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Do all roads lead to Russia?

By Kyle ToddinghamMay 11, 2017

Kremlin
Kremlin Getty Images

There are no coincidences in politics. Let me repeat, there are no coincidences in politics. Folks, we are in a real life House of Cards meets Game of Thrones era in politics, and King Joffrey is at the helm.

It feels like every way we turn, we keep running into Russian conflict. And that’s because every way we turn there is evidence of Russian conflict and interference. Not merely in the United States - although that seems to be the most prevalent (and successful for the Kremlin) - but also in France during their presidential election, and now possibly in the UK with Brexit (currently being investigated). 

Russia seems to have embedded itself into a majority of the prevalent western nations’ politics and elections. There are only so many excuses that can be given as to why so many figures of government have had private meetings and relations with Russian officials - most of which have been held in secret and only admitted to if/when revealed by leaks to the press.

As a nation we cannot afford to ignore what’s happening right before our eyes and underneath our noses. To lay things out clearly, I want to list all the “coincidental” connections between the current US presidential administration and the Kremlin. It can feel like a confusing and convoluted web, especially since some of these relationships and histories go back decades long, but let’s do our best to sort through this political dumpster fire.

Links within the Trump Campaign and Administration

  • The FBI began investigations of alleged links between Russia and the then Trump presidential campaign in July 2016
  • Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen
    • He has both personal and business relations to Russia and Ukraine. His relative, Alex Oronov, a Ukrainian billionaire businessman (who has since passed under alleged mysterious circumstances) arranged a secret meeting between Cohen and Audrey Artemenko - a Ukrainian parliamentary leader - for pro Russia peace plans with Ukraine
    • These plans were then presented to Michael Flynn
  • Trump former campaign advisor Carter Page
    • He has been under surveillance by the FBI for nearly a year for his ties to Russian operatives and suspicions that he may be acting as an agent for Russia.
    • Page finally admitted to having “brief interactions” with Victor Podobnyy (whom US officials suspected was a spy).
    • US Senate Intelligence Committee asked Page to relinquish a list of all his communications with the Russians, but Page has so far refused.
  • Trump former campaign manager Paul Manafort
    • Has long and extensive political and business ties to Russia,  Donald Trump, and Roger Stone dating back to the 1980s. 
    • Worked as top advisor in 2004 to pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
    • Worked for Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska (a close friend of Putin’s), and was reportedly paid $10 million by him between 2006-2009
    • Reportedly met twice with Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence agent
  • Trump long time advisor and confidante Roger Stone
    • Under FBI investigation for possible collusion with Russia during the election and hacking the DNC
    • Has admitted to sharing private messages online with hackers including “Guccifer 2.0” - whom US intelligence officials believes is a front for Russian intelligence - has taken credit for hacking the DNC 
    • The DNC and Clinton campaign’s hacked emails were then leaked by Julian Assange’s Wikileaks
    • Stone has admitted having communicated with Assange, and according to the New York Times has said that Assange “may or not be a Russian asset.”
  • Former Trump Campaign Advisor J.D. Gordon
    • Admitted to meeting with Russian Ambassador twice
    • Once at the Republican National Convention, during which the Trump campaign then changed its stance regarding Ukraine and Russia
  • Trump Administration’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson
    • Now former CEO of Exxon who had billions of dollars of business with Russia
    • Constructed a huge business deal with Russian oil company, Rosneft, in 2011 - the ceremony celebrating the deal was attended by Putin, himself
  • Trump Administration’s former NSA Chief and campaign surrogate, General Michael Flynn
    • He is also under FBI investigation
    • He was paid $45,000 in December 2015 to speak at a gala for state-supported news agency, Russia Today
    • Flynn was also paid $11,250 before that to speak at an event for Kasperky Lab, Russia’s top cybersecurity firm
    • Forced to resign from NSA after evidence came up that he secretly discussed the US sanctions on Russia with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak
    • Requested immunity in exchange for testifying on the Russian involvement with the campaign to the congressional investigators (his request has been denied thus far)
    • As of May 10, 2017 the Senate committee has subpoenaed Flynn for documents regarding his interactions with Russian officials
  • Trump Administration Attorney General, Jeff Sessions
    • The former Republican Senator of Alabama, now Attorney General, failed to disclose (read: lied) during his confirmation hearing that he met twice with Russian Ambassador Kislyak in both July and September of 2016
    • The AG then recused himself from the Russian investigations regarding the election
    • On May 9, 2017 AG Sessions recommended to President Trump that he fire FBI Director James Comey, who is heading the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia (it is being questioned by some if this counts as meddling by the AG into the investigation of which he recused himself from)
  • Trump Administration Senior Advisor, Jared Kushner
    • The President’s son-in-law failed to disclose his meetings with foreign officials in his questionnaire for national security clearance
    • Meetings included one with Russian Ambassador Kislyak that he attended with General Flynn
    • Kushner also had a meeting with the chairman, selected by Putin, of a Russian state-owned bank which was being sanctioned by the US
  • Eric Trump
    • Trump was quoted by James Dodson, a writer for a golf magazine, for telling him in a 2014 interview in a response to how the Trump family and their business gets money for their golf courses during the economic recession: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
    • Trump has denied saying this, but Dodson fervently sticks to his claim

There are also the recent and bizarre terminations by the Trump administration of US Attorney Preet Bharara, Attorney General Sally Yates, and now FBI Director James Comey. All three were investigating the administration for ties to Russia and possible misconduct with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election. All three were fired. Yates even spoke to the administration warning them that she believed Flynn was compromised by the Russians. The result? She was fired before Flynn was. 

On May 10, 2017, just one day after firing FBI Director Comey, the President hosted Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in the Oval Office. US Press was not permitted inside during the meeting...but Russian media was. 

What’s that saying? If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. In this case, it’s more like: if it looks like treason, behaves like treason, and sounds like treason...it's probably treason.

This is an unprecedented time in the United States. It is fascinating but more so, it is incredibly frightening. The evidence of collusion by and with the Russians and Trump campaign and administration is “bigly,” and growing by the day. 

It’s unbelievable, too, that with all the signs pointing to Moscow, there are still a great deal of politicians that are politicizing the events and continuing to deflect and put their party before their country.

What does it take to wake up and realize what’s happening? What does it take to put country over party? The very fibers of our democracy are coming apart at the seams, and the time to take action is now. This is a wake up call for each and every American. 

No matter your political, religious, or personal beliefs - you are an American. So be an American. Be a patriot. Do not ignore or make excuses for the obviously disturbing events taking place in our capital. In our White House. Before we are Republicans or Democrats, we are Americans. We are a proud, sovereign, and democratic nation - and another entity is trying and succeeding to strip us of our rights and dignities. Do not let them win. We do not answer to the Kremlin, we answer to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Call your Senators, call your Representatives, and call the Department of Justice demanding a full, independent investigation into the executive branch and its collusions with Russia. You can use 5 Calls organization and their website will give you all the numbers you need to contact and make your voice heard.