#RealNews on Trump et L'Affaire Russe: A Resource Page

Last updated: July 10, 2017

This resource page compiles information on President Donald Trump and associates’ alleged ties to Russia.

Developments are loosely divided into story arcs for readability but are otherwise organized by chronology. Efforts have been made to provide available primary source materials and the most definitive secondary source accounts. Dates for secondary source materials are noted in brackets wherever they differ from the dates of the events reported, and all dates that appear under multiple story arcs have been bolded.

Apparent gaps in timeline under particular story arcs may be addressed under other arcs. Materials have been organized and annotated and naming conventions are consistent throughout to facilitate simple Ctrl+F searches.

This page is still a work in progress but is designed to provide up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive coverage of Trump-Russia developments and allegations. We welcome you to submit comments and suggestions to that end to [email protected].

***

  1. Donald Trump’s Statements on Putin/Russia/Fake News Media
  2. Russia Hacks and Data Dumps by DC Leaks/WikiLeaks/Guccifer 2.0
  3. Intelligence Community Statements and Actions
  4. House and Senate Intelligence Committee Investigations and Hearings
  5. Putin Statements, Russian Media, and Russia Developments
  6. Donald Trump and Trump Organization's Alleged Ties to Russia
  7. Trump Associates’ Alleged Ties to Russia
  8. The Christopher Steele Dossier and Alleged Trump Kompromat
  9. Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Claims and Devin Nunes
  10. Trump's Alleged Interference with Russia Investigation
  11. Trump Administration's Russia Policies, Actions and Official Statements
  12. GOP Opposition Researcher Peter W. Smith

***

1. Donald Trump’s Statements on Putin/Russia/Fake News Media

  • June 18, 2013: Donald Trump tweets:

  • Oct 17, 2013: On the Late Show with David Letterman, Trump says he has done "a lot of business with the Russians" and says he met Putin once. [YouTube]

  • November 9, 2013: In an interview with MSNBC in Moscow, Trump is asked whether he has a relationship with Putin. Trump states, "I do have a relationship, and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today." [MSNBC]

  • November 10, 2013: Trump tweets,

  • November 11, 2013: On “Fox & Friends,” Trump says of his time with the Miss Universe pageant: “I was in Moscow and I was in Russia and they treated me so fantastically . . . . I met so many incredible people.” [Fox News (video)]

2014

  • March 6, 2014: At the Conservative Political Action Committee conference, Trump describes his time in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant and states: “Putin even sent me a present, beautiful present, with a beautiful note, I spoke to all of his people." [C-SPAN]

  • March 13, 2014: Trump says on NBC's "Today" show that the US should “definitely do sanctions” against Russia for sending troops into Crimea. [NBC (video)]

  • March 21, 2014: Trump issues a series of Putin-related tweets:

  • March 24, 2014: Trump states on "Fox & Friends" that "Russia's our biggest problem, and Russia is, you know, really something." [CNN, January 17, 2017; YouTube (video)]

2015

  • June 16, 2015: Trump announces his presidential candidacy. [Time (speech transcript)]

  • October 17, 2015: On the "Savage Nation" radio show, Trump says he met Putin. “Yes, a long time ago. We got along great, by the way.” [CNN]

  • November 10, 2015: In the Fox Business GOP debate, Trump explains why he understands Putin: "I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates," he said. "We did well that night." [Time, November 11, 2015]

  • November 17, 2015: In an appearance on Sean Hannity's show, Trump states: “Now all of a sudden, Putin’s going wild with bombing ISIS, and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Who needs to take the credit? Let him have some credit.” [Fox News, November 18, 2015]

  • December 17, 2015: After Putin describes Trump as a "talented person" and "the absolute leader” in the presidential race, Trump responds: "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” [Reuters]

  • December 18, 2015: On "Morning Joe," in response to host Joe Scarborough's observation that Putin "kills journalists that don't agree with him," Trump states: “Well I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe.” When asked to clarify whether he condemned Putin's killings, Trump stated he "absolutely" does. [Politico (video)]

2016

  • March 27, 2016: In an interview with ABC’s "This Week," Trump calls NATO "obsolete" and "extremely expensive to the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO." [ABC (transcript & video)]

  • April 27, 2016: In a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel, on the invitation of the Center for National Interest, Trump states that “this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon” between the United States and Russia. Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, attends and greets Trump at the reception preceding the address. [Time (transcript); [Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2016]

  • June 9, 2016: Trump tweets about Hillary Clinton's "deleted" emails:

  • July 22, 2016: Three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. [Washington Post] A WikiLeaks page invites visitors to "Search the DNC email database."

  • July 25, 2016: Trump tweets:

  • July 26, 2016: Trump tweets:

  • July 27, 2016:

    • Two days after the start of the Democrat National Convention,  Trump states at a press conference in Florida, regarding candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” [ABC (video)]​ ​

    • Earlier in the day, Trump tweets:

  • July 31, 2016: When asked by ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos about Putin, Trump states: “I’ve never met him. I have no relationship with Putin. I don’t think I’ve ever met him. I never met him . . . . I mean if he’s in the same room or something. But I don’t think so.” Trump also states that “the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were.” [ABC (transcript)]

  • September 7, 2016: At NBC's commander-in-chief forum, Trump states that Putin has "been a leader far more than our president has been a leader." [CNBC]

  • October 5, 2016: At a campaign rally in Henderson, Nevada, Trump states: "I will say if we get along with Russia and Russia went out with us and knocked the hell out of ISIS, that’s okay with me, folks.” [Reuters, October 6, 2016]

  • November 8, 2016: Trump wins the U.S. election.

  • November 28, 2016: In an interview with Time, Trump denies that Russia interfered with the election. [Time]

  • December 2016: On an unspecified date, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Flynn meet with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in Trump Tower. [New York Times, March 2, 2017; New Yorker, March 6, 2017]

  • December 15, 2016: Trump transition team releases “[a] very nice” holiday letter from Putin to Trump expressing the hope that Trump will “restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level.”

  • December 30, 2016: The day after Flynn’s five calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Putin states in an official statement that he will not retaliate against the U.S. sanctions.

2017

  • January 4, 2017: Trump tweets

  • January 6, 2017: Trump transition team releases a statement after a briefing with Intelligence Community leaders. It states in part: “While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful."

  • January 7, 2017: Trump tweets in series about Russia:

  • January 10, 2017: CNN reports that Trump and Obama are briefed on kompromat and received two-page summary of the Steele dossier. [CNN] BuzzFeed publishes 35 pages of Steele dossier [BuzzFeed]

  • January 11, 2017In his first press conference since the election, Trump admits Russian hacking for the first time: “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. Hacking’s bad, and it shouldn’t be done. But look at the things that were hacked, look at what was learned from that hacking.” He further states: “And I have to say this also, the Democratic National Committee was totally open to be hacked. They did a very poor job." He tells a CNN reporter, “You are fake news.” [Washington PostNew York Times (transcript, video)] Earlier in the day, Trump issues a series of tweets denying the contents of the Steele dossier and accusing the Intelligence Community of leaks:

  • January 13, 2017:

    • Trump tells the Wall Street Journal he may lift sanctions on Russia: "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?" [Wall Street Journal]

    • Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issue a joint statement announcing a bipartisan Committee investigation of Russian hacking of DNC and possible Trump/Russia ties.

  • February 5, 2017: In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, when his interviewer says Putin is "a killer," Trump responds: "There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" [Fox]

  • February 7, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • February 10, 2017: On Air Force One, Trump states he didn't know about reports that Flynn had conversations with the Russians about sanctions prior to the Inauguration. [CNNTwitter (Dan Merica)]

  • February 15, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets denying the Russia story and accusing the Intelligence Community of leaks.

  • February 16, 2017Trump holds his first solo press conference. He states, "I’m here today is to tell you the whole Russian thing, that’s a ruse. That’s a ruse." He also states: "I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don't have any deals in Russia." [New York Times (transcript)] Earlier in the day, Trump issues a series of tweets on leaking.

  • February 17, 2017: Trump issues two tweets about the news media; he deletes the first. [New York Times]

Tweet 1 (deleted): <The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!>

Tweet 2:

  • February 24, 2017: Trump tweets in series:

  • February 26, 2017: Trump tweets

  • March 2, 2017: Addressing revelations on communications between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian officials, Trump tweets in series:

  • March 3, 2017: Trump tweets in series:

​Tweet 1:

Tweet 2 (deleted): <I hear by demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN>

Tweet 3 (deleted): <I hearby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN>

Tweet 4:

  • March 4, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets claiming that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower, as well as tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions

  • March 5, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets about Russia:

  • March 7, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • March 28, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • March 30, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • April 1, 2017: Trump issues tweets calling the Trump/Russia story a "scam" and reiterating his claims of improper surveillance under Obama:

  • April 2, 2017: Trump tweets

  • April 3, 2017: Trump tweets in series:

  • April 5, 2017: In an interview with the New York Times, Trump says that Rice may have committed a crime by unmasking the identities of Trump associates. He does not offer evidence. [New York Times]

  • April 12, 2017: In a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump affirmed the United States’ commitment to NATO: "The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete." [NATO]

  • April 13, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • April 28, 2017: Trump retweets[email protected]:

  • April 30, 2017: In an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation," Trump states that his former national security adviser Michael Flynn "was on the Obama clearance" when he went to Russia in 2015. When asked if the Russians tried to interfere in the U.S. election, Trump points to John Podesta's company in Russia, Bill Clinton's speeches in Russia, and Hillary Clinton's "uranium deal with Russia," and then states, "With that being said, I'll go along with Russia. It could have been China. It could have been a lot of different groups." [CBS (transcript), May 1, 2017]
  • May 1, 2017: In an interview on the debut of "The Fox News Specialists," Trump states: “I'm not talking, not all of the media. I'll tell you just, that is unfair the way they cover me because they say I'm against the media. I'm not against the media; I'm against the fake media.” [Fox News (video)]
  • May 2, 2017:
    • In a phone call, Trump and Putin "agree[] that the suffering in Syria has gone on for far too long and that all parties must do all they can to end the violence." The White House readout states that the "conversation was a very good one" and included discussion of "safe, or de-escalation zones" and that the U.S. will send a representative to the May 3-4 ceasefire talks in Kazakhstan. The Kremlin readout describes the focus on "creat[ing] preconditions for launching a real settlement process in Syria" and describes the call as "businesslike and constructive."
    • Trump tweets:
  • May 7, 2017: Trump issues one tweet regarding Russia and one seemingly related retweet regarding the media:
  • May 8, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets in advance of and then during the testimony of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former DNI Director James Clapper before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism:
  • May 10, 2017
    • Trump states that he fired FBI Director James Comey "because he wasn't doing a good job." [CNN]
    • Trump tweets about Comey and the reaction to Comey's firing:
  • May 11, 2017: ​
    • Earlier in the day, Trump tweets:
  • Trump issues a series of tweets, including one that critics construe as a threat of former FBI Director James Comey:
  • May 15, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during their May 10 visit to the Oval Office. [Washington Post]
  • May 16, 2017: President Trump defends his disclosure of classified information to Russian officials in a series of tweets:
  • May 17, 2017: Shortly after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints special counsel Robert Mueller to head the Russia investigation, Trump releases a short official statement: "As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country."
  • May 18, 2017:
    • Trump tweets:
  • May 28, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • May 30, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • May 31, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • June 1, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • June 27, 2017: Trump issues several of his own tweets as well as a series of retweets:
  • June 30, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 2, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 3, 2017: Trump tweets: 
  • July 7, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 8, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 9, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 10, 2017: Trump tweets:

 2. Russia Hacks and DC Leaks, WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 Data Dumps

  • September 2015: FBI informs the DNC that at least one DNC computer system had been breached by a Russian group that investigators dubbed "the Dukes," and later as "Cozy Bear" and "Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 29." [New York Times, December 13, 2016] A GRU-controlled unit dubbed “Fancy Bear,” or “APT 28,” is believed to have created Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks, as fora for disclosing the stolen documents. [New York Times, December 9, 2016]

2016

  • June 14, 2016:

    • The Washington Post reports that Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to an entire database of opposition research. [Washington Post]

    • DC Leaks releases internal documents belonging to Clinton campaign staff.

    • CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC, announces that two Russia-linked hacker groups are responsible for breaching the DNC's servers, dubbed Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear. [CrowdStrike (report updated June 15, 2016); Washington Post, June 14, 2016]

    • Hours later, self-proclaimed hacker Guccifer 2.0 starts a WordPress blog refuting CrowdStrike’s attribution, claiming sole credit for the hack, and publishing the first in a series of stolen DNC documents. [New York Times, July 27, 2016] Security researchers and U.S. officials later conclude Guccifer is a Russian propaganda effort. [ThreatConnect, June 29, 2016; Washington Post (transcript of testimony of James Comey), May 3, 2017]

  • July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. A WikiLeaks page invites visitors to "Search the DNC email database." [Washington Post]

  • July 24, 2016: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, issues a statement announcing her resignation in response to material contained in the leaked emails. [New York Times]

  • July 25, 2016: The Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia. [New York Times]

  • July 27, 2016: At a press conference in Florida, regarding candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails, Trump states: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” [ABC; The Guardian (video)]

  • July 29, 2016: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announces it has been hacked. A senior U.S. official tells NBC News the FBI is investigating the intrusion. [NBC]

  • August 2, 2016: DNC CEO Amy Dacey, CFO Brad Marshall, and Communications Director Luis Miranda all resign after the DNC convention in the wake of the email dump. [Washington Post]

  • August 5, 2016: On “Real Time With Bill Maher,” WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange addresses the release of the DNC emails: "I'm super happy with how that's gone. We've had four people in the DNC resign...that shows a kind of instant accountability." [YouTube]

  • August 12, 2016:

    • DC Leaks releases about 300 emails of select Republican targets, including the 2016 campaign staff of Russia-hardliners Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. [Politico, August 13, 2017]

    • A hacker named Guccifer 2.0 takes credit for releasing information, including personal phone numbers, of over 200 Democratic lawmakers and says the information was stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee [CNN, August 13, 2017]

    • The digital security firm ThreatConnect identifies DC Leaks as "another Russian-backed influence outlet,” as later corroborated by other U.S. security firms [ThreatConnect; Senate Testimony of FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, March 30, 2017]

  • August 15, 2016: DC Leaks releases 2,576 files, mostly related to internal activities of George Soros's Open Society Foundation. [The Hill] DC Leaks describes Soros as "an oligarch sponsoring the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, hundreds of politicians all over the world.” [DC Leaks]

  • August 17, 2016: as a major party presidential nominee, Trump receives his first classified briefing by intelligence agencies. NBC News later reports that the briefing included information about the “direct links” between the hacking incidents and the Russian government. [NBC News, October 10, 2016]

  • September 26, 2016: At the first presidential debate of the general election, Trump states: “I don't know if we know it was Russia who broke into the DNC. She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could also be China, it could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” [Politico (transcript & video)]

  • October 7, 2016:

    • The Intelligence Community and DHS issue a joint statement concluding the Kremlin is responsible for the DNC hack: "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations."

    • A controversial 2005 videotape of Trump’s comments caught on an Access Hollywood hot mic is released  [CNNMoney, October 7, 2016; Washington Post, October 8, 2016]

    • WikiLeaks publishes the first in a series of emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. [Twitter (WikiLeaks)]

  • October 10, 2016: At a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania rally, Trump states, “I love WikiLeaks,” and cites some of the hacked emails to criticize Hillary Clinton. [The HillYouTube]

  • October 11, 2016: Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta tells reporters there may be a connection between Trump and WikiLeaks through Trump ally Roger Stone: “I think it’s a reasonable assumption to—or at least a reasonable conclusion—that Mr. Stone had advance warning and the Trump campaign had advance warning about what Assange was going to do.” [Washington Post]

  • October 12, 2016: Roger Stone tells CBS Miami that he had “back-channel communications” with Assange about the release of the stolen DNC emails but denies being involved in the timing of their release. [CBS Miami]

  • October 19, 2016: At the final presidential debate, Clinton criticizes Trump for refusing to admit that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States. [New York Times (transcript)]

  • October 31, 2016: The New York Times publishes story with the headline, “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link To Russia.” [New York Times]

2017

  • February 16, 2017: At his first solo press conference at the White House, Trump criticizes the leaks that led to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn as a "real problem." In response to a reporter's observation that the president had encouraged leaks during the campaign, Trump stated: "So in one case you’re talking about highly classified information. In the other case you’re talking about John Podesta saying bad things about the boss."

  • April 20, 2017: CNN reports that the United States is preparing charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, based on statements from unnamed U.S. officials. [CNN]

 

3. Intelligence Community Statements and Actions

  • September 2015: FBI informs the DNC that at least one DNC computer system had been breached by a Russian group that investigators dubbed "the Dukes," and later as "Cozy Bear" and "Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 29." [New York Times, December 13, 2016] A GRU-controlled unit dubbed “Fancy Bear,” or “APT 28,” is believed to have created Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks, as fora for disclosing the stolen documents. [New York Times, December 9, 2016]

2016

  • Summer 2016: Intelligence officials begin briefing senior members of Congress about Russian interference operations designed to help elect Donald J. Trump president. In August, then-CIA director John O. Brennan begins a series of individual briefings for the Gang of Eight (the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate and their intelligence committees). [New York Times, April 6, 2017]

  • Late July 2016: FBI begins counterintelligence investigation into possible links between Trump campaign and Russia. FBI Director James Comey confirms this timeline during the first hearing held by the House Intelligence Committee on Russian interference [Washington Post (transcript & video), March 20, 2017]

  • August 4, 2016: CIA Director John Brennan warns Alexander V. Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) not to interfere in the U.S. election. [New York Times]

  • September 7, 2016: At the Intelligence and National Security Summit in D.C., Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declines to discuss the hacks of the DNC or DCCC and says “I won’t get out ahead of the president on this, particularly while the FBI is conducting an investigation,” but he observes that "[t]he Russians hack our systems all the time." [The Hill]

  • October 7, 2016: The day WikiLeaks publishes the first in a series of emails to or from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta [Twitter (WikiLeaks)], the Intelligence Community and DHS issue a joint statement publicly charging the Kremlin with “direct[ing] the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations" and “disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona . . . to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

  • October 30, 2016: In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says the FBI chief has withheld “explosive information” about Trump-Russia ties [Associated Press, October 31, 2016]

  • November 8, 2016: Trump wins the U.S. election.

  • November 15, 2016: Admiral Mike Rogers, NSA director and head of U.S. Cyber Command, attributes DNC hacks to Russia at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit: “There shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's mind. This was not something that was done casually. This was not something done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.” [Wall Street JournalThe Hill, November 16, 2017]

  • December 29, 2016:

    • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI release a joint report that "provides technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used by the Russian civilian and military intelligence Services (RIS) to compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election," activity which the report dubs GRIZZLY STEPPE.

    • The White House issues a fact sheet formally accusing Russia of cyber activities intended to influence the election and undermine confident in U.S. institutions and processes. President Obama amends Executive Order 13964 (originally issued in April 2015) to authorize sanctions on those found to be “tampering with, altering, or causing a misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions.” [Executive Order 13964 (April 1, 2015)Annex to Executive Order 13694 (December 29, 2016)Sanctions include the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats suspected of being spies and penalization of two Russian intelligence agencies and four officers of GRU. [New York Times]

  • December 30, 2016: In a post on his personal website, Robert Lee, a cybersecurity fellow at New America, CEO of cybersecurity company Dragos, and former Air Force cyberwarfare officer, supports the White House statement as "a strong and accurate statement" but criticizes the joint DHS/FBI report for "read[ing] like a poorly done vendor intelligence report stringing together various aspects of attribution without evidence."

  • December 31, 2016: In a Medium post, cybersecurity researcher Jeffrey Carr criticizes the DHS/FBI report for "add[ing] nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible" for the election hacks.

2017

  • January 6, 2017:

    • President Obama and President-elect Trump and leaders of House and Senate intelligence committees are briefed on the Intelligence Community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia waged a sophisticated cyberattack to harm Hillary Clinton and advantage Trump in the race for the White House. Obama and Trump are also briefed on ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s dossier alleging Russia’s kompromat material on Trump, as revealed by the press four days later. [Washington Post, January 10, 2017]

    • The Intelligence Community releases a declassified version of its report concluding the Kremlin interfered with the U.S. election to elect Trump. The 25-page report, entitled “Background to ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution,” states: “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

  • January 11, 2017: Regarding the Steele dossier, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper states the Intelligence Community "has not made any judgment that the information in the document is reliable, and we did not rely on it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security." [CNN]

  • April 4, 2017: The Pentagon opens a probe into Flynn's payments; the Inspector General for the DoD confirms the probe on April 27, 2017. [Wall Street Journal]

  • May 17, 2017: Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller Special Counsel for the Russia investigation. [New York Times]
  • May 22, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Trump personally asked two top intelligence officials, Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the chief of the National Security Agency, to make public statements denying evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian officials. [Washington Post]

 

4. House and Senate Intelligence Committee Investigations and Hearings

  • January 13, 2017: Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA), chairman and vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issue joint statement announcing a bipartisan inquiry into Russian intelligence activities.

  • January 25, 2017: The House Intelligence Committee issues press release announcing bipartisan investigation into Russian interference with U.S. election.

  • March 20, 2017: At the House Intelligence Committee’s first hearing, FBI Director James Comey publicly announces an ongoing investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. [Washington Post (transcript & video)] He states: "I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed."

  • March 22, 2017: In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings request documents related to Flynn’s hiring and forced resignation as Trump’s national security adviser.

  • March 29, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) hold a joint press conference and promise a thorough inquiry into Russian interference. Burr states: “This investigation’s scope will go wherever the intelligence leads." [New York Times]

  • April 19, 2017: In a response letter, the White House declines to submit the documents requested by the House Oversight Committee and says it cannot conduct such a search "[g]iven that these activities and payments predate Lt. Gen. Flynn's service at the White House."

  • April 24, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee announces hiring of two new staffers for its Russia investigation. [CNN]

  • April 25, 2017:

    • Chaffetz and Cummings tell reporters that, after reviewing two classified memos and Flynn's financial disclosure form, they believe Flynn did not fully disclose or receive permission for income he received from foreign governments as required by law. [Washington Post]

    • Press Secretary Sean Spicer says it is “ridiculous” and “pretty outlandish” to expect the White House to produce documents dating back to before Trump took office. [The Hill]

    • The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism announces that former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will testify before the subcommittee on May 8 as part of its Russia investigation. [ReutersCNN]

  • April 26, 2017: The Senate Judiciary Committee announces that FBI Director James Comey will testify before it at a public hearing on May 3. CNN reports the hearing relates to FBI oversight "and is not necessarily related to congressional investigations into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election." [CNN]

  • April 28, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee sends letters to at least four Trump campaign associates—Roger Stone, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn—requesting information about any meetings they had with Russian officials or businesspeople occurring from June 16, 2015, through Jan. 20, 2017, along with all records of communications with Russian officials or businesspeople in that time period.  [Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2017; New York Times, May 5, 2017]

  • May 3, 2017: Susan Rice's lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, sends a letter to Senators Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse, chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, declining to participate in the upcoming May 8 hearing on Russian interference in the election in light of the non-bipartisan nature of the invitation. Ruemmler indicates that Rice received a letter directly from Whitehouse indicating his disagreement with the subcommittee's decision to invite her.  [CNN]

  • May 5, 2017: The day after Page responds to the Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry with a letter asserting that the U.S. government already possesses many of the communications requested by the Committee, Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), chair and ranking member, issue a joint statement stating, "Should Mr. Page choose to not provide the material requested by those dates, the Committee will consider its next steps at that time." In an email to the Post, Page describes his letter as a "preliminary response" to the Committee's "request for even more irrelevant data." [The HillThe Washington Post]

  • May 8, 2017: Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism holds a hearing on "Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election" at 2:30 pm. Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify. [Senate Judiciary Committee (livestream)]

    • Clapper testifies that to his knowledge there is no evidence of collusion between Trump campaign members and Russians. [Washington Post (transcript)]

    • Yates testifies that on January 27, 2017 White House Counsel Donald McGahn called her to the White House to discuss four topics regarding Flynn's misleading statements to White House officials regarding his discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak: "The first topic in the second meeting was essentially why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another. The second topic related to the applicability of criminal statutes and the likelihood that the Department of Justice would pursue a criminal case. The third topic was his concern that their taking action might interfere with an investigation of Mr. Flynn. And the fourth topic was his request to see the underlying evidence."  [Sally Yates Senate testimony, May 9, 2017]

    • Trump issues a series of tweets in advance of and then during the testimony of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former DNI Director James Clapper before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.
  • May 11, 2017: In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe states that Comey enjoyed "broad support" within the FBI and that "[t]he majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey." [Washington Post (transcript)]
  • May 12, 2017: In a letter, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein request a briefing from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to the full committee on matters related to the Russia investigation.
  • May 17, 2017: House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes issues a statement praising appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russia investigation.

  • May 23, 2017: Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in open and closed sessions on Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign. Brennan states he was concerned about contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials in the summer before the election and that on August 4, 2016, he warned Alexander V. Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) not to interfere. [New York Times]

  • May 26, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee requests all Trump campaign documents dating to June 2015. He publicly confirms he was concerned about possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. [Washington Post]

  • May 31, 2017

  • June 7, 2017:

    • Senate Intelligence Committee releases former FBI Director James Comey's prepared statement one day in advance of his scheduled testimony. He reveals he had nine in-person conversations and six phone calls with Trump between January 6 and April 11. He states he wrote the memos because “I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting.”

    • Four senior officials—Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The subject is reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but about half of the questions are about the Russia probe. Coats and Rogers are questioned about news reports that Trump asked them to state publicly that there was no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Rogers states that he was "never been directed to do anything" improper, and Coats states that he has "never felt pressured to intervene or interfere" with any investigation. Each declines to answer questions about whether doing anything with respect to the Russia investigation was merely raised or requested by Trump.  [Washington Post]

  • June 8, 2017: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation and his private interactions with and concerns about Trump prior to his May firing. [New York Times (transcript & video)]

    • In reference to Trump's statements that the FBI was in disarray and had lost confidence in its leader, Comey states: "Those were lies, plain and simple."

    • Regarding Trump's private February 14 request, Comey states, "I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign."

    • He states that he had written memos of all of his conversations with Trump and had given those memos to special counsel Robert Mueller.

    • Comey states he shared a memo of his May 15 conversation with Trump with a friend, Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia.

    • Comey states the FBI leadership decided not to share with Attorney General Jeff Sessions concerns about Trump's February 14 request, regarding the Flynn investigation, that Comey "let this go" because they anticipated Sessions would soon recuse himself from the Russia probe (Sessions recused two weeks later, on March 2).

  • June 13, 2017: 

    • In testimony on the FY2018 Justice Department budget before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein states that, per Justice Department regulations, he would not fire special counsel Robert Mueller without "good cause." [PBS (video)]

    • Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers an opening statement and answers questions in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. [Politico (transcript)]

      • Sessions states he does not recall private conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016.

      • Sessions refuses to discuss his conversations with Trump. “Consistent with longstanding Department of Justice practice, I cannot and will not violate my duty to protect confidential communications with the president."

      • Sessions states that Comey had not explained why he was uncomfortable being left alone with Trump.

      • Sessions expressed anger at the suggestion he part in or was aware of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

  • June 21, 2017: The House and Senate Intelligence Committees hold separate morning hearings on the Russia investigation.

    • The Senate Intelligence Committee questions two panels of experts on the subject of state and local election systems hacks: Dr. Samuel Liles (DHS Acting Director of Cyber Division, Office of Intelligence and Analysis); Jeanette Manfra (DHS Acting Director of Undersecretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate); and Bill Priestap (FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Division); Michael Haas (Midwest Regional Representative of the National Association of State Election Directors); Dr. J. Alex Halderman (Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Michigan); Connie Lawson (President-Elect of National Association of Secretaries of State and the Secretary of State of Indiana); and Steve Sandvoss (Executive Director of the Illinois State Board of Elections).

    • Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on what DHS knew about Russian cyberattack on election infrastructure in the lead-up to the election.

 

5. Putin Statements, Russian Media, and Russia Developments

  • February 2014: Russia begins military operations against eastern Ukraine and annexes Crimea.

  • March 6, 2014: President Obama issues a statement and signs the first of a series of executive orders authorizing sanctions "on individuals and entities responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, or for stealing the assets of the Ukrainian people." [C-SPAN (video); (Executive Order 13660 (March 6, 2014); Executive Order 13661 (March 17, 2014); Executive Order 13662 (March 20, 2014); Executive Order 13685 (December 24, 2014)]

2016

  • January 3, 2016: GRU chief Igor Dmitrievich Sergun, who invited then-Defense Intelligence Agency director Flynn to Moscow in June 2013, dies of reported heart attack. [New York Times]

  • September 5, 2016:

    • At the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, four days after U.S. imposes sanctions on dozens of companies and people building "Putin's bridge" to Crimea. [Reuters, September 1, 2016], President Obama has what he describes as a "candid, blunt and businesslike" 90-minute meeting with Putin, during which he delivers a direct warning to Russia about cyber war and addressed the "gaps of trust that exist" on Syria. [CNN]

    • In a press conference with Russian journalists, Putin says he and Obama “did raise the sanctions matter in passing, but we did not discuss it in detail because I see no sense in discussing matters of this sort. It was not our initiative to impose these sanctions." [The Kremlin (transcript)]

  • October 3, 2016: Putin orders the suspension of the U.S.-Russia agreement for the disposal of plutonium because of "unfriendly actions by the United States." [TASS; The Kremlin; Washington Post] The U.S.-Russia Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, signed in 2000, obligated each country to dispose of a minimum of 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium, enough for 17,000 nuclear weapons. [2017 State Department Fact Sheet]

  • November 8, 2016: The morning of the U.S. election, a Russian national is found dead at the Russian Consulate in New York. BuzzFeed later identifies him as Sergei Krivov, a consular duty commander, and reports that contrary to consular officials' claim that Krivov died of a heart attack in the security office of the consular building, initial reports stated he plunged from the roof of the consulate. [BuzzFeed, February 15, 2017]

  • November 10, 2016: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov, tells Interfax news agency “There were contacts” between the Russian government and the Trump campaign in the lead-up to the election. [Reuters] Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denies the assertion, and Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells the Associated Press that Russian experts had contacts with both campaigns. [Associated Press]

  • December 4, 2016: In an interview with state-controlled NTV TV, Putin praises Trump: “Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man." [BBC]

  • December 7, 2016: In surprise deal, Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft PJSC, sells 19.5 percent ($11 billion) stake to Glencore Plc and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund. [Bloomberg]

  • December 19, 2017: Petr Polshikov, chief advisor to the Russian Foreign Affairs ministry's Latin American affairs department, is shot dead in his Moscow apartment. [The Independent] Andrei Karlov, Russian Ambassador to Turkey, is assassinated by a gunman at an Ankara art exhibit. [New York Times]

  • December 26, 2016: Oleg Erovinkin, former KGB general reportedly suspected of helping the former MI6 agent Christopher Steele compile his dossier on Trump, is found dead in the back of his car in Moscow. [The Telegraph, January 27, 2017]

  • Dec. 29, 2016:

    • President Obama announces he has expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of being spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies and four officers of GRU for their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups. [New York Times]

    • Flynn has five phone calls with Russian ambassador Kislyak. [Washington Post, January 12, 2017; Reuters, January 23, 2017]

  • Dec. 30, 2016: Putin announces in an official statement that he will not retaliate against the U.S. sanctions. Trump tweets:

  • December 2016: Sergei Mikhailov, deputy head of FSB's Centre for Information Security, and Dmitry Dokuchaev are arrested on treason charges for allegedly passing information to the CIA. [AP, January 31, 2017]

2017

  • January 5, 2017: The Washington Post reports that U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted communications of Russian officials congratulating themselves on Trump's presidential win. [Washington Post]

  • January 9, 2017: Andrei Malaninuk, Russian Consul in Athens, Greece, is found dead in his apartment. [Reuters]

  • January 17, 2017: Responding to the release of the Steele kompromat dossier, at a joint press conference with Moldovan President Igor Dodon, Putin says dossier is fake and being used to “smear” Trump. He states: “Why would he run to a hotel to meet up with our girls of limited social responsibility? Although they are, of course, the best in the world. But I doubt that Trump fell for it.” [The Kremlin]

  • January 26, 2017: Alexander Kadakin, Russian Ambassador to India, dies of reported heart attack. [The Hindu]

  • January 28, 2017: Kremlin issues press statement on phone call between Trump and Putin, stating that they discussed "restoring mutually beneficial trade and economic ties between business circles of the two countries."

  • February 17, 2017: Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia's most popular tabloid, says President Trump is making "contradictory" statements about NATO. [The Hill]

  • February 20, 2017: Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN ambassador, dies in New York of reported cardiac arrest. [New York Times]

  • April 7, 2017: Russian foreign ministry issues statement calling U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile strike on Syria "clearly an act of aggression against a sovereign Syria" and "an egregious and obvious violation of international law." In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev says that the strike has "completely ruined" the Russia-U.S. relationship.

  • April 19, 2017: Reuters reports that U.S. intelligence officials have acquired document prepared by Kremlin-controlled, Moscow-based think tank, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], recommending Putin launch a propaganda campaign to persuade U.S. voters to elect a president good for Russian interests. [Reuters, April 21, 2017]

  • May 10, 2017: The Russian state news agency, TASS, publishes pictures of Trump standing with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislak in the Oval Office during a closed-door meeting that excluded U.S. media. [TASSNew York Times, May 11, 2017]

  • May 17, 2017: At a news conference in Sochi, Putin offers to provide the U,S, Congress with a record of the May 10 closed-door meeting between Trump, the Russian ambassador, and Russia’s foreign minister. [New York Times]

  • June 1, 2017: Putin suggests to reporters, for the first time, that “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers might have been involved in cyberattacks connected to the U.S. election. He says hackers “are like artists” who choose their targets depending how they feel “when they wake up in the morning.” [New York Times]

 

6. Donald Trump and Trump Organization's Alleged Ties to Russia

  • 1996-2008: Trump hires the Russian intellectual property law firm Sojuzpatent to file at least eight trademarks in Russia, including "Trump” and "Trump Tower." [CNNMoney, July 31, 2016]
  • 2003-10: Trump works on various business projects  with Felix Sater—the Russian-born managing director of real estate development fund Bayrock Group LLC who later pleads guilty to stock fraud in a scheme linked to the Russian mobster. [New York Times, January 16 2017; LA Times, February 23, 2017] In 2005, Trump signed a one-year deal with Bayrock Group to explore a Trump Tower in Moscow; Sater testifies in 2008 that Trump gave Bayrock Group an exclusive deal to develop the project, which failed. [Washington Post, June 17, 2016; Forbes, October 25, 2016]

  • July 16, 2008: Trump sells a mansion he acquired for $41 million to County Road Property LLC for $95 million, a front for actual buyer Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. [CNNMoney, July 27, 2016; deed 1 (2005)deed 2 (2008)]

  • September 15, 2008: Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., says about the Trump Organization: "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 . . . ." [eTurboNews]

  • 2013: Trump’s attempts at real estate deals are unsuccessful, but he inks a multi-million dollar agreement with billionaire Aras Agalarov to hold the 2013 Miss Universe pageant event in Moscow [Crocus Group, November 13, 2013; [Associated Press, March 4, 2017]

2016

  • May 26, 2016: Donald Trump secures the Republican presidential nomination. [New York Times]

  • July 26, 2016: Trump tweets:

  • October 5, 2016: An anonymous online report states that a computer server related to the Trump Organization engaged in a high level of activity with servers connected to Russia’s largest private bank. A Slate investigation cites several unnamed computer scientists and their findings regarding the unusual server activity. [Slate, October 31, 2016] In an email to Mother Jones, the Trump campaign states: "The Trump Organization is not sending or receiving any communications from this email server. The Trump Organization has no communication or relationship with this entity or any Russian entity." [Mother Jones, October 31, 2016]

2017

  • January 11, 2017: Trump tweets

  • February 16, 2017: At his first solo press conference as president, Trump states: "I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don't have any deals in Russia."  [New York Times (transcript)]

  • February 19, 2017: The New York Times reports that a proposal for a "peace plan" for Ukraine and Russia and for lifting sanctions against Russia was "hand-delivered" to Flynn's office the week before his resignation by Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen and convicts Felix Sater and Ukrainian politician Andrii Artemenko. [New York Times]

  • March 2, 2017: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs ranking member Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) issues a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting an inquiry into Trump's businesses and asserting that his refusal to disclose his dealings and divest from the Trump Organization exposes him to risk. [The Hill]

  • March 8, 2017: A letter from Trump's attorney to Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) states that "[w]ith a few exceptions" Trump's last 10 years of tax returns do not reveal "any income of any type from Russian sources." [Associated Press, May 12, 2017]
  • March 17, 2017: Reuters reports that at least 63 people with Russian passports or addresses have purchased at least $98.4 million in property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in Florida. [Reuters]

  • March 20, 2017: In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Emin Agalarov—the Russia pop singer, real estate mogul, and son of billionaire oligarch Aras Agalarov—details his ongoing relationship with the Trump family and his post-election contact with Trump. [Forbes] Father Aras has reportedly served as a liaison between Trump and Putin. [Washington Post, June 17, 2016] In 2013, son Emin released a music video featuring the 2013 Miss Universe contestants and a cameo by Trump. [YouTube] That year, Trump tweeted:

  • March 22, 2017: The New York Times reports on the Dallas hotel project being pursued by the Trump Organization under the leadership of his sons. The Times says that records show that Alterra Worldwide, the real estate firm that would own the hotel and partner with the Trump Organization, has business ties in Russia, Kazakhstan, and other countries. [New York Times]

  • May 12, 2017: The Associated Press releases a letter from Trump's attorney to Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that states that "[w]ith a few exceptions" Trump's last 10 years of tax returns do not reveal "any income of any type from Russian sources." [Associated Press]

 

7. Trump Associates’ Alleged Ties to Russia

  • Week of July 11, 2016: According to an op-ed the next week by Josh Rogin of the Washington Post, at the Republican Party’s national security platform meeting, Trump staffers intervene to change language in Diana Denman's amendment originally calling on the U.S. to provide “lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces. In final form, the GOP platform instead proposed providing "appropriate assistance." [Washington Post, July 18, 2016]

2017

  • January 19, 2017: The New York Times reports that Trump campaign aides—Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Michael Flynn—were investigated by US counterintelligence and law enforcement officials for links to Russia. [New York Times]

  • February 14, 2017: The New York Times reports that Trump associates had "repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election." [New York Times]

  • February 18, 2017: In an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation," White House chief of staff calls stories about Trump associates' contact with Russian officials and the Wall Street Journal's story that the Intelligence Community was not giving the president a full intelligence briefing "grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown, and it’s total garbage.” [CBS (video)]

  • February 24, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration enlisted members of Congress and the Intelligence Community to refute news stories about Trump associates' ties to Russia, including Senate Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Richard Burr. (R-N.C.) and House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R. Calif.) [Washington Post]

  • March 24, 2017: Stone, Page and Manafort volunteer to testify before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the committee's Russia investigation. [CNN; NBC News]

  • May 18, 2017: Reuters reports the Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians. After the election, Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak "discussed establishing a backchannel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy." [Reuters]

  • May 19, 2017: The Washington Post reports that a senior White House official has been identified as a significant person of interest during a probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. [Washington Post]

Roger Stone*

  • 1980/81: Roger Stone and Paul Manafort co-found a lobbying firm. [Washington Post, January 3, 1991] Trump hires Stone to represent his business interests. [PBS Frontline (interview with Stone), September 27, 2016]

  • July 22, 2016: Three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. [Washington Post] A WikiLeaks page invites visitors to "Search the DNC email database."

  • August 5, 2016: Roger Stone writes a detailed article for Breitbart stating that "the real culprit" of the DNC hack was not the Russians but a hacker named Guccifer 2.0. [BreitbartTwitter (Guccifer 2.0)]

  • August 8, 2016: The Trump campaign and Stone sever ties, but he reportedly continues to advise and support the campaign. [NBC News, Twitter (Stone)]

  • August 9, 2016: At a Florida event, Stone states: "I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation, but there's no telling what the October surprise may be." [YouTube] WikiLeaks tweets a denial:

  • August 21, 2016: Roger Stone tweets

  • October 3, 2016: Stone tweets

  • October 7, 2016WikiLeaks publishes the first in a series of emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

  • October 11, 2016: Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta tells reporters there may be a connection between Trump and WikiLeaks through Trump ally Roger Stone: “I think it’s a reasonable assumption to—or at least a reasonable conclusion—that Mr. Stone had advance warning and the Trump campaign had advance warning about what Assange was going to do.” [Washington Post]

  • October 12, 2016: Stone tells NBC News that he had “back-channel communications” with Assange about the release of the stolen DNC emails but denies being involved in the timing of their release. [NBC News]

2017

  • March 9, 2017: In an email to Business Insider, Stone says he had a private conversation with Guccifer 2.0 but that it was meaningless. [Business Insider, March 10, 2017]

  • March 20, 2017: At the House Intelligence Committee’s first hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff asks FBI Director James Comey for information on Stone. Comey says he is familiar with Stone but declines to discuss any specific person. [New York Times]

Paul Manafort*

  • February 29, 2016: Manafort pitches Trump on why he should be hired by the Trump campaign in a series of letters and memos. One memo stated: “I am not looking for a paid job." A mutual friend, Thomas J. Barrack Jr., passed the memo to Trump with a cover letter that stated Manafort "would do this in an unpaid capacity.” [New York Times, April 8, 2017]

  • March 28, 2016: Trump confirms he has hired Paul Manafort, a principal business partner of Roger Stone who did previous work for Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian President and pro-Kremlin politician who fled Ukraine during the street protests and found sanctuary in Russia before Putin annexed Crimea. [New York Times, March 28, 2016;  New York Times, July 31, 2016]]

  • March 29, 2016: The Trump campaign issues statement formally naming Manafort his campaign's convention manager.

  • June 9, 2016: At Trump Tower, Donald Jr. (and possibly Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner) meet with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties, after being promised negative information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. [New York Times, July 9, 2017] 

  • June 20, 2016: Trump fires campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, reportedly after months of conflict about campaign direction with chief strategist Manafort. Lewandowski’s duties are principally assumed by Manafort. [New York Times]

  • May 19, 2016: Trump formally names Manafort campaign chairman. [New York Times]

  • July 1, 2016: Trump campaign announces the hiring of Kellyanne Conway as senior advisor to campaign chairman Manafort. [Washington Post]

  • August 14, 2016: The New York Times reports that handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments to Manafort from Yanukovych. The transactions allegedly included an $18 million deal put together by Manafort and Putin ally and oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The Times publishes one page of the "black ledger," considered a party slush fund and obtained by Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau. [New York Times]

  • August 17, 2016: Kellyanne Conway is named Trump's campaign manager. [CNN] Stephen Bannon, chairman of the Breitbart News website, is named the Trump campaign’s chief executive. Manafort retains his title as campaign chairman but is reportedly "widely seen as being sidelined." [New York Times]

  • August 19, 2016: Trump campaign issues statement announcing Manafort's resignation. [New York Times]

2017

  • February 14, 2017: Manafort dismisses as "absurd" the assertion of four unnamed U.S. officials that Trump campaign members and other associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year leading up to the U.S. election. Manafort says, "I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.” He further observes, “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.'" [New York Times]

  • February 16, 2017: At his first solo press conference as president, Trump addresses media reports that Manafort communicated with Russian intelligence officials before the election: "He denied it. Now, people knew that he was a consultant over in that part of the world for a while, but not for Russia. I think he represented Ukraine or people having to do with Ukraine.” [New York Times (transcript)]

  • March 20, 2017: Press Secretary Sean Spicer states that Manafort “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time” in the Trump campaign. [Politico (video)]

  • March 21, 2017: Ukrainian lawmaker and journalist Serhiy Leshchenko releases a purported invoice printed on letterhead of Manafort's consulting company, dated October 14, 2009, listing payment of $750,000 to a Belize-based company for 501 computers. The date reportedly matches a $750,000 entry containing Manafort's name listed in a previously released "black ledger." At a news conference, Leshchenko alleges Manafort laundered payments from the party of ousted ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych using offshore Belize and Kyrgyzstan accounts. [Washington Post]

  • March 22, 2017:

    • The Associated Press reports that Manafort “secretly worked” for Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with close ties to Putin and quotes excerpt from a 2005 memo from Manafort to Deripaska on boosting Putin's agenda and undermining anti-Russian opposition in the U.S. and elsewhere. The memo states, "We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success" and that it "will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government." [Associated Press]

    • White House press secretary Sean Spicer states that Trump had not been aware of Manafort's work on behalf of Deripaska and that suggesting the contrary "is a bit insane." [Associated Press (video)]

  • March 23, 2017: Manafort confirms that he worked for Deripaska but denies the Associated Press’s allegation that the work sought to further the political interests of Putin’s government. [CNN]

  • April 2017: The Justice Department requests Manafort's bank records from Citizen Financial Group. [Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2017]

  • May 14, 2017: Citing an unnamed source, Bloomberg News reports that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) is in the early stages of an investigation into Manafort's real estate deals. [Bloomberg]

  • May 16, 2017: NBC News confirms that another subpoena has been issued relating to a $3.5 million loan Manafort took out immediately after resigning from the Trump campaign. [NBC]

Carter Page*

  • March 21, 2016: Trump tells the Washington Post editorial board that Carter Page will be one of his campaign advisers for foreign policy. [Washington Post]

  • Summer 2016: FBI obtains Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant for Carter Page after demonstrating to FISA court that that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power. [Washington Post, April 11, 2017]

  • July 7, 2016: Page delivers speech at Moscow's New Economic School during a trip reportedly approved by Trump’s then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. [Politico, March 7, 2017]

  • July 19, 2016:

    • Page and Trump campaign official J.D. Gordon meet with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the RNC in Cleveland. Page states that he does not deny the meeting.  [USA Today, March 2, 2017; MSNBC (video), March 2, 2017]

    • Date of a report in Steele dossier alleging that Page held a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, head of the Rosneft state-owned oil company and a Putin lieutenant, and Igor Divyekin, an internal affairs official with an intelligence background who allegedly warned Page that Moscow had kompromat on Trump [BuzzFeed, January 10, 2017]

  • August 27, 2016: In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid asks for investigation into Page’s alleged meeting with "high-ranking sanctioned individuals" in Russia during Page's July trip.

  • September 25, 2016: Kellyanne Conway says Page is not part of the campaign team during an interview with CNN. [CNN (transcript)] Page sends a letter to FBI Director James Comey saying that he is subject of a "witch hunt" and has not met with any "sanctioned official" in Russia in the past year.

  • September 26, 2016: Page informs the Washington Post's Josh Rogin that he is taking a leave of absence from the Trump campaign. [Washington Post]

  • October 13, 2016: Page pens op-ed for Kremlin-sponsored Sputnik News, titled "Mutual Respect or Mutual Assured Destruction: Reversing Steps to Nuclear Brink.

  • December 8, 2016: Page travels to Moscow. He states that he "will be meeting with business leaders and thought leaders." [New York Times; Sputnik News]

2017

  • January 11, 2017: At Trump’s first news conference since the election, incoming press secretary Sean Spicer says,"Carter Page is an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign." [Washington Post (transcript)]

  • February 12, 2017: Page writes the Department of Justice's Civil Division a letter asking it to investigate "the severe election fraud in the form of disinformation, suppression of dissent, hate crimes and other extensive abuses led by members of Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and their political allies last year.”

  • March 8, 2017: Page sends a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee and BuzzFeed News stating that "“If prior media reports may be believed that surveillance was indeed undertaken against me and other Trump supporters, it should be essentially deemed as a proven fact that the American people’s concerns that Trump Tower was under surveillance last year is entirely correct.” [BuzzFeed News]

  • April 11, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Page was the subject of a FISA court warrant. [Washington Post]

  • April 18, 2017: CNN reports that the FBI used the Steele dossier to persuade judge to grant FISA warrant to monitor Page’s communications in the summer of 2016. [CNN]

  • May 1, 2017: Page tells Fox News he is cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation. [Fox News, May 2, 2017]

  • May 4, 2017: Page responds to the Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry for 2015-17 communications with Russian officials and businesspeople with a letter asserting that the U.S. government already possesses many of the communications requested by the Committee. In an email to the Post, Page describes his letter as a "preliminary response" to the Committee's "request for even more irrelevant data." [The Washington Post, May 5, 2017]

Michael Flynn*

  • April 30, 2014: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn announces his retirement. [Washington Post]

  • October 8, 2014: In response to an inquiry from Flynn, Defense Intelligence Agency issues a written opinion to Flynn stating that foreign compensation requires advance approval.

2015

  • July 31, 2015: Flynn is paid $11,250 by Russia-based cargo airline Volga-Dneper Airlines. [Washington Post, March 16, 2017]

  • August 29, 2015: In an interview with Der Spiegel, Flynn calls for U.S. cooperation with Russia in the Middle East. [Der Spiegel]

  • December 10, 2015: Flynn speaks at Kremlin network Russia Today (RT) 10th anniversary gala, where he is seated next to Putin. He is paid more than $45,000 by RT. [Washington Post, March 16, 2017]

2016

  • January 16, 2016: To keep his access to classified security information, Flynn submits routine SF-86 security questionnaire. [Defense Intelligence Agency letter, April 7, 2017]

  • February 12, 2016: In an interview with Jake Tapper of CNN, Flynn states: I am advising any candidate that has asked me for advice on a range of issues, national security, foreign policy. But [Trump] is one of the candidates that I have advised.” [CNN (transcript)]

  • May 3, 2016: Trump wins the Indiana primary and becomes the presumptive Republican Party nominee. [CNN]

  • July 15, 2016: Flynn tells Der Spiegel that "Putin will be a reliable partner for certain things for the United States, yes. Absolutely." [Der Spiegel]

  • July 18, 2016: In an interview with Yahoo News, Flynn admits for the first time that he was paid for his trip to Moscow. He says he was paid by his speakers' bureau. [Yahoo News]

  • August 9, 2016: Flynn Intel Group (FIG) enters into a contract with Dutch company Inovo BV with the stated aim of “improving U.S. business organizations’ confidence regarding doing business in Turkey, particularly with respect to the stability of Turkey and its suitability as a venue for investment and commercial activity.” [Flynn FARA Filings, Exhibits A&B]

  • August 15, 2016: In an interview with the Washington Post, Flynn admits he was paid by Kremlin network Russia Today (RT) but says RT is no different from CNN. [Washington Post]

  • November 8, 2016: Flynn publishes an op-ed for The Hill titled "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support" and describing the "primary bone of contention" between the countries as Fethullah Gülen, "a shady Islamic mullah" and "radical Islamist." [The Hill]

  • November 10, 2016: President Obama meets with then-President-elect Trump and reportedly personally advises him against hiring Michael Flynn as his national security adviser. [NBC, May 8, 2017; Washington Post, May 8, 2017]

  • November 18, 2016: Trump names Flynn as his pick for national security adviser, along with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and Mike Pompeo as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. [Washington Post]

  • December 19, 2016: Flynn reportedly calls Kislyak to express condolences about the assassination of Andrey G. Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Ankara. [Washington Post, January 12, 2017]

  • December 28, 2016: Obama administration informs Trump transition tream that President Obama intends to impose sanctions on Russia. [Washington Post, February 16, 2017]

  • December 29, 2016:

    • President Obama announces he has expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of being spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies and four officers of GRU for their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups. [New York Times]

    • Flynn has five phone calls with Russian ambassador Kislyak. [Washington Post, January 12, 2017; Reuters, January 23, 2017] Reportedly, transcripts of the calls show that Flynn urged the Russians not to respond to the recent sanctions. [New York Times, March 1, 2017]

  • Dec. 30, 2016: Putin announces in an official statement that he will not retaliate against the U.S. sanctions. That day, Trump tweets:

2017

  • January 2, 2017: Obama administration officials learned that Kislyak called Flynn on December 29 and that the two spoke multiple times in the subsequent 36 hours. [New York Times, March 1, 2017]

  • January 4, 2017: Flynn tells the Trump team, including incoming White House counsel Donald McGahn, that he is under investigation for working as a paid lobbyist for a firm furthering Turkish interests. [New York Times]

  • January 12, 2017: Citing a senior government official, David Ignatius of the Washington Post breaks that "Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29." [Washington Post]

  • January 13, 2017: In a conference call with reporters, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer says Flynn and Kislyak's discussions “centered around the logistics” and did not touch on sanctions.  [New York Times]

  • January 14, 2017: Flynn informs Pence that he did not discuss sanctions with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. [Time]

  • January 15, 2017: Multiple incoming Trump officials deny Flynn spoke to Kislyak about sanctions.

    • On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Mike Pence vouches that Flynn did not speak with Kislyak about sanctions: "I talked to General Flynn about that conversation and actually was initiated on Christmas Day he had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia." [CBS (transcript)]

    • On NBC's "Meet the Press," Reince Priebus says: "The subject matter of sanctions or the actions taken by the Obama administration did not come up in the conversation." [NBC (transcript)]

  • January 17, 2017: President Obama directed national security adviser Susan Rice to give Trump's team the plan for arming the Kurds, considered by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as terrorists and their chief enemy. Trump's national security team rejects plan. [Washington Post]

  • January 19, 2017: Sally Yates and outgoing DNI director and CIA chief James Clapper and John Brennan reportedly argued internally for briefing the incoming administration on Flynn and Kislyak's conversations. [Washington Post]

  • January 20, 2017: Trump takes office.

  • January 22, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. counterintelligence officials have examined Flynn's links to Russia. Status of investigation not made clear. [Wall Street Journal]

  • January 23, 2017: The Washington Post reports that "FBI reviewed Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador Kislyak but found nothing illicit." [Washington Post]

  • January 24, 2017: FBI agents interview Flynn about his calls with the Russian ambassador Kislyak. [New York Times, February 14, 2017]

  • January 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and a senior national security official inform White House counsel Donald McGahn that Yates believed Michael Flynn misled senior administration officials about his communications with Russian ambassador Kislyak, exposing himself to potential blackmail. [Washington Post; Sally Yates Senate testimony, May 9, 2017]

  • January 27, 2017:

    • White House Counsel Donald McGahn calls Acting Attorney General Sally Yates back to the White House to discuss four topics. In May 2017, Yates testifies that those topics were as follows: "The first topic in the second meeting was essentially why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another. The second topic related to the applicability of criminal statutes and the likelihood that the Department of Justice would pursue a criminal case. The third topic was his concern that their taking action might interfere with an investigation of Mr. Flynn. And the fourth topic was his request to see the underlying evidence."  [Sally Yates Senate testimony, May 9, 2017]

    • On “Fox & Friends,” White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway states the Trump administration is considering lifting sanctions on Russia. [Fox & Friends]

  • January 28, 2017: Trump and Putin have an hour-long phone call; pictures show Flynn was present for the call [Call readout; NPR (picture), January 29, 2017; Twitter (Sean Spicer)]

  • January 30, 2017: White House issues an official statement on the firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, purportedly for her “betrayal” in refusing to enforce Trump’s immigration executive order. [Executive Order 13769]

  • February 8, 2017: In an interview with the Washington Post, Flynn denies discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador Kislyak. [Washington Post, February 13, 2017]

  • February 9, 2017: Flynn appears to revise his account and tells the Washington Post through a spokesman that he “couldn’t be certain that the topic [of sanctions] never came up” in his conversation with Kislyak. The Washington Post reports, “National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say.” [Washington Post] Pence is informed the Justice Department warned White House about Flynn two weeks prior, according to Pence press secretary Marc Lotter. [NBC]

  • February 10, 2017: On Air Force One, Trump states he didn't know about reports that Flynn had conversations with the Russians about sanctions prior to the Inauguration. [CNN, Twitter (Dan Merica)]

  • February 13, 2017:

    • On MSNBC, White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway affirms that Flynn has Trump's "full confidence." [MSNBC (video)]

    • Commenting on Flynn's alleged wrongdoing, House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) tells Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis, <It just seems like there's a lot of nothing there.> [Twitter (Steven Dennis)] Nunes further states: <He's in a Catch-22 situation. Did he have substantive conversations? No. It’s easy to play ‘gotcha.> [Twitter (Steven Dennis)] Some minutes later, appearing on Fox News, Nunes says Flynn should not step down and that he has "great confidence" in Flynn, who is "being attacked maliciously by the press.” [Washington Post (video)]

    • Flynn resigns as White House national security adviser, 24 days after taking office. In his White House statement, he says: "I inadvertently briefed the VP-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador."

    • The Washington Post reports that acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed White House Counsel Donald McGahn that she believed Flynn had misled administration officials about his communications with Kislyak and warnedFlynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. [Washington Post]

  • February 14, 2017:

    • White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Flynn did not violate any laws but he mislead. When asked if Trump instructed Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russians, Spicer says, "absolutely not." [Washington Post]

    • House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) Nunes says that it is “very hard to believe” that Flynn was acting as “some sort of secret Russian agent” and questions why intelligence officials eavesdropped on Flynn's calls. “I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer. The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.” [Washington Post]

  • February 15, 2017: Fielding a question at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump says of Flynn, “I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media — as I call it, the ‘fake media,’ in many cases — and I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly.” [Washington Post]

  • February 19, 2017: On NBC's "Meet the Press," Reince Priebus says he learned he had been misled about Flynn's discussions with Kislyak "sometime after January 27." [NBC (transcript)]

  • March 7, 2017: Flynn retroactively registers with the Justice Department disclosing he served as an agent of a foreign government while advising candidate Trump. His filings include revelations that he was paid $530,000 before the U.S. election for lobbying work for a Dutch-based firm seeking to further interests of Turkish government: [AP, March 8, 2017; Flynn FARA filings: Registration Statement, Short Form 1, Short Form 2, Exhibits A&B, Exhibit C)]

  • March 10, 2017: White House officials acknowledge that the Trump transition team learned before the Inauguration that Flynn might need to register as a foreign agent under FARA. [Associated Press]

  • March 16, 2017:

    • Documents released by House Oversight Committee ranking member Re. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) show previously unknown details about Russia-related payments that Flynn collected in 2015: (1) more than $45,000 from Kremlin network Russia Today (RT) in connection with his December 2015 trip to Moscow, and for DC speaking speeches, (2) $11,250 from the U.S. subsidiary of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab and (3) $11,250 by a U.S. air cargo company affiliated with the Volga-Dnepr Group, which is owned by a Russian businessman. [Washington Post; New York Times]

    • Cummings issues a letter to President Trump, Defense Secretary Mattis and FBI Director James Comey that includes a detailed request for information about whether Flynn fully disclosed his communications with Russian agents as part of the security clearance and vetting process. The letter also requests that the DOD initiate steps to recover all funds Flynn accepted in violation of the Emoluments Clause.

  • March 24, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that Flynn met with senior Turkish government officials on September 19, 2016 to strategize about resorting to extralegal measures to remove Gulen from the U.S. [Wall Street Journal]

  • March 30, 2017: Michael Flynn offers to testify to the FBI and the Senate Intelligence Committee for a grant of immunity. [WSJ] Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, issues a statement.

  • April 7, 2017: Defense Intelligence Agency confirms in a letter to the House Oversight Committee that it has not been able to identify any records regarding Flynn's receipt of money from a foreign source.

  • April 11, 2017: The Defense Intelligence Agency Inspector General issues a letter to House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz confirming the initiation of an investigation into whether Flynn obtained required approval before receiving foreign payments (Foreign Emoluments Clause; DoD 5500.07-R, Joint Ethics Regulation, Foreign Employment Restrictions; Section 9-601, Foreign Employment Restrictions; Army Regulation 600-291, Foreign Government Employment]

  • April 25, 2017: House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and ranking member Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) tell reporters that, after reviewing two classified memos and Flynn's financial disclosure form, they believed Flynn did not fully disclose or receive permission for income he received from foreign governments as required by law. [Washington Post]

  • April 27, 2017: House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz sends letter to Acting Army Secretary requesting information about whether Flynn requested approval for foreign payments from Army Secretary and Secretary of State as required by 37 U.S.C. § 908.

  • April 28, 2017:

    • Rachel Maddow reports that a source told NBC news the Trump transition team knew about Flynn's ties to Turkey but hired him anyway. [MSNBC (video)]

    • Sessions states on NBC's "Today" show that his recusal from Justice Department investigations into the 2016 election likely includes inquiries into Flynn's ties to foreign governments. [NBC (video)]

  • May 5, 2017: The Washington Post reports that senior members of the Trump transition team warned Flynn in November 2016 that U.S. intelligence agencies were "almost certainly" monitoring Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak's conversations, a month before Flynn was recorded discussing U.S. sanctions against Russia. Marshall Billingslea, who led Trump's national security transition team from November on, reportedly was so concerned that "Flynn did not fully understand the motives" of Kislyak that he asked Obama officials for a classified CIA profile of Kislyak. [Washington Post]

  • May 8, 2017:

    • Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

    • Trump issues a series of negative tweets about Yates and former DNI Director James Clapper in advance of and then during their Senate testimony.

  • May 9, 2017: CNN reports that federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas seeking business records from associates of former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn. [CNN]

  • May 17, 2017: The New York Times reports that on January 4, Flynn told the Trump team, including incoming White House counsel Donald McGahn, that he was under investigation for working as a paid lobbyist for a firm furthering Turkish interests—16 days before Trump entered office and Flynn became Trump's national security advisor. [New York Times]

  • May 18, 2017: Reuters reports the Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians. After the election, Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak "discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy." [Reuters]

  • May 22, 2017:

    • Michael Flynn refuses to comply with a House Intelligence Committee subpoena and invokes his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. [Associated Press; New York Times]

    • Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, issues a letter stating Flynn misled Pentagon investigators about his income from Russian companies and contact with Russian officials when he applied for removal of his top-secret security clearance last year. [Associated PressNew York Times]

Trump Children*: Ivanka*, Donald Jr.*, Eric*

  • May 26, 2017: Donald Trump secures the Republican presidential nomination. [New York Times]

  • June 9, 2016: At Trump Tower, Donald Jr. meets with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties, after being promised negative information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. [New York Times, July 9, 2017]

  • July 24, 2016: On CNN's "State of the Union," Jake Tapper asks Donald Jr. to respond to the suggestion that Russians are behind the hacking and release of the DNC emails, and "that this is part of a plot to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." Donald Jr. responds: "Well, it just goes to show you their exact moral compass. I mean, they will say anything to be able to win this. I mean, this is time and time again, lie after lie." [CNN (transcript)]

  • October 11, 2016: Donald Jr. is likely paid at least $50,000 to speak at the French think tank Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, founded by pro-Kremlin businessman Fabien Baussart, who has since nominated Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize [Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2017; ABC News, March 2, 2017]

  • November 11, 2016: Spokeswoman Hope Hicks states, "There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign." [Associated Press]

2017

  • January 19, 2017: Ivanka invites Dasha Zhukova, wife of Russian billionaire industrialist Roman Abramovich to be her personal guest at the Inauguration.

Jared Kushner*

  • December 2016:
    • On an unspecified date, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Flynn meet with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in Trump Tower. [New York Times, March 2, 2017; New Yorker, March 6, 2017]
    • On an unspecified date, Kushner later meets with Sergey Gorkov, chief of Vnesheconombank, a Russia-owned bank on the U.S. sanctions list since shortly after Putin's annexation of Crimea. [New York Times]
  • January 7, 2017: The New York Times reports on ties between Kushner and his family’s empire and various Russian and Chinese investors. Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner is an investor in Cadre, a company started by Kushner, his brother and a friend. [New York Times]
  • March 27, 2017: The New York Times reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee plans to question Jared Kushner, and that the White House has confirmed that Kushner not only met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Michael Flynn at Trump Tower in early December but Kushner's meeting with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of the Russian bank Vnesheconombank, which the United States  put on its sanctions list after Russia annexed Crimea. [New York Times]
  • May 19, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the FBI's Russia investigation has "identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest" and that the person is "close to the president." [Washington Post]
  • May 25, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the person of interest is Jared Kushner, who is a focus in the Russia investigation "because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians." [Washington Post]
  • May 26, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Jared Kushner and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak discussed the possibility of setting up a secret, secure communications backchannel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin using Russian diplomatic facilities "in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring." [Washington Post]
  • May 28, 2017: In three Sunday morning talk show appearances, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly states that it was a “good thing” and not a "big deal" if Kushner was trying to a create a backchannel to communicate with the Kremlin. [Fox; NBC (video); ABC (transcript)]
  • June 15, 2018: The Washington Post reports that special counsel Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner's financial dealings. [Washington Post]
  • June 18, 2017: In response to reports that Kushner is seeking a new lawyer in light of the link between his lawyer, Jamie Gorelick and special counsel Robert Mueller, who were partners together at WilmerHale, Gorelick states, “After the appointment of our former partner Robert Mueller as special counsel, we advised Mr. Kushner to obtain the independent advice of a lawyer with appropriate experience as to whether he should continue with us as his counsel.” [New York Times]

 

Jeff Sessions*

  • February 28, 2016: Jeff Sessions formally endorses Trump for president.

  • March 3, 2016: Sessions is named chairman of Trump campaign’s national security advisory committee. [donaldjtrump.com]

  • March 17, 2016: At an American Council for Capital Formation event, Sessions addresses foreign policy and Putin: “I think an argument can be made there is no reason for the U.S. and Russia to be at this loggerheads. Somehow, someway we ought to be able to break that logjam. Strategically it’s not justified for either country. It may not work. Putin may not be able to be dealt with, but I don’t condemn his instincts that we ought to attempt to do that.” [C-SPAN]

  • July 18, 2016: After delivering a speech at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation during the Republican National Convention, Sessions speaks to a group of ambassadors, including Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. [CNN, March 1, 2017; NBC News, March 3, 2017; Knoxville News Sentinel (delegate diary), July 19, 2016]

  • July 31, 2016: In an interview with CNN, Sessions addresses Trump’s posture on Russia: “This whole problem with Russia is really disastrous for America, for Russia and for the world,” he said. “Donald Trump is right. We need to figure out a way to end this cycle of hostility that’s putting this country at risk, costing us billions of dollars in defense, and creating hostilities. [CNN (transcript)]

  • September 1, 2016: U.S. imposes sanctions on dozens of companies and people building "Putin's bridge" to Crimea. [Reuters]

  • September 5, 2016:

    • At the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, President Obama has what he describes as a "candid, blunt and businesslike" 90-minute meeting with Putin, during which he delivers a direct warning to Russia about cyber war and addressed the "gaps of trust that exist" on Syria. [CNN]

    • In a press conference with Russian journalists, Putin says he and Obama “did raise the sanctions matter in passing, but we did not discuss it in detail because I see no sense in discussing matters of this sort. It was not our initiative to impose these sanctions." [The Kremlin (transcript)]

  • September 8, 2016:

    • Trump appears on Kremlin network Russia Today (RT) and says "it's probably unlikely" when asked about findings that the DNC hacks and WikiLeaks dumps were directed by Putin. [Washington Post]

    • Sessions and his staff meets with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in Sessions’s office. [Washington Post, March 1, 2017]

  • November 18, 2016: Trump’s names Sessions as his pick for U.S. attorney general.

2017

  • January 10, 2017: At Sessions's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asks Sessions: "If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?" Sessions responds: "Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities. 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." [Time (transcript)C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 2, 2017:

    • Senator Al Franken publicly issues a letter to Sessions asking him to account for denying communications with the Russian government during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    • Jeff Sessions recuses himself "from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States." [Washington Post (transcript)] He issues a formal press release announcing his recusal after the press conference.

  • April 28, 2017: Sessions states on NBC's "Today" show that his recusal from Justice Department investigations into the 2016 election likely includes inquiries into Flynn's ties to foreign governments. [NBC (video)]

  • May 9, 2017:  Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. In announcing Comey’s dismissal, the White House releases a bundle of documents, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions's recommendation for Comey's dismissal.

  • May 12, 2017: Rankings Democrats of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee send a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein requesting a report on the role of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

 

Mike Pence*

  • January 15, 2017:
    • On "Fox News Sunday," Christopher Wallace asks Mike Pence, "Was there any contact in any way between Trump or his associates and the Kremlin or cutouts they had?" Pence responds, "I joined this campaign in the summer, and I can tell you that all the contact by the Trump campaign and associates was with the American people." Wallance follows up with, "if there were any contacts, sir, I’m just trying to get an answer." Pence responds, "Yes. I — of course not. Why would there be any contacts between the campaign? Chris, the — this is all a distraction, and it's all part of a narrative to delegitimize the election and to question the legitimacy of this presidency. The American people see right through it." [Fox News (transcript)]
    • On CBS's "Face the Nation," John Dickerson asks Mike Pence, "Just to button up one question, did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?" Pence responds, "Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy." [CBS News (transcript)]

 

8. The Christopher Steele Dossier and Alleged Trump Kompromat

  • September 2015: Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm headed by former journalist Glenn Simpson, is hired by a Republican donor to compile a dossier on Trump's weaknesses. Almost a year later, in June 2016, Simpson hires ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele to investigate Trump, and Steele begins delivering memos to Fusion GPS. [New York Times, January 11, 2017]

2016

  • July 2016: Steele provides material on Trump to an FBI contact in Rome. In October, Mother Jones interviews Steele and, without naming him, reports on Steele’s contact with the FBI. [Mother Jones, October 31, 2016]

  • November 4, 2016: Newsweek reports: “The Kremlin also has both video and audio recordings of Trump in a kompromat file.” [Newsweek]

  • December 9, 2016: After Steele sends the dossier in encrypted form to Fusion with instructions to deliver a hard copy to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chair of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain passes the dossier to FBI Director James Comey.  After the dossier becomes public in January, McCain confirms he passed the "sensitive information" to Comey. [The Hill, January 11, 2017; The Guardian, April 28, 2017]

  • December 2016: Steele also passes the dossier to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity, on a confidential basis in hard copy form.” In an April 2017 court filing, Steele confirms that he passed the dossier to UK intelligence and to Senator John McCain. [The Guardian, April 28, 2017]

2017

  • January 6, 2017: Heads of US intelligence agencies brief President Obama and President-elect Trump and leaders of House and Senate intelligence committees on Steele’s kompromat material on Trump, in addition to presenting their unanimous conclusion that Putin directed a sophisticated cyber campaign aimed at putting Trump in the White House. [Washington Post, January 10, 2017]

  • January 10, 2017: CNN breaks news that President Obama and President-elect Trump were briefed on kompromat and received two-page summary of the Steele dossier the previous week. [CNN] BuzzFeed publishes 35 pages of Steele dossier [BuzzFeed]

  • January 11, 2017: Steele goes into hiding.

  • January 12, 2017: Intelligence sources describe Steele as a "very credible" and "highly regarded professional." [The Guardian] ​The Russian Embassy in the UK tweets: 

  • January 16, 2017: In an interview with the Times of London, Trump says about Steele: “Well, that guy is somebody that you should look at, because whatever he made up about me it was false.” [Times of London (transcript)]

  • February 10, 2017: CNN reports that U.S. investigators, for the first time, have confirmed corroboration of some of the communications described in the Steele dossier, including the identity of the communicants, days, and locations. White House press secretary Spicer responds, “We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting.” [CNN]

  • March 7, 2017: Steele comes out of hiding. He declines to comment on the dossier. [Washington Post]

  • April 18, 2017: CNN reports that the FBI used the Steele dossier to persuade judge to grant FISA warrant to monitor the communications of Page in the summer of 2016. [CNN]

 

9. Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Claims and Devin Nunes

  • November 11, 2016: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is named to the Trump transition team's executive committee. Nunes releases a short public statement.

  • November 17, 2016: In a Flynn profile piece, the Washington Post notes Nunes’s description of Flynn: “This is a guy who has the president’s trust, has credentials with the military, credentials with the Intelligence Community and credibility with Congress.” [Washington Post]

2017

  • February 13, 2017: Hours before Flynn resigns as White House national security adviser, Nunes tells Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis, <It just seems like there's a lot of nothing there.> [Twitter (Dennis)] Nunes further states: <He's in a Catch-22 situation. Did he have substantive conversations? No. It’s easy to play ‘gotcha.> [Twitter (Dennis)] Some minutes later, appearing on Fox News, Nunes says Flynn should not step down and that he has "great confidence" in Flynn, who is "being attacked maliciously by the press.” [Washington Post (video)]

  • February 14, 2017: Nunes says that it is “very hard to believe” that Flynn was acting as “some sort of secret Russian agent” and questions why intelligence officials eavesdropped on Flynn's calls. “I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer. The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.” [Washington Post]

  • February 24, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration enlisted members of Congress and the Intelligence Community to knock down news stories about Trump associates' ties to Russia, including Nunes and his Senate intelligence counterpart Aaron Burr. Nunes’s spokesman states that Nunes had already been speaking to reporters challenging the story and admits that “at the request of a White House communications aide, Chairman Nunes then spoke to an additional reporter and delivered the same message.”  [Washington Post]

  • February 27, 2017: Nunes says he has no evidence of any phone calls between the Trump team and Russian officials: "What I’ve been told by many folks is that there’s nothing there." He further states that Flynn tried to keep the lines of communications open” and "did us a big favor." [Washington Post, C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 2, 2017: Nunes and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) hold joint press conference on House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe. Reporters ask Nunes if Obama officials may have had reason to disperse intelligence about the Trump team’s conversations, since “this intelligence might be destroyed or ignored.” Nunes says the suggestion is “far-fetched.” [C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 4, 2017:

    • President Trump issues a series of tweets claiming that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower. These are intermingled with tweets concerning Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis releases a statement denying the accusations and tweets:

  • March 5, 2017: The New York Times reports that FBI Director James B. Comey asked the Justice Department to issue a statement refuting Trump’s claim about Obama-ordered wiretapping Trump’s phones. [New York Times]

  • March 15, 2017:

    • In an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Trump states: “We are going to be submitting certain things” to the House Intelligence committee. [Fox News (video)]

    • March 15, 2017. In a joint press conference with Schiff, Nunes states that although Obama didn’t tap Trump’s phones, as Trump alleged, Trump’s concern is “surveillance activities looking at him or his associates, either appropriately or inappropriately.” [C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 20, 2017:

    • Before the House Intelligence Committee's first hearing, White House official tells Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker: "It’s backdoor surveillance where it’s not just incidental, it's systematic. Watch Nunes today." [New Yorker, March 28, 2017] After the hearing, in response to questions from Mother Jones' David Corn, Nunes tells reporters he has never heard of Carter Page and Roger Stone. [Mother Jones]

    • At the House Intelligence Committee's first hearing, FBI Director James Comey publicly announces an ongoing investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia [Washington Post (transcript)] To Comey and Rogers, Nunes suggests it would be “preposterous to say that somehow the Russians prefer Republicans over Democrats” [C-SPAN (video)]

    • The official @POTUS account issues a series of tweets during Comey’s testimony alongside NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers recharacterizing the officials’ conclusions and downplaying the Kremlin’s interference.

  • March 21, 2017: House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes meets an unnamed source at White House and is shown intelligence reports in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The Daily Beast reports Nunes “vanished” the night before he made public claims about surveillance of the Trump transition team. [Daily Beast, March 24, 2017]

  • March 22, 2017:

    • House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes tells reporters in a solo press conference that Trump and his associates' communications were swept up in "incidental collection" by U.S. intelligence agencies. Nunes goes to White House to brief Trump. In second press availability, he states the information he received may have been derived from FISA warrants. Asked if he felt vindicated, Trump stated: “I somewhat do. I must tell you I somewhat do. I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found.” [Washington PostC-SPAN (video)] Nunes issues a statement confirming the incidental collection of "information about" Trump transition team members, the unmasking of the names of Trump transition team members, and the "wide[] disseminat[ion]" of Trump transition team member details despite having "little or no apparent foreign intelligence value."

    • House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff issues a statement, which says in part: “This afternoon, Chairman Devin Nunes announced he had some form of intercepts revealing that lawfully gathered intelligence on foreign officials included information on U.S. Persons, potentially including those associated with President Trump or the President himself. If accurate, this information should have been shared with members of the committee, but it has not been.” [LA Times]

  • March 24, 2017:

    • Yates's attorney David O’Neil writes a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn stating the belief that any "presidential communications privilege" covering Yates's communications with the White House was waived and Yates planned to testify on the invitation of the House Intelligence Committee. [Washington Post]

    • House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, cancels House hearing. [CNN]

  • March 27, 2017:

    • Nunes tells Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake that his source was an intelligence official. [Bloomberg View]

    • House Intelligence Committee ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff, issues statement calling on chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, to recuse himself from House Intel’s Russia investigation.

  • March 28, 2017:

    • The Washington Post reports that it has been provided a series of letters, including the March 24 O’Neil letter, that show the Trump administration sought to block former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying in the House's Russia investigation [Washington Post]

    • Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) tells The Hill that Rep. Devin Nunes should "absolutely" recuse himself from the Russia investigation. [The Hill] Appearing on "NBC's Today" show, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says that Nunes has "lost his credibility." [NBC (video)] In an interview on "CBS This Morning," when asked about Nunes's decision to view highly classified information at the White House, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) says, "there needs to be a lot of explaining to do. “I’ve been around for quite a while and I’ve never heard of any such thing.” [CBS]

  • March 30, 2017:

    • Rep. Devin Nunes admits he received information from the White House: “I did use the White House to help to confirm what I already knew from other sources.” Eli Lake confirms Nunes misled him about his source for information that dozens of intelligence reports improperly included details on Trump's transition. [Bloomberg View]

    • The New York Times reports that Rep. Devin Nunes’s sources were White House officials Ezra Cohen-Watnick, senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office and previously counsel on the House Intelligence Committee. [New York Times]

  • March 31, 2017: House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff releases a statement after reviewing the classified materials the White House had provided to Nunes and notes “[t]he White House has yet to explain why senior White House staff apparently shared these materials with but one member of either committee, only for their contents to be briefed back to the White House.”

  • April 3, 2017:

    • Fox’s Adam Housley reports that a high-ranking Obama administration official requested the "unmasking" of Trump officials whose communications were incidentally collected in the course of surveilling foreign targets. [Fox & Friends] Bloomberg View's Eli Lake identifies the official as former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice. [Bloomberg View]

    • President Trump states that "the real story" was a "crooked scheme against us" by the Obama administration. [New York Times]

  • April 4, 2017: Trump retweets a Drudge Report tweet:

  • April 6, 2017: House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes issues statement announcing Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Tex.) is temporarily taking charge of the Committee's Russia investigation while the House Ethics Committee investigates "baseless[]" filed charges against Nunes by "[s]everal leftwing activist groups."

 

10. Trump's Alleged Interference with Russia Investigation

  • January 6, 2017: James Comey meets Trump for the first time at Trump Tower, for a briefing with other Intelligence Community leaders on Russian interference with the election. After the briefing, Comey meets alone with Trump to brief him on "personally sensitive aspects" of the information. [James Comey's Prepared Statement, Senate Intelligence Committee, June 6, 2017] 

  • January 27, 2017: In a ceremony with law enforcement officials at the White House, Trump singles out Comey for a greeting in front of guest in the Blue Room; the president attempts to hug him. [New York Times, May 18, 2017]

  • January 27, 2017: Trump reportedly summons Comey to the White House for a private dinner and asks him multiple times to pledge his "loyalty"; Comey instead promises Trump his “honesty.” [New York Times, May, 11, 2017]

  • February 13, 2017: Michael Flynn resigns as national security adviser.

  • February 14, 2017: Comey attends a meeting in Oval Office for a scheduled counter-terrorism briefing. After the briefing, Trump asks Comey to stay for a private conversation "about Mike Flynn." Trump asks Comey to drop the federal investigation into Flynn. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump stated, according to the memo Comey reportedly wrote immediately after the meeting. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” [New York Times, May 16, 2017; [Comey Prepared Statement, Senate Intelligence Committee, June 6, 2017]

  • March 4, 2017: Trump issues tweets accusing then-President Barack Obama of wiretapping him in Trump Tower.

  • March 20, 2017: At the House Intelligence Committee's first hearing, FBI Director James Comey publicly announces an ongoing investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia [Washington Post (transcript)] To Comey and Rogers, Nunes suggests it would be “preposterous to say that somehow the Russians prefer Republicans over Democrats” [C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 22, 2017: Trump meets privately with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo after a briefing and asked Coats if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James Comey and get the bureau to drop its investigation into Michael Flynn, according to Coats associates. [Washington Post, June 6, 2017]

  • March 24, 2017:
    • Yates's attorney David O’Neil writes a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn stating the belief that any "presidential communications privilege" covering Yates's communications with the White House was waived and Yates planned to testify on the invitation of the House Intelligence Committee. [Washington Post]
    • House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, cancels House hearing. [CNN]
  • March 30, 2017: Trump calls Comey at the FBI and describes the Russia investigation as "a cloud" that prevents him from carrying out his duties and asks what can be done to "lift the cloud." [James Comey's Prepared Statement, Senate Intelligence Committee, June 6, 2017] 
  • April 11, 2017: Trump calls Comey and asks about his request that Comey "get out" that he's not personally under investigation. He says, "Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing, you know." Comey did not reply to this comment. [James Comey's Prepared Statement, Senate Intelligence Committee, June 6, 2017] 
  • May 2, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • May 3, 2017: 

    • James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee and releases his prepared written statement on "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” When asked by Senator Al Franken why Russia had a clear preference for Trump, Comey states that it was Putin "hated" Clinton and because Putin prefers to do business with a businessman than someone with government background. He also states in response to Senator Chris Coons, "The current investigation with respect to Russia, we've confirmed it. The Department of Justice has authorized me to confirm that it exists. We're not going to say another word about it until we're done."

      • Comey has an exchange with Senator Mazie Hirono about whether Justice Department officials have ever halted an FBI investigation.  [CBS NewsWashington Post (transcript)

        • HIRONO: So if the Attorney General or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?

        • COMEY: In theory yes.

        • HIRONO: Has it happened?

        • COMEY: Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that -- without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don't see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience.

      • In response to a question from Senator Richard Blumenthal, he declines to answer whether the President is a target of the investigation. [CBS News; Washington Post (transcript)

        • BLUMENTHAL: So potentially, the president of the United States could be a target of your ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's involvement with Russian interference in our election, correct?

        • COMEY: I just worry -- I don't want to answer that -- that -- that seems to be unfair speculation. We will follow the evidence, we'll try and find as much as we can and we'll follow the evidence wherever it leads.

    • Of Comey, Sean Spicer tells reporters, "The president has confidence in the director." [The Hill]

  • May 4, 2017: Trump tweets about the "Fake News media" and Susan Rice "refusing to testify" before the Senate Subcommittee.

  • May 9, 2017
  • May 10, 2017:
    • Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office; Russian media are permitted but American media is shut out. [New York TImes] When Lavrov arrives at the White House for a meeting with Trump, he makes a seemingly sarcastic remark in response to a reporter's question about Comey's firing. [Newsweek (video)]
    • Trump tells Russian officials in the Oval Office that FBI Director James Comey was "crazy, a real nut job," and that firing him had relieved Trump of "great pressure." He further stated, "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off." [New York Times, May 19, 2017]
    • When asked how Comey's firing will affect U.S.-Russia relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin tells CBS News: "There will be no effect. Your question looks very funny for me. Don't be angry with me. We have nothing to do with that."  [CBS (video)]
    • The New York Times reports Sessions was tasked with looking for reasons to fire Comey. [New York Times]
    • Vice President Michael Pence tells reporters: "Let me be very clear that the President's decision to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to remove Director Comey as the head of the FBI was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interests of the American people and to ensuring that the FBI has the trust and confidence of the people this nation." [CNN]
    • On CNN, senior advisor Kellyanne Conway denies Comey's firing was related to the Russia investigation. [CNN]
    • Trump issues a series of tweets defending his dismissal of Comey and accusing congressional Democrats of hypocrisy.




  • May 16, 2017: The New York Times reports that, according to a memo written by then-FBI Director James Comey, in a private meeting Trump said to Comey: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” [New York Times]
  • May 22, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Trump personally asked two top intelligence officials, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and NSA head Adm. Michael S. Rogers to make public statements denying evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian officials. [Washington Post]
  • May 23, 2017: The Justice Department clear Robert Mueller to oversee the Russia investigation. [Washington Post]
  • June 6, 2017:
    • The New York Times reports that the day after Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, Comey told Attorney General Jeff Sessions private interactions between the FBI Director and Trump were not appropriate. [New York Times]
    • The Washington Post reports that on March 22, Trump met privately with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo after a briefing and asked Coats if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James Comey and get the bureau to drop its investigation into Michael Flynn. [Washington Post]
  • June 12, 2017: On PBS’s “NewsHour," Trump confidant Christopher Ruddy says of Trump, “I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel." Ruddy also states that Mueller, who served as FBI director before Comey, was being considered by Trump for FBI director before he was appointed special counsel. Ruddy insists that Mueller has conflicts of interest. [PBS]
  • June 14, 2017: Citing five anonymous officials, the Washington Post reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice. [Washington Post]
  • June 15, 2017:
    • The Washington Post reports that Vice President Pence has hired outside counsel to handle queries relating to the Russia investigation. [Washington Post]
    • The Washington Post reports that special counsel Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner's financial dealings. [Washington Post]
    • Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein issues press release advising Americans to exercise caution in relying on stories attributed to anonymous officials.
  • June 16, 2017: 
    • ABC News reports that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein privately told colleagues that he might need to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. [ABC News]
    • CNN reports that that House Intelligence Committee plan to interview Brad Parscale, digital director of Trump’s campaign. [CNN]
  • June 18, 2017: On a number of Sunday talk shows, Jay Sekulow, a Trump attorney denies that Trump is under investigation and at other times states that Trump has no knowledge or has not been notified that he is under investigation. [NBC; Fox; CNN; CBS]
  • May 10, 2017: Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office; Russian media are permitted but American media is shut out. [New York TImes] When Lavrov arrives at the White House for a meeting with Trump, he makes a seemingly sarcastic remark in response to a reporter's question about Comey's firing. [Newsweek (video)]
  • May 15, 2017:
    • The Washington Post reports that while boasting about the "great intel" he receives as president, Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during their May 10 visit to the Oval Office. The Post further reports: "Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States only learned through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence gathering method, but described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat." [Washington Post]
    • Reuters confirms the Post story and provides additional information about the intelligence Trump disclosed: "U.S. officials have told Reuters that U.S. agencies are in the process of drawing up plans to expand a ban on passengers carrying laptop computers onto U.S.-bound flights from several countries on [sic] conflict zones due to new intelligence about how militant groups are refining techniques for installing bombs in laptops. So serious are assessments of the increased threat that Washington is considering banning passengers from several European countries, including Britain, from carrying laptops in a cabin on U.S.-bound flights. The United States has consulted about the intelligence with allied governments and airlines. One source familiar with the matter told Reuters at least some of the intelligence that went into the planned laptop ban expansion came from a U.S. commando raid on an al Qaeda camp in Yemen in which a U.S. special operator was killed." [Reuters]
    • Trump officials issue three types of denials. Deputy national security advisor for strategy Dina Powell denies the story as "false." Secretary of State Rex Tillerson more specifically denies the disclosure of "sources, methods or military operations." And national security advisor H.R. McMaster specifically denies discussion of "any intelligence sources or methods" or "military operations . . . that were not already known publicly." [Reuters; Washington Post]
    • In a later press conference, McMaster again very specifically states, "The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false . . . . At no time … were intelligence sources or methods discussed." [NBC]
    • A U.S. official tells BuzzFeed that the situation is “far worse than what has already been reported.” [BuzzFeed]
  • May 16, 2017:
    • At a press conference, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster tells reporters that Trump’s disclosure of intelligence to the Russians was “wholly appropriate.” [New York Times]
    • The New York Times reports that the disclosed intelligence came from Israel. At a press conference, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster tells reporters that Trump’s disclosure of intelligence to the Russians was “wholly appropriate.” [New York Times]
    • Earlier in the day, President Trump defends his disclosure of classified information to Russian officials in a series of tweets: