The Trump-Russia investigation has reached a crucial point as the lead investigator Robert Mueller announced that he has gained access to tens of thousands of emails from Trump’s transition team from 12 different accounts including that of his foreign policy team.
But as investigators get closer to finding concrete proof of Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, the FBI say that they already knew that Kremlin would infiltrate Trump’s campaign and they had tried to warn him of the threat.
FBI Warns Trump of Potential Espionage
In July 2016, after winning the Republican nomination, Trump was contacted by top FBI officials who had a very important warning for him. The Republican nominee was informed that foreign entities would likely take advantage of the changing political dynamics in the country and try to sway the elections in a direction that benefits their own personal agenda – Hilary Clinton had also been given the same warning.
The FBI also urged both candidates to come forward with information if any of them were contacted by a suspicious entity. Not only did Trump disregard the critical warning, but he also failed to notify the feds when the Russians made an effort to contact his team on several different occasions. Although Trump has yet to admit that he had been in contact with Putin and his team throughout his election campaign, all evidence points towards Russia’s interference in guaranteeing Trump’s victory in 2016 elections.
The Warning Was Dismissed as ‘Standardized Procedure’
The warning came after Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump began receiving classified information raising fear among the senior FBI officials that a foreign agency or Russian hackers would try to target the presidential candidates to get hold of top-secret intelligence that could put the U.S. security in jeopardy.
Two key sources confirmed that FBI counterintelligence specialists had personally briefed Trump about the potential threat from Russian spies in a high-level briefing even though the White House dismissed the significance of the story saying that all presidential nominees receive counter-intelligence briefings as part of the standard security procedure. It’s still unclear whether other candidates received the briefing as Trump since no statement has yet been made from Hilary Clinton’s team.
However, by the time the briefing about potential espionage from foreign advisories was made, Trump’s team had already made contact with Kremlin on several occasions but the President remained tight-lipped about his secret alliance with the Russian President.
Trump’s Team Had Made Several Contacts with Russia Prior to the Warning
Several members from Trump’s team, including his own son, were accused of making contact with Russia and other foreign entities. Donald Trump Jr. was the first one to be called out for giving Russia access to intervene when he exchanged private messages with WikiLeaks over Twitter.
Soon after, he and an influential Russian banker with strong ties to President Vladimir Putin, met over dinner at National Rifle Association. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also had a meeting with the Russian ambassador behind closed doors, but none of these contacts were ever revealed to the FBI.
The rumors of Trump-Russia collusion took a serious turn on August 19 when Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, gave his resignation in the wake of reports confirming his involvement with Russia but despite all odds, Trump won the election. After taking office, the president was struck in another scandal, this time involving his national security advisor Michael Flynn, who became the first White House Official since Trump’s inauguration to be arrested for misleading the Trump-Russia investigation.
Just days after the inauguration, Flynn was interviewed by the FBI and asked whether he and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak had discussed the subject of sanctions during their meetings. Flynn had denied. Later, evidence revealed that Flynn has made a false statement in front of the FBI and was taken under arrest.