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

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 professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and a wide range of political issues. He has interviewed many prominent figures (reflecting his diverse interests) including President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), actress Cady McClain ("All My Children"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin (2002-present), comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2") and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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