April 3, 2017 | The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. Read full story
Congress and U.S. intelligence agencies are scrutinizing connections between Russia and the Trump campaign as they investigate evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Here are members of Team Trump who are known to have Russian connections and the story lines that have made those ties relevant.
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President of the United States and real estate developer. His business contacts in Russia date to the late 1980s.
RUSSIAN TIES (HOVER FOR MORE INFO)
1987 | Trump visits Moscow and tours various sites in an effort to strike real estate deals in Soviet-era Russia. He stays in a hotel overlooking the Kremlin, and tells Playboy that Russian jets escorted his own on the way to the airport. Read more
1996 | Trump says he will hold a press conference with a Miami-based tobacco company in Moscow announcing plans to build an office and apartment complex similar to Trump Tower in New York. Read more
2005 | Trump gave the development company Bayrock a one-year deal to find a site for a Trump Tower. Felix Sater later testified that he identified a former pencil factory as a site for the project, before the deal fell apart. Read more
Nov. 9, 2013 | While in Moscow for his Miss Universe competition, Trump meets with Russian businessmen, including real estate developer Aras Agalarov, an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Before the pageant, Trump said to MSNBC, “I do have a relationship” with Putin. Read more
May 2014 | Trump tells a group at the National Press Club that while he was in Moscow, he spoke with Putin “indirectly and directly.”
July 2015 | At a town hall in Las Vegas, Trump tells an audience that he knew Putin. “I don’t think you’d need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well,” he said. Read more
September 2015 | Putin and Trump are on the season premiere of “60 Minutes.” Although Trump would later say in a debate, “I got to know him very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes.’ We were stablemates,” Time magazine revealed that they were interviewed in separate cities. Read more
December 2015 | Putin says Trump is “colorful” and “talented.” Trump calls the compliment an “honor.” Even as ties to Russia become a campaign issue in 2016, Trump refuses to renounce Putin: “A guy calls me a genius, and I’m going to renounce? I’m not going to renounce him.” (Putin has not publicly called Trump a genius.) Read more
April 2016 | Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak attends a speech in Washington in which Trump vows to seek better relations with Russia. The president of the think tank that invited Kislyak said he introduced the two in a receiving line. Read more
July 2016 | In news conferences and tweets, Trump says he has “nothing to do with Russia,” and “I don’t know who Putin is. … I’ve never spoken to him.” He also tweeted, “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.” Trump has not released his tax returns, so that can’t be verified. At the same time, at a news conference, Trump encouraged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s email. Read more
Nov. 10, 2016 | Two days after the election, a Russian official tells a reporter in Moscow that the Kremlin had been in contact with Trump’s campaign. Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks denies it, saying, “There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.” Read more
Jan. 20, 2017 | Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. He designates the day as “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” Read more
Jan. 28, 2017 | President Trump and Putin speak on the phone for an hour. Read more
March 2017 | One of Trump’s personal lawyers, Marc E. Kasowitz, is named to the legal team defending Russia’s largest state-run bank in a corporate-raiding case, BuzzFeed reports. Read more