9 Times Trump Lied About Contact With Russia (So Far)

Lie #1: Trump: I Don’t Know Putin
Trump: “I’ve Never Met Putin. I Don’t Know Who Putin Is.” “I’ve never met Putin. I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius. I said, “Thank you very much” to the newspaper and that was the end of it. I never met Putin.”  [Donald Trump, Press Conference, Doral, FL, 7/27/16]

FACT CHECK:  Trump On Putin: “I Do Have A Relationship With Him.”  Thomas Roberts: Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin? A conversational relationship or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?
Donald Trump;  I do have a relationship and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today. He’s probably very interested in what you and I are saying today, and I’m sure he’s going to be seeing it in some form, but I do have a relationship with him and I think it’s very interesting to see what’s happened.” [“Live with Thomas Roberts,” MSNBC, 11/11/13]

Lie #2: I Have Nothing To Do With Russia
Trump: “I Have Nothing To Do With Russia.”  “I don’t know anything about it. I can tell you, I think if I came up with that, they’d say, ‘Oh, it’s a conspiracy theory,’ it’s ridiculous. I mean I have nothing to do with Russia.”  [WFOR, 7/27/16]

FACT CHECK: Trump Spoke With Russian Ambassador At Private Campaign Reception The Wall Street Journal reported, “A few minutes before he made those remarks, Mr. Trump met at a VIP reception with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak. Mr. Trump warmly greeted Mr. Kislyak and three other foreign ambassadors who came to the reception.” [WSJ, 5/13/2016]

Lie #3: Trump: I don’t have any jobs in Russia
Trump: “I don’t have any jobs in Russia.” I don’t have any jobs in Russia. I’m all over the world but we’re not involved in Russia.”  [WFOR, 7/27/16;]

FACT CHECK: Trump: “I’ve Done A Lot Of Business With The Russians.” [“The Late Show,” CBS, 10/17/13]

2013: Trump Partnered With Aras Agalarov, Whose Fortune Was Built Partly Through State-Funded Construction Projects, “A Sign Of The Company’s Closeness To The Putin Government.”  “In 2013, Trump found a new Russian partner for a Moscow real estate project, Aras Agalarov… Agalarov fortune has been built partly through state-funded construction projects, a sign of the company’s closeness to the Putin government. Shortly after the pageant, Putin awarded the elder Agalarov the ‘Order of Honor of the Russian Federation,’ prestigious designation.” [Washington Post, 6/17/16]

Trump Business Associate Sergei Millian: Trump Received “Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars” As A Result Of Interaction With Russian Businessmen. “But an ABC News investigation found he has numerous connections to Russian interests both in the U.S. and abroad. ‘The level of business amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars — what he received as a result of interaction with Russian businessmen,’ said Sergei Millian, who heads a U.S.-Russia business group and who says he once helped market Trump’s U.S. condos in Russia and the former Soviet states. ‘They were happy to invest with him, and they were happy to work with Donald Trump. And they were happy to associate—[and] be associated with Donald Trump.’” [ABC News, 9/22/16]

Lie #4: Trump: “No Person That I Deal With” Has Anything To Do With Russia
Trump: “I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.” [NYT, 2/16/17]

FACT CHECK: Since The 1980’s Trump And His Family Members Have Sought Business Opportunities In Moscow, “And They Have Relied On Russian Investors To Buy Their Properties Around The World.” “Since the 1980s, Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities, and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world.” [Washington Post, 6/17/16]

Donald Trump Jr. In 2008: “We See A Lot Of Money Pouring In From Russia.” “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son told a real estate conference in 2008, according toan account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” [Washington Post, 6/17/16]

Lie #5: Trump: Nobody Advising Campaign Had Contacts With Russia
Trump: “Nobody” Advising His Campaign Was In Contact With Russia “Q: I was hoping that we could get a yes or no answer on one of these questions involving Russia, can you say whether you were aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?  Trump: “Well I told you General Flynn obviously was dealing, so that’s one person, but he was dealing as he should have been….” Q: During the election? Trump: “No, nobody that I know of.” [2/16/17]

FACT CHECK: NYT: Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence “Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.” [New York Times, 2/14/2017]

Jeff Sessions Met Twice With Russian Ambassador During The Campaign. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice last year with the top Russian diplomat in Washington whose interactions with President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn led to Flynn’s firing, according to the Justice Department.” [CNN, 3/1/17]

Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Picked Up On Intercepted Phone Conversations Between Trump Campaign And Russia. “The officials said one of the advisers picked up on the calls was Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman for several months last year and had worked as a political consultant in Russia and Ukraine, the Times said. The officials declined to identify the other Trump associates on the calls.” [Reuters, 2/14/17]

Campaign Approved Foreign Policy Advisor Carter Page’s Trip To Moscow In July 2016. “Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski approved foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s now-infamous trip to Moscow last summer on the condition that he would not be an official representative of the campaign, according to a former campaign adviser.” [Politico, 3/7/17]

JD Gordon Met With Russian Ambassador During The Campaign. “Gordon, who managed the advisory committee as the Trump campaign’s director of national security, said that while he also spoke with Kislyak in Cleveland, it is not unusual for a presidential campaign to interact with diplomats.” [USA Today, 3/2/17]

Jared Kushner And Michael Flynn Met With Russian Ambassador In Trump Tower During Transition.Michael T. Flynn, then Donald J. Trump’s incoming national security adviser, had a previously undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador in December to “establish a line of communication” between the new administration and the Russian government, the White House said on Thursday. Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and now a senior adviser, also participated in the meeting at Trump Tower with Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. But among Mr. Trump’s inner circle, it is Mr. Flynn who appears to have been the main interlocutor with the Russian envoy — the two were in contact during the campaign and the transition, Mr. Kislyak and current and former American officials have said.” [New York Times, 3/2/17]

Lie #6: Trump Doesn’t Know Felix Sater
Trump said he wouldn’t recognize Felix Sater: “If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.” [Trump videotaped deposition, 11/5/13]

FACT CHECK:
abc_sater_card_lf_151130

[ABC News, 12/10/2015]

 

Lie #7: Trump Transition Lied About What Was Discussed With Russia
Transition spokesman Sean Spicer said Michael Flynn call to Russian ambassador was about logistics: “The call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the president of Russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in, and they exchanged logistical information on how to initiate and schedule that call,” Spicer told reporters Friday. “That was it, plain and simple.” [AP, 1/13/17]

FACT CHECK: Washington Post: National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say “National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said…. The talks were part of a series of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that began before the Nov. 8 election and continued during the transition, officials said. In a recent interview, Kislyak confirmed that he had communicated with Flynn by text message, by phone and in person…” [Washington Post, 2/11/2017]

Nine Former And Current Senior Intelligence Officials Who Had Access To Reports Of Monitored Calls Between Flynn And Kislyak Reported That Flynn Made Explicit References To Sanctions When Speaking With The Russian Ambassador.“Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. All of those officials said ­Flynn’s references to the election-related sanctions were explicit.” [Washington Post, 2/9/17]

Lie #8: Trump Lied About Promising A Strong Response to Russian Aggression
Trump said he would “be very strong” and tell Putin to stop in cases of military provocation: Donald Trump:  I will say ‘Don’t do it’ and if they do it again they could have a problem. Bill O’Reilly:  So you wouldn’t hesitate if Putin defied you and would you make that call public?  Would you tell the American people, ‘I’ve called Old Vlad and I told him to knock if off’?  Would you tell us that?  Trump:  I might do that and I might not, but I would be very strong and I would say ‘Do not do that.’ That’s provocation.  That’s something that you’re not supposed to be doing.  O’Reilly:  But if he defied you, you would have to shoot one of those planes down.  Trump:  I may have to do something which you would hate to do.  This is something I wouldn’t want to do, but I would say ‘Vladimir, don’t do it. Let’s go.  Come on.  We’re going to have a good relationship.  Don’t do it.’ [“O’Reilly Factor,” Fox News, 5/4/16]

FACT CHECK: HEADLINE: Trump’s Silence on Russian Missiles Makes America Less Safe [Foreign Policy, 3/7/17]

President Trump has not commented on the following events:
NYT: Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump According to the New York Times, “Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile that American officials say violates a landmark arms control treaty, posing a major test for President Trump as his administration is facing a crisis over its ties to Moscow.” [NYT, 2/14/2017]

CNN: Russian spy ship lurks off Connecticut coast According to CNN, “A Russian spy ship sits 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut, a US defense official told CNN, while an armed Russian warplane recently carried out a “mock attack” against a US ship.  This is the farthest north the Russian spy vessel has ever ventured, according to US defense official.” [CNN, 2/16/2017]

Trump Would Not Answer If He Would Respond To Russian Acts Of Aggression Three Times.  [2/16/2017 Part 1; 2/16/2017 Part 2; 2/16/2017 Part 3]

Lie #9: Trump Lied About Russian Hacking
Trump: “I don’t believe [Russia] Interfered.”  Dec. 7, Trump said of Russia, ‘I don’t believe they interfered.’ Russia has denied any involvement. Trump, Nov. 28: It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.’ [FactCheck, 12/8/16]

FACT CHECK: Trump Called On Russian Hackers To Find Hillary Clinton’s E-Mails. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.  Let’s see if that happens.” [Donald Trump, Press Conference, Doral, FL, 7/27/16]

December 2016: The FBI And Department Of Homeland Security Published A Report Of The U.S. Intelligence Findings Linking Russia To The Hack, Prompting President Obama To Expel 35 Russian Diplomats And Levy New Sanctions Against Russia. According to BBC, ‘In December, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security published a report of the US intelligence findings linking Russia to the hack. In response, President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and levied new sanctions on Russia. The world awaited Mr Putin’s response but he chose not retaliate. Mr Trump, by then the president-elect, sided with the Russian president, tweeting: ‘Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!’ Mr Putin’s decision not to respond in kind struck many as a canny PR move, but reportedly set off suspicions among US intelligence officials that Russia was confident the sanctions would not last.’ [BBC, 2/14/17]