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As the investigations into alleged links between President Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 presidential election are being conducted in Congress, reports have surfaced that Trump had borrowed money from Moscow during the 2008 financial crisis. The former head of MI6, Richard Dearlove, claimed that the president had borrowed money to boost up his real estate empire that was hit by the financial crisis nine years back, according to the Independent.
Trump had reiterated before taking office that Russia never had “leverage” over him, however, the president has been accused several times of having links to Moscow. And not just Trump, several of his top aides have been said to have alleged links with Moscow, according to reports.
Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned Feb. 13th, after speculations over his alleged links to Russia. Transcripts of intercepted calls between Flynn and Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyev, as described by U.S. officials to various news publications, reflected that two had discussed sanctions ahead of Trump’s inauguration. Flynn was part of the transition team at the time when he had spoken with Kislyev. He had written in his resignation letter that he had misled the vice-president Mike Pence, who had earlier denied that Flynn had discussed any sanctions with Kislyev, the Guardian reported.
Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, resigned last year in August amid questions over his campaign role and also his extensive lobbying overseas, particularly in Ukraine where he represented pro-Russian interests.
Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime confidant and former campaign advisor, had admitted in March that he had communicated with one of the Kremlin-connected hackers who was behind the Democratic National Committee email breach last year, according to reports. Stone, one of several Trump associates who is under FBI investigation for potential Russian ties, acknowledged in a lengthy statement on March 10 that he communicated with Guccifer 2.0 through Twitter messages last summer.
Asked to list members of his foreign policy team in an interview with the Washington Post, Trump named Carter Page, who worked for seven years as an investment banker at Merill Lynch. Page has been facing questions over his Russia ties since his nomination. During the campaign last year, he denied there was anything suspicious about his visits to Moscow. After the campaign ended, he also denied specific allegations into his meetings with Russian government and business figures, CNN reported.
J.D. Gordon, a former adviser to Trump, had told the Independent last month that he met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, five months before the election to discuss how Moscow and Washington could collaborate on tackling Islamist extremism if Trump became president. He said he spoke to Kislyak at the Republican National Convention in July about Trump’s desire to rework on the strategic relationship between the two nations.
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