Report: Trump Campaign Aide Emailed About Effort to Meet Putin

WASHINGTON (CN) – An email from a top Trump aide discovered by congressional investigators reveals a previously undisclosed attempt to arrange a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a CNN report.

Rick Dearborn, President Trump’s deputy chief of staff, had sent the email in June last year, which said that an unidentified individual sought to arrange the meeting.

According to the Wednesday CNN report, it is unclear whether Dearborn acted on the request.

The email identified that person only as being from “WV,” which one anonymous source told the cable news network could be a reference to West Virginia.

Another anonymous source said that person might have political connections in that state, and said that Dearborn seemed skeptical of the request.

Neither Dearborn nor the White House provided a comment for the story.

The Dearborn email was sent around the same time that the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his then-campaign manager Paul Manafort had met in Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who had promised the campaign damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

At the time he sent the email, Dearborn served as a top policy aide, as well as chief of staff to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Russian officials have reportedly made other attempts to meet with Trump campaign officials. Emails obtained by the Washington Post last week show that campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos had attempted to arrange meetings between the campaign and Russian officials multiple times.

Anonymous sources told CNN that the proposals were dismissed by senior campaign officials.

The Dearborn and Papadopoulos emails were among the 20,000 emails turned over to congressional committees by the Trump campaign earlier this summer.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia used an “active measures” campaign to influence the 2016 election to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, along with several congressional committees, are investigating Russian meddling in the election, including potential coordination between Russian efforts and the Trump campaign.

President Trump has dismissed Russian meddling as “fake news,” has repeatedly denied any collusion with the Russian effort, and has brushed off the Russia probes as a “witch hunt” intended to undermine his presidency.

Putin meanwhile has denied that the Russian government ordered an influence campaign.

The White House did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about the report.

%d bloggers like this: