“Trump Phone Calls Add to Lingering Questions About Russian Interference”


More than 200 pages into a sprawling, 1,000-page report on Russian election interference, the Senate Intelligence Committee made a startling conclusion endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats: Donald J. Trump knew of and discussed stolen Democratic emails at critical points late in his 2016 presidential campaign.

The Republican-led committee rejected Mr. Trump’s statement to prosecutors investigating Russia’s interference that he did not recall conversations with his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. about the emails, which were later released by WikiLeaks. Senators leveled a blunt assessment: “Despite Trump’s recollection, the committee assesses that Trump did, in fact, speak with Stone about WikiLeaks and with members of his campaign about Stone’s access to WikiLeaks on multiple occasions.”

The senators did not accuse Mr. Trump of lying in their report, released Tuesday, the fifth and final volume from a three-year investigation that laid out extensive contacts between Trump advisers and Russians. But the report detailed even more of the president’s conversations with Mr. Stone than were previously known, renewing questions about whether Mr. Trump was truthful with investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, or misled them, much as prosecutors convinced jurors that Mr. Stone himself misled congressional investigators about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks.

The committee’s doubts are significant because the stolen emails were one of the major operations in Russia’s 2016 assault on American democracy, and a central question that remains even after years of intense scrutiny is what the Trump campaign knew, if anything, about the Kremlin’s plans. Mr. Stone, a onetime campaign adviser who promoted his connections to WikiLeaks to other Trump aides, has maintained that he did not know Russia was behind the stolen emails.


Comments are closed.