjury, the next question to ask is, why risk perjury rather than disclose the topic of the conversation?

  214. The amazing fact in all of this is that President Trump and his team are trying to dismiss their contacts with Ambassador Kislyak and other Russian agents as one-off events that just happened by circumstance.

    Of course, what appears to be confirmed is the following:

    --The Russians or Russian operatives were behind the hacking of the DNC and other members of Hillary Clinton's campaign team.

    --The Republican National Convention was held from July 18-21 in Cleveland, OH, where meetings between members of the Trump camp and Russian agents were just happenstance.

    --On Thursday, July 22 WikiLeaks released the hacked emails from the DNC in advance of the Democratic National Convention.

    I can't possibly imagine why so many of these meetings would have just happened in Cleveland (see Gail Collins column)? Was there something that needed to be discussed and coordinated in person? What could that have been? Could just normal political dealings with a Russian ambassador not be discussed via email or telephone for some reason? Was there reason to fear that communications had been compromised?

    The longer this drags on, the more it smells, and the stench is already foul.

  215. And it begs the question: What the heck was the Russian Ambassador doing at the Republican Convention?