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NEW YORK — A news story making the rounds claims that members of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and transition team engaged in more than 100 contacts with “Russian-linked officials.”
The compilation of alleged contacts, however, is a product of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta, who served as chairman of Trump opponent Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Analysis - Methods - Contacts - Officials - Wikileaks
The analysis uses questionable methods to claim contacts with “Russian-linked officials” and categorizes Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, as Russia-linked operatives based on U.S. intelligence assessments despite a lack of conclusive evidence.
USA Today led the charge with a headline claiming, “Trump’s team had over 100 contacts with Russian-linked officials, according to think tank analysis.”
Newspaper - Analysis - Center - American - Progress
The newspaper reported the analysis was conducted by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and its Moscow Project, and allows that CAP is a “liberal think tank.”
The newspaper did not mention Podesta and his role founding CAP, where he still serves on the group’s board.
Clinton - Campaign - Chairman - Campaign - Fusion
While he was Clinton’s campaign chairman, the campaign notoriously funded the controversial Fusion GPS firm via the Perkins Coie law firm to conduct the anti-Trump work that resulted in the largely-discredited dossier written by former British spy Christopher Steele, alleging Russian collusion.
Some Russians tied to Fusion GPS factor into CAP’s list of alleged contacts between Trump’s orbit and Russia.
USA - Today - Article - CAP - Findings
The brief USA Today article summarized CAP’s purported findings thusly:
Those within Trump’s team who had contacts with Russian-linked officials include Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, former Trump adviser Roger Stone, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.
Email - Call - Talia - Dessel - Research
“This wasn’t just one email or call, or one this or that,” said Talia Dessel, a research analyst for...
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