Donald Trump's deputy chief of staff was working to arrange Vladimir Putin meeting during campaign: report

Yet another person with ties to the Trump campaign can be considered part of the Russia investigation

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published August 24, 2017 8:10AM (EDT)

Vladimir Putin; Donald Trump   (AP/Evan Vucci)
Vladimir Putin; Donald Trump (AP/Evan Vucci)

A new report indicates that President Donald Trump's deputy chief of staff has become ensnared in the ongoing investigation into whether Trump's campaign either colluded or attempted to collude with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.

Rick Dearborn, who at the time served as chief of staff to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, emailed campaign officials in June 2016 (around the same time as Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer), saying there was an individual wanting to connect the Trump campaign to Putin, according to a report by CNN. The source also said that Dearborn was skeptical about the possible meeting.

Part of the reason investigators are interested in Dearborn's letter is that it could shed light on the meetings between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Sessions aroused controversy in March when it was reported that he had met with Kislyak despite failing to disclose that fact when he was being confirmed for attorney general. Sessions later recused himself from the Russia investigation, much to Trump's lasting chagrin.

Trump's frustration with the ongoing Russia investigation has manifested itself in other ways since then. Politico reported Wednesday that Trump ranted to the Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, about his anger at a bill that would impose harsh new sanctions on Russia and limit his ability to repeal them. He has also vented to Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina about the senator's work on a bill that would stop Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is in charge of the investigation into any possible Trump-Russia connections.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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