Russian officials discussed how to influence top advisers to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last summer, three American officials told The New York Times on Wednesday.
According to the report, which is based on intelligence gathered by U.S. spies, Russian intelligence and political officials sought to sway Trump through Paul Manafort, his campaign manager at the time, and Michael Flynn, the retired general who was advising Trump’s campaign on foreign policy issues.
As the report notes, it is unclear whether the officials actually did attempt to influence the two officials.
Both Manafort and Flynn are currently under FBI investigation for their ties to Russia and whether they colluded with officials there to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Flynn, who was fired as Trump’s national security adviser after it was revealed he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the U.S., is also being probed for lobbying work he did on behalf of the Turkish government.
The report comes one day after former CIA Director John Brennan told congressional lawmakers that he was aware of intelligence revealing contact between Trump’s campaign associates and Russian officials.
Brennan said there were still “unsolved questions” when he left the CIA over whether the Russians were successful in getting Trump associates to “work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion.”
This is developing story. Check back for updates.