Thursday, January 19, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He claimed to have no knowledge that three of his senior campaign officials were now being investigated over their ties to Russia.

According to the New York Times, intelligence officials are now using intercepted Russian communications and financial records to investigate whether Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone were connected to the Russian government's attempts to influence the election. All three men denied they had done anything wrong. Trump denied any knowledge of the investigation via a spokesperson.

Page and Stone were advisors to the campaign. Manafort was the campaign chair before resigning abruptly in June after his name was discovered on secret ledgers showing him receiving large cash payments from Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president removed from power amid allegations that he was a puppet of the Russian government. 

The NYT report stated that their sources, intelligence officials, had confirmed the existence of the investigation because they were afraid that Trump would obstruct them upon becoming president.

Why should I care about this?

  • It is very bad if intelligence agencies think that a president will choose to protect himself and his political allies rather than allow investigations into foreign interference in elections.