Expose: Russian official tried to set up Trump-Putin meeting
Sheetal Sukhija - Sunday 19th November, 2017
A top Russian official reportedly tried to set up a meeting between Putin and Trump
Alexander Torshin proposed the meeting in an email titled ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’
The email was sent by Rick Clay to a Trump campaign aide and Kushner did not disclose this outreach
WASHINGTON, U.S. - With the convoluted plot of the Trump-Russia collusion slowly unfolding in America - fresh revelations continue to emerge, as investigators piece together the allegations.
Now, a report has revealed that during Trump’s campaigning last year, a Russian official tried to set up a meeting between the then-Republican nominee, and the Russian President.
According to a report in The New York Times, the top Russian official, identified as Alexander Torshin tried to set up a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
Torshin, an alleged Russian mobster is a leading figure in Putin’s party, has been linked both to Russian intelligence services and organized crime.
Spanish anti-corruption officials consider Torshin a “godfather” of the Russia mob, though the banker denies the claims.
More importantly, Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner did not disclose this outreach to Congressional investigators.
The report revealed that Torshin not only tried to set up the meeting, but that the meeting was proposed in an email with the subject line “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite.”
The email has now been turned over to congressional investigators was reportedly sent by Rick Clay to a campaign aide Dearborn - inviting Trump to attend an event on the sidelines of a National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky, in May 2016.
Clay said in the mail that he hoped that Trump would attend the dinner, and he also included details about the overture from Torshin.
According to three people who have seen the email, it further stated that the dinner would be a chance for Trump to meet Torshin, who is a life member of the National Rifle Association in the United States and a vocal advocate for gun rights in Russia.
The email also stated that the Russians believed they had “shared Christian values” with the Trump campaign.
Commenting on the report, Clay said that it “never ever, ever, ever entered my mind” that someone in the Russian government was trying to meddle with the U.S. election.
However, the meeting ultimately did not take place due to Kushner sending “a message to top campaign officials rejecting it.”
It said that Kushner had apparently “failed to disclose” the email chain with the meeting proposal by Torshin to authorities.
A report in the Washington Post said that overall, Trump campaign officials interacted with Russians at least 31 times throughout the campaign, including at least 19 known meetings.
The report is said to have explained that those contacts reached the highest levels of the campaign, showing a sustained and sophisticated effort by the Kremlin to cultivate relationships with those closest to Donald Trump.
It revealed that Torshin claimed to be acting on behalf of Putin when he tried to arrange the meeting, with the report pointed out that the revelation shows “the direct involvement of a high-ranking Russian official in the Kremlin’s outreach to the campaign.”
It also said that the timing of the email chain also shows that the Kremlin ramped up its efforts to forge relationships with Trump campaign officials as it became clear that Trump was going to be the Republican nominee for president.
Adding that even though the meeting never happened, Torshin’s request is the latest example of how the Russian government intensified its effort to contact and influence the Trump campaign last year.
Further, the email outreach came just weeks after a self-described intermediary for the Russian government told a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, that the Russians had ‘dirt’ on Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, in the form of “thousands of emails.”
It said that it was after Torshin’s outreach fizzled, Trump’s eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower after being told that a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin would bring damaging information about Clinton to the meeting.
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