Senior Russian Official Admits Maintaining Contact With Trump Campaign

A 'whole array' of Trump advisers and members of the Trump campaign supported contacts with Russian representatives, says Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Russian President Vladimir Putin receives diplomatic credentials from foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, November 9, 2016.
Russian President Vladimir Putin receives diplomatic credentials from foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, November 9, 2016.Credit: Sergei Karpukhin, AP

A leading Russian diplomat acknowledged on Thursday that Moscow had maintained widespread contact with the campaign of Donald Trump before his election as United States president.

In October, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of attempting to subvert the election by means of cyberattacks against Democratic Party servers. Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the charge as hysteria and a ploy to distract voters from the failings of the candidates.

"There were contacts" with influential people close to Trump, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency on Thursday. "I don't say that all of them, but a whole array of them, supported contacts with Russian representatives."

The report did not give further details.

Another influential Russian, pro-Kremlin political analyst Sergei Markov, also denied allegations of Russian interference in the election, but said “maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks,” the Guardian reported.

A series of leaks by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks during the course of the campaign proved to be very damaging to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The Obama administration accused Russia of being behind the leaks.

Trump's relations with Russia were one of the most contentious issues of the campaign, especially in light of his favorable remarks about Putin as a strong leader and the Democratic claims of cyberattacks.

The Clinton campaign also called on the FBI to disclose what it knew about contacts between Trump and Russia, following a report in Slate online magazine of thousands of apparent connection attempts between a mail server operated on behalf of the Trump Organization and computers inside a Russian company, Alfa Bank in Moscow.

The Trump campaign responded that the computer in question had been dormant for years.

Putin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Trump on his victory on Wednesday. Russia, he said, was ready to fully restore relations with the United States, following a period a tension over Russian military operations in Syria.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid Is the Most Israeli of All

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

An anti-abortion protester holds a cross in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court Leaves a Barely United States

A young Zeschke during down time, while serving with the Wehrmacht in Scandinavia.

How a Spanish Beach Town Became a Haven for Nazis

Ayelet Shaked.

What's Ayelet Shaked's Next Move?

A Palestinian flag is taken down from a building by Israeli authorities after being put up by an advocacy group that promotes coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis, in Ramat Gan, Israel earlier this month

Israel-Palestine Confederation: A Response to Eric Yoffie