For months now, President Donald Trump has denied that he has ever met with any Russian official during his campaign. But just like every other denial from his administration, that has just been exposed as an incriminating lie.
Trump did, in fact, meet with Russian officials prior to his election.
According to a story published by The Wall Street Journal, Trump personally met with the Russian ambassador on April 27, 2016. The meeting took place shortly before Trump took the stage to deliver a speech on foreign policy.
“A few minutes before he made those remarks,” the WSJ article states, “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.”
Kislyak was an invited guest to the invite only speech and was seated in the first row.
In the speech, Trump voiced his desire to create “warmer relations” with Russia and the speech was later praised by Russian officials.
Trump has called the Russian story a “ruse” and insists before speaking to Russian Vladimir Putin after his inauguration that he has not made “a phone call to Russia in years.”
Trump spokesperson Sarah Sanders, on February 20 even stated flat out that the Trump campaign had “no contact.”
Trump is now the fifth person from his own campaign and staff to have direct contact with Russian officials, all of which have denied such meetings ever took place. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser was forced to resign over his discussions with Russian officials.
With so many questions revolving around why Trump’s campaign held so many meetings with Russian officials, those questions are only exacerbated by the fact that not only did Trump himself meet with the ambassador but that he felt the need to lie about it for almost an entire year.
The sheer number of lies that Trump and his team have told about their communications with Russian officials reek of guilt. If there wasn’t anything shady about Trump’s meeting with Kislyak, or Gen. Michael Flynn’s phone calls to Kislyak, or Jared Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak at Trump Tower, why are Trump and his cronies going out of their way to deny them?
We need a special prosecutor and a bipartisan investigation into the allegations of potentially treasonous collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian Federation – and we needed it yesterday.
Dan Arel is a bestselling author of The Secular Activist; and Parenting Without God. He is an award-winning journalist and host of the Danthropology Podcast.