Russiagate Timeline Nov-Dec 2016

November 2016

Date unknown: Prior to Election Day, Flynn contacts Kislyak. It’s unknown how often the pair communicated or what they talked about.

November 1, 2016: NBC News reports that the FBI is conducting a preliminary inquiry into Paul Manafort’s business ties to Russia and Ukraine. Manafort tells NBC, “None of it is true.” He denies having dealings with Putin or the Russian government and says any allegations to the contrary are “Democratic propaganda.”  Mother Jones

November 3, 2016: “Dmitri Rybolovlev’s plane lands in Charlotte, North Carolina, about 90 minutesbefore Trump’s plane lands at the same airport in advance of a Trump rally to be held that day.” Mother Jones    “The plane belonging to the Russian oligarch who had bought a Florida residence from Trump for $95 million in 2008 was at the single-runaway airport near Concord, North Carolina, where Trump was holding a rally.  According to flight records, a few hours later the plane flew to Charlotte, NC, and Trump’s airplane was spotted on the tarmac with Rybolovlev’s. [Added March 6, 2017] Bill MoyersRachel Maddow

November 5, 2016: In a letter to key leaders in Congress, Comey confirms that the FBI has completed its review of the additional Abedin emails and, as a result, has not changed its earlier recommendation not to recommend prosecuting Clinton for her use of a private email server. [Added April 24, 2017] Bill MoyersKonstantin Sidorkov emailed Donald Trump Jr. and Dan Scavino about having a Trump VK (Russian Social Media Page) Washington Post

November 6, 2016:“Comey announces that the new trove of emails doesn’t change the FBI’s recommendation that the Justice Department not charge Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information.”Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation,” Comey wrote to 16 chairmen and ranking members of relevant House and Senate committees. “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”Sources told NPR that almost every email the FBI reviewed in the new batch was a duplicate of an email the bureau had already seen.Trump uses the news to call the FBI, and Comey by extension, “rigged.”  “Right now, (Clinton’s) being protected by a rigged system,” Trump told a crowd in Michigan. “You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days — you just can’t do it, folks. Hillary Clinton is guilty.”  NPR

November 8, 2016:Election Day.”They [Steele and Orbis] did agree to Fusion providing a copy [of the 35 page Steele memo] to Senator John McCain after the veteran Republican had been told about the existence of Steele’s research by Sir Andrew Wood, a former UK ambassador to Moscow and an Orbis associate, at a conference in Canada on 8 November. The Guardian

November 9, 2016: Trump wins the presidential election. “After Putin announced Trump’s election victory, Russia’s Parliament erupts in applause.”Bill Moyers

November 10, 2016:“Interfax news agency reports that the Russian government had contact with the Trump campaign during the campaign. Referring to Trump campaign staffers, Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, says, “A number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives” in the Russian Foreign Ministry. And he adds, “There were contacts. We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign.”  – Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells the Associated Press that Russian foreign policy experts have been in contact with the Trump campaign. “And our experts, our specialists on the U.S., on international affairs…Of course they are constantly speaking to their counterparts here, including those from Mr. Trump’s group,” Peskov said.”Mother Jones                   “He did not name names. “Obviously, we know most of the people from his (Trump’s)entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions,” he said. ‘I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.’” Reuters      NY TimesPresident Obama warned Trump about Michael Flynn and N. Korea. [Added May 8, 2017] NBC News Exclusive same day as Sally Yates’ Testimony

November 11, 2016: “Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks tells the Associated Press that the allegations of contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials are false. “It never happened,” she says. “There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”Mother JonesNunes announcedappointment to Trump Transition Team. Nunes told reporters, “As of right now, I don’t have any evidence of any phone calls … That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I don’t have that. And what I’ve been told by many folks is that there’s nothing there …  I want to be very careful that we can’t just go on a witch-hunt against Americans because they appear in news stories.” The Guardian

November 16, 2016:“The director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, implies that he believes Russia interfered in the US election. In response to a question about WikiLeaks hacks during the election, Rogers says, “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.” Mother Jones“Jared Kushner and a group of executives dine at the Waldorf Astoria with the chairman of China’s Anbang Insurance Group.”  Salon

November 17, 2016:“Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House oversight committee, sends a letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee’s top Republican, calling for an investigation into Russia’s interference in the election.”  Mother Jones

November 18, 2016: “President-elect Trump nominates Sessions to serve as his attorney general.” Washington Post“Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sends Trump transition team chair (and Vice President-elect) Mike Pence a letter expressing concerns about NSA-designate Mike Flynn’s conflicts of interest. Specifically, Cummings worries about Flynn’s work for an entity affiliated with the government of Turkey, as well as a paid trip to Moscow in December 2015 during which Flynn was “highly critical of the United States.” [Added May 8, 2017]Bill MoyersCongress sent a letter to VP-Elect Mike Pence, Head of the Transition: “Recent news reports have revealed that Lt. Gen. Flynn was receiving classified briefings during the presidential campaign while his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Inc, was being paid to lobby the U.S. Government on behalf of a foreign government’s interests.” [Turkey]  Maddow at minute 14:40

November 23, 2016: “The Wall Street Journal reports that in October 2016, Donald Trump Jr. spoke at a meeting of a French think tank run by a couple, Fabien Baussart and Randa Kassis, who have “worked closely with Russia to try to end the conflict” in Syria. Kassis is the leader of a Syrian group endorsed by the Kremlin that seeks to cooperate with Moscow ally President Bashar al-Assad.” Mother Jones

November 28, 2016: David Kramer, on behalf of Sen. John McCain, met Sir Andrew Wood, former British Ambassador in Moscow and associate of Christopher Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. in Surrey. DC-based Fusion GPS received “the pre-election memoranda” and this was reviewed by McCain in Washington. Court Docs  via Tweet McCain  “became aware of the allegations but decided it was impossible to verify them without a proper investigation, according to a report Wednesday (Jan 6) by The Guardian. The newspaper reported McCain was reluctant to get involved because it could be seen as payback for insults Trump made about the Arizona Republican during the campaign.”   AP News“As speculation grows that Kushner will become a top Trump White House adviser, reports surface that business conflicts of interest could pose problems for him. Among them is a Kushner project in New Jersey that attracted tens of millions of dollars from Chinese investors by marketing a controversial US immigration program (EB-5), which opens a speedy path to citizenship for investors who put more than $500,000 in projects located in economically disadvantaged “targeted employment areas.” The program has become controversial because gerrymandering of census tracts has allowed otherwise ineligible real estate developments to benefit from tenuous geographic connections to poor neighborhoods.” Salon

November 29, 2016:“Seven members of the Senate intelligence committee write a letter to Obama asking him to declassify relevant intelligence on Russia’s role in the election.” Mother Jones

Late November 2016: “In a meeting that includes senior Trump transition national security team members, national security adviser-designate Mike Flynn reveals he has scheduled a conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In attendance is Marshall Billingslea, a member of the team who had been a senior Pentagon official for President George W. Bush. He warns Flynn that any such communications carry risks because US intelligence agencies are almost certainly monitoring Kislyak’s conversations. After the meeting, Billingsea asks national security officials in the Obama White House for a copy of the classified CIA profile of Kislyak. “[Added May 8, 2017]Bill Moyers

December 2016

December 2016: Officials in the Obama administration become concernedthat the incoming administration would cover up or destroy previously gathered intelligence relating Russia’s interference with the election. To preserve that intelligence for future investigations, they spread it across the government. [Added March 3, 2017]Bill MoyersJared Kushner arranged meetings at Trump Tower with Sergey Kislyak, Michael Flynn, and included a previously unreported (until late March) sit-down with the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank. NY Times      NY Times“A Kremlin spokesman tells a Russian news agency that there was no contact between Page and the government.” NBC

December 1, 2016:The White House has admitted that Kushner and Michael Flynn met Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower, “according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.” Washington Post  Kislyak requested a (second) meeting with Kushner, “which Mr. Kushner asked a deputy (Avrahm Berkowitz) to attend in his stead, officials said. At Mr. Kislyak’s request, Mr. Kushner later met with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank (VEB-Russia’s Economic Development Bank) which the United States placed on its sanctions list after President Vladimir Putin of Russia annexed Crimea and began meddling in Ukraine…A White House spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, confirmed those meetings…But Mr. Gorkov, who previously served as deputy chairman of the board at Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned bank, said in a statement issued by his bank that he met with Mr. Kushner in his capacity as the then-chief executive of Kushner Companies, his family’s sprawling real estate empire.”   NY Times   “Throughout the campaign and transition, Jared Kushner served as the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials. Given this role, he has volunteered to speak with Chairman Burr’s Committee.” White House Spokesman CNN “Kislyak was not caught on tape entering the building, suggesting that he may have been brought in through a back entrance.” Mother Jones

December 2, 2016: Trump accepts a call from Taiwan’s president, thereby offending China’s president by violating America’s longstanding “one China” policy.” SalonEarly December: “Two Russian intelligence officers who worked on cyber operations and a Russian computer security expert are arrested in Moscow and charged with treason for providing information to the United States. ” Mother Jones    “The arrests amount to a purge of the cyber wing of the FSB, successor to the KGB and the main Russian intelligence agency. “[Added March 3, 2017] Bill MoyersDecember, Unknown: “Trump’s advisers were similarly secretive about meetings with leaders from the United Arab Emirates. The Obama White House only learned that the crown prince of Abu Dhabi was flying to New York in December to see Kushner, Flynn and Stephen K. Bannon, another top Trump adviser, because U.S. border agents in the UAE spotted the Emirate leader’s name on a flight manifest.” Washington Post   “The Post was first alerted in mid-December to the meeting by an anonymous letter, which said, among other things, that Kushner had talked to Kislyak about setting up the communications channel.” Mercury News A Trump associate reportedly set up a secret meeting to establish a back-channel between Trump and MoscowBusiness Insider “[Erik] Prince reportedly approached Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, after Zayed met with Trump transition officials in New York in December. That meeting included former National Security AdviserMichael Flynn and current Trump administration advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.Despite not having an official role with the transition, Prince reportedly told Zayed that he was authorized to act as an unofficial surrogate for Trump. He then asked Zayed to set up a meeting with the Russian, whom sources did not identify to the Post.”

December 4, 2016: Bud McFarlane conducted meetings at Trump Tower.

December 8, 2016:“Carter Page, no longer a foreign policy adviser to Trump, visits Moscow, where he tells a state-run news agency that he plans to meet with ‘business leaders and thought leaders.’” Mother Jones

December 9, 2016:  The Washington Post reports that a secret CIA assessment concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the presidency. In response, the Trump transition team issues a statement attempting to discredit the CIA’s conclusion: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago…It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’” Mother Jones“Senator McCain handed a copy of the Steele memos to James Comey, the FBI director, on 9 December.”  The Guardian“Paul Manafort tells CBS News he is not active in the Trump transition. Asked if he is talking to President-elect Trump, Manafort says, “I don’t really want to talk about who I’m speaking to, but I’m aware of what’s going on.” Interviewers also question him about the appearance of his name among the handwritten entries in the Ukraine Party of Regions’ Black Ledger from 2007 to 2012 (purporting to show more than $12 million in payments to him). Manafort responds that the ledger was fabricated. “[Added April 17, 2017]Bill Moyers

December 11, 2016:“In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Trump again casts doubt on the US intelligence community’s findings on Russia’s interference in the election. “They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody,” Trump says of the CIA’s findings. ‘It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.’” Mother Jones     NBC News Courtesy Bill Moyers

“Trump praises Rex Tillerson, chairman of ExxonMobil and recipient of Russia’s “Order of Friendship” Medal from Vladimir Putin in 2013, as “much more than a business executive” and a “world-class player.” Trump says Tillerson “knows many of the players” and did “massive deals in Russia” for Exxon. Two days later, Trump nominates him to be secretary of state.”Bill Moyers

December 12, 2016: “While in Moscow, Trump’s former campaign surrogate Jack Kingston meets with Russian businessmen to discuss what they might expect from a Trump administration. “Trump can look at sanctions,” Kingston says. ‘They’ve been in place long enough.’” [Added March 3, 2017.]Bill Moyers

“Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan called for an inquiry into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election” The Complaint

December 13, 2016: Steele/Orbis prepared a second memo, given to 1 UK official in hard copy and to Fusion in DC, who gave hard copy to McCain via Kramer.   The Guardian

“Trump names Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, as his secretary of state nominee. Tillerson has long-standing ties to Russia and Putin. Tillerson helped Exxon cut several oil-drilling deals with Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and in 2013 Putin awarded Tillerson the Russian Order of Friendship.” Mother Jones

“NBC News’ Richard Engel reports from Moscow on Trump’s secretary of state pick, Rex Tillerson. Former Russian Energy Minister Vladimir Milov tells Engel that Tillerson was a ‘gift for Putin.’”Bill Moyers

December 13, 2016: “Kislyak requests another meeting with Kushner. Kushner sends a deputy, Avrahm Berkowitz, to meet with the Russian ambassador in his stead. At that meeting, Kislyak requests that Kushner meet with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, Russia’s state-owned development bank. Kushner meets with Gorkov later that month.” Mother Jones

December 16, 2016:Free Speech For People Campaign for Accountability v. Russia and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Filed before the Federal Election Commission. The Complaint

December 18, 2016: David Pepper CNN interviewabout “The People’s House” election hacking novel publicshed by St. Helena Press, publisher leads to Ivan Churakov. “Well, it looks like the sthelenabooks.com (word press) website is run by a Soviet IT guy specializing in word press. Coincidence?” Finished July 15, 2016, published a month later: Tweet

December 19, 2016:(Trump) “official later added that Flynn’s initial call was to express condolences to Kislyak after the terrorist killing of the Russian ambassador to Ankara Dec. 19”.  Washington Post

December 28, 2016: Trump official said Flynn called Kislyak after Russian plane shot down carrying a choir to Syria and discussed plans for Putin-Trump call after January 21. “a second Trump official said the Dec. 28 call included an invitation from Kislyak for a Trump administration official to visit Kazakhstan for a conference in late January.” Washington Post

December 29, 2016:  “Michael Flynn holds five phone calls with Kislyak, during which they at some point discuss US sanctions on Russia. (White House press secretary Sean Spicer later claims falsely that they held just one call, in which they merely discussed “logistical information.”)” Mother JonesWashington Post “The discussions occur by phone and text on the day the Obama administration announces U.S. sanctions against Russia.”  NBC News“The Obama administration announced sweeping new measures against Russia on Thursday in retaliation for what U.S. officials have characterized as interference in this fall’s presidential election, ordering the expulsion of Russian “intelligence operatives” and slapping new sanctions on state agencies and individuals suspected in the hacks of U.S. computer systems.”  Washington Post        CNN       “The measure includes the ejection of 35 Russian diplomats from the United States; the closure of Cold War-era Russian compounds in Long Island, New York, and in Maryland; and sanctions against the GRU and the FSB (Russian intelligence agencies), four employees of those agencies, and three companies that worked with the GRU.”  Mother Jones Obama Sanctioned:FSB (Russian Federal Security Service, successor of KGB & once run by Putin)  FSB helped the GRU gather intelligenceGRU (Russian Main Intelligence Direcorate, spy service)-4 leaders individually sanctioned and the ANO PO KSI (Autonomous Noncommercial Organization “Professional Association of Designers of Data Processing Systems” for providing specialized training to GRU.Zorsecurity/ Esage Lab provided the GRU with technical R & D.STLC (Special Technology Center) Signals intelligence operations from St. Petersburg, Russia.  GRAPHIC      

December 30, 2016: “After Putin makes a surprise announcement that Russia would not retaliate for the new sanctions, Trump tweets, ‘Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart.’”Bill Moyers

January-February 2017 Continued