Here we go again. We have found more undisclosed meetings with the Russians. That means more liberal mouths will foam. More accusations will fly, though Democrats are about to get rabid again over nothing again, which is always entertaining. The New York Times reported that Trump associates had contact with Russian intelligence officials a year before the election, but there was no evidence of collusion. Some associates, like Paul Manafort, have done business in the country and interactions with Russian intelligence in that process isn’t unusual. So, nothing came of that. The infamous Russian dossier that was published in full on BuzzFeed was compiled by a former MI6 operative, Christopher Steele, as part of an opposition research project by anti-Trump Republicans, which was later taken over by Democrats. The dossier is unverified. It remains largely uncorroborated. What we do know is that Russian government officials talked to other Russians, but we don’t know what they discussed. Now, there are reports that the dossier itself was a project funded by the Russians. Fusion GPS, which funded the effort, has refused to cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee, who sent a letter asking them if they could answer some questions about this project.
There is no solid evidence that the Russians colluded with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election--and it remains that way. Reuters reported that the Trump campaign had 18 undisclosed communications with Russian officials during the last seven months of the 2016 elections. Buried in the story: no evidence of collusion (via Reuters) [emphasis mine]:
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.
The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said.
The people who described the contacts to Reuters said they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far. But the disclosure could increase the pressure on Trump and his aides to provide the FBI and Congress with a full account of interactions with Russian officials and others with links to the Kremlin during and immediately after the 2016 election.
So, there’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing illegal. And there’s nothing improper with these meetings. Associated Press’ Julie Pace also mentioned that there was nothing wrong with the meetings Trump officials had with the Russians.
Nothing’s changed here, folks. There’s still no evidence of collusion. The House and Senate Intelligence committees have also found no smoking guns relating to the collusion allegations.