Trump’s key levers were with Russian officials
Moscow must be laughing at us: Prez
Washington, May 30: Russian officials had potentially “derogatory” information about thenpresidential candidate Donald Trump and some of his top aides, conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 election showed.
According to the CNN, a source described the information as financial in nature and said the discussion centered on whether the Russians had leverage over Mr Trump’s inner circle. The source said the intercepted communications suggested to US intelligence that Russians believed “they had the ability to influence the administration through the derogatory information.”
The contents of the conversations made clear to US officials that Russia was considering ways to influence the election, the report said. However, the sources also said Russia may have exaggerated the claims.
A White House spokesman told CNN: “This is yet another round of false and unverified claims made by anonymous sources to smear the President.”
Meanwhile, Mr Trump rejected the claims Russia may have influenced the US election and tweeted: “Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News.”
But while Mr Trump may dismiss the leaks as “fake news,” Russia seems to be taking them seriously. According to The Washington Post, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov complained that “the threat of leaks” from the White House undermines cooperation between the two countries. He claimed the Kremlin is now conducting only “basic level” exchanges with the Trump administration out of worry that details could be spilled to the US media. “You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Mr Ryabkov told journalists. “Maybe you’ll see what you discussed with your counterpart on the pages of Washington Post or on CNN.”
The Post had last week reported that top Trump aide Jared Kushner had tried to create a backchannel communications with Russia.