According to a report by Reuters, both current and former U.S. officials claim that during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential election, the Trump campaign team was in contact with Russian officials as well as people at the Kremlin in a series of at least 18 calls and emails.
The calls and emails, which had previously not been disclosed, make up part of the record that is being assembled as part of the investigation being run by the FBI as well as the congressional investigation into the ties between Russia and the Trump administration and campaign.
What’s more, six of the contacts in the report by Reuters were reportedly between Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Trump advisers, including the likes of Michael Flynn.
According to four current U.S. officials, the contacts between Flynn and Kislyak only accelerated after the election as they continued to set up what they considered to be a back channel in order for contact to be established between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Both sides reportedly felt that the bureaucracy of the national security apparatus of the United States was a block to improved relations between the two countries.
While the officials who revealed the contacts noted that they saw no evidence of wrongdoing in the contacts between the campaign and Russia, the fact remains that the optics are not good for the White House, especially in the wake of the investigation.
The White House has not responded to a request for comment on the matter.