NEWS

Making Sense Of The Trump-Russia Mess

With this much smoke, must there also be fire?

03/08/2017 20:39 SAST | Updated 14/09/2017 17:24 SAST

The beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency has been clouded by an ever-evolving scandal around potential collusion between his campaign and Russia. All told, there are five investigations into the matter, and from what we can tell publicly, none appears close to reaching a conclusion.

But they do appear to be heating up.

In early September, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation reportedly added the son of former national security adviser Mike Flynn to its probe. Mike Flynn Jr. had worked with his father in his consulting business, the source of several foreign contacts that were apparently omitted from his father’s security clearance forms. The same week, the elder Flynn refused a second request to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee spoke with Donald Trump Jr. in September, who told the senators he had met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in June 2016 at Trump Tower to assess the “fitness” of then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. This was a change from previous explanations about why he agreed to the meeting, which included then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Mueller’s investigation is also looking at the 2016 meeting and the evolving explanations of it.

Manafort’s Russian contacts and connections reportedly have led Mueller to team up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to look into possible money-laundering. The joint investigation could be intended to compel Manafort to cooperate.

Trump, meanwhile, has consistently denied any involvement with Russia, but few people seem to be taking him at his word.

With a near-constant stream of revelations about previously undisclosed links between Trump associates and various Russian figures, it can be hard to keep up. We’re here to help. 

Click through the navigation bar at the top of this page to catch up on the most important developments in the Trump-Russia saga so far. And be sure to check back as the story inevitably progresses.