There’s a race underway. On the one hand, Donald Trump has issued at least twenty denials that his campaign had any connection with Russia, and he’s still adding to that total.

“…there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.”

On the other hand, the number of actual, documented contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia is growing even faster.

Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

Those aren’t the Flynn contacts with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak that were already known. These are “previously undisclosed interactions” between team Trump and Russia. Six of the new contacts are attributed to Flynn. The rest — an even dozen new contacts including a close associate of Putin — went to other members of Trump’s campaign. And they were fortuitously timed.

The 18 calls and electronic messages took place between April and November 2016 as hackers engaged in what U.S. intelligence concluded in January was part of a Kremlin campaign to discredit the vote and influence the outcome of the election in favor of Trump over his Democratic challenger, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Trump better hurry out some more denials. The documented contacts are about to catch up.

With Robert Mueller about to sit down in the role of special counsel, it’s worth remembering that the investigation into the Trump campaign has barely begun. The grand jury has just issued its first subpoenas. The House is still idling after the chaos created by the Devin Nunes stall.

What we know now is likely to be a small fraction of what will be uncovered going forward.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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