By Craig Hardegree | 

Synopsis: As a matter of national pride and desire to topple America’s standing as the world’s lone superpower, Putin strongly desires to bring former Soviet republics back under the control of Russia but is greatly hampered by the existence of NATO. In pursuit of his goal, Putin invades the Ukraine province of Crimea in 2014. In response, President Obama levies sanctions on Russia in an effort to non-militarily force Putin to retreat. Putin desperately wants the sanctions lifted. Exxon discovers an oil field beneath the ocean floor off the coast of Siberia that contains more oil than all the wells in the Gulf of Mexico combined. Exxon now desperately wants the sanctions lifted. Trump associates Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Michael Flynn have deep ties to Russia. When Manafort’s past corrupt dealings in Ukraine are revealed, he is replaced with Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Russian operatives at the direction of Putin hack into DNC email accounts and find information inflammatory to Sanders supporters. Carter Page devises plan to leak the information during the Democratic National Convention for maximum effect on Sanders supporters who are perceived as sharing Trump’s anti-establishment worldview and visceral hatred of Hillary. The information is funneled to WikiLeaks for release. The plan works. Trump then sets about to lift sanctions on Russia and dismantle NATO.


November 2004 — In a runoff between Viktor Yushchenko and pro-Russia candidate Viktor Yanukovych, Yanukovych wins the presidential election in Ukraine amid widespread evidence of elections fraud. Mass protests and sit-ins organized by Yushchenko result in the Ukraine Supreme Court invalidating the election.

December 2004 — Yushchenko wins new election. Ousted-Yanukovych hires American advisor Paul Manafort to engineer his comeback.

April 2008 — Russia sends troops into Abkhazia, a province inside the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

August 2008 — Russian tanks and troops roll through South Ossetia into Georgia.

August 2008 — Russia recognizes Abkhazia and South Ossetia as two new Russian-controlled provinces within the sovereign territorial boundaries of the republic of Georgia. Bush condemns the actions of Russia but does not deploy US troops, does not obtain sanctions against Russia from the UN Security Council, does not impose US economic sanctions. Conservatives do not say Bush is weak or feckless or inviting more aggression by failing to make Russia pay a price for naked aggression against former members of the Soviet Union in Russia’s new attempt to reconstitute a Russian empire.

February 2010 — With Paul Manafort still by his side and Yushchenko not a candidate in the new election cycle, ousted-Yanukovych finally becomes president. Manafort helps engineer a win for Yanukovych in spite of the US State Department and Senator John McCain objecting to his assistance on grounds that it is not in the best interests of America for pro-Russia Yanukovych to become president of Ukraine.

2010 — General Michael T. Flynn is investigated internally by the Army for inappropriately sharing classified information with Afghan military officials. With a standard that would set the precedent for the FBI’s later exoneration of the method used by Hillary Clinton to store State Department emails, General Flynn is cleared because he had no “intent” to harm national security. This was the second such investigation of General Flynn. Earlier in the year he had been reprimanded for revealing to Pakistani officials at a meeting in Islamabad, our methods for spying on Haqqani terrorists.

April 17, 2012President Obama nominates General Michael Flynn to be the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Four years later, General Flynn would rise to the podium on the third day of the Republican National Convention and deliver a barn-burner against Hillary, saying if he had done “a tenth of what Hillary did” — referring to her decision to store emails on a home server which was never compromised, instead of on the State Department server which was compromised — he would have been “locked up,” a statement which is true only if by “locked up” he meant “promoted to head the Defense Intelligence Agency.”

October 2013 — Putin bestows Order of Friendship on Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon. Igor Sechin, president and chairman of the board of state-owned oil giant Rosneft, looks on.

November 9, 2013 — Trump holds Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and becomes enamored with Putin.

November 2013 — A bankrupt Ukraine is in desperate need of financial assistance. The vast majority of the Ukraine people want President Yanukovych to take Ukraine into the European Union. Yanukovych cozies up to Putin.

November 28, 2013 — At the Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania, Yanukovych goes against the will of the Ukraine people and refuses to sign the agreement bringing Ukraine into the EU, citing his respect for Putin. This triggers a second wave of mass protests by the Ukraine people against Yanukovych in Kiev’s Independence Square, “Maidan Nezalezhnosti,” in Ukrainian.

February 2014 — For the second time in ten years, mass protests in Ukraine result in Yanukovych being forced from office. Putin believes the CIA — at the behest of President Obama — engineered the coup to keep Yanukovych from handing Ukraine over to Putin. Yanukovych exiles to Russia.

February 2014 — Reeling from being deprived by President Obama of reuniting the former Soviet republic of Ukraine back into a reconstituted Soviet Union, Putin invades Crimea, a province of Ukraine, and claims it as part of Russia.

March 17, 2014 — In swift and decisive response, President Obama punishes Putin by imposing crippling economic sanctions on Russia, freezing Russian assets in America and prohibiting American companies from doing business with Russia. President Obama places Yanukovych and ten other Russians on the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDNL), banning them from the US and freezing their US assets. Also placed on the SDNL is Igor Sechin, president and chairman of the board of Rosneft, the state-owned Russian energy company partnered with Exxon in a very costly Siberian oil project.

March 2014 — Republicans, who six years earlier said nothing when Russia, on Bush’s watch, invaded two provinces inside the former Soviet republic of Georgia and proclaimed them to be part of Russia, are simply mortified that Russia has invaded one province inside the former Soviet republic of Ukraine and, on President Obama’s watch, proclaimed it to be part of Russia. Republicans immediately join hands and march to the middle of the streets and lie on their backs and kick their feet up and down and pound their fists into the pavement and cast their eyes toward Heaven and cry out to Holy God that President Obama is weak and feckless and failing to protect America and not properly punishing Putin to discourage such naked aggression. Two years later they would agree with Trump that the Obama-imposed sanctions were too harsh of a punishment on our God-ordained white partner who is divinely destined to help us banish dark-skinned evil from the world. Until Trump would get in a pickle over ties to Russia — then they would revert back to “Obama didn’t do enough to stop Russia.”

April 30, 2014 — General Michael Flynn, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, announces his early resignation after being forced out due to a loose relationship with facts.

May 2014 — At the annual meeting of Exxon shareholders, CEO Rex Tillerson tells an AP reporter that he opposes the economic sanctions levied by President Obama against Russia but says they are so far not negatively impacting Exxon.

September 2014 — The $700-million-dollar well off the coast of Siberia – the most expensive well in all of Exxon history – finally strikes oil, finding more oil a mile beneath the ocean floor in Siberia than in all the wells in the entire Gulf of Mexico combined. Estimates place the value of the find at $900 billion. But due to the sanctions, Exxon and CEO Tillerson are forced to leave the untapped oil and go home. Without Exxon’s assistance, Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft led by COB Igor Sechin is unable to exploit the newly-discovered oil.

September 2014Paul Manafort returns to Ukraine to help rebuild the exiled Yanukovych’s pro-Russia opposition party in advance of the October 2014 Ukraine parliamentary elections. Manafort would continue regular travels to Ukraine through the end of 2015 and would not close his office in Kiev until May 2016.

December 4, 2014 — 229 of the 234 Republicans in congress, believing President Obama’s economic sanctions to be insufficient, vote for President Obama to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons to fight Russian aggression even though 71% of Americans support President Obama’s sanctions-only approach; 19% support no involvement; and only 9% support military action.

September 2015 — Establishment Republicans hire Glen Simpson of Fusion GPS to investigate Trump.

December 2015 — Retired General Michael Flynn who headed the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 2012 until forced into retirement in August 2014 for an erratic grasp of facts, sits at the head table as guest of Putin at the 10th Anniversary of Russia Today (RT), the state-owned propaganda news service based in Moscow. General Flynn is at the celebration because he had become a regular intelligence analyst for RT after leaving the Pentagon. General Flynn’s erratic grasp of facts had resulted in his trafficking in fake news stories about Benghazi and the spread of Sharia law. A few days before the November 2016 election, General Flynn would spread on social media a fake news story which would falsely claim that Hillary had operated a child sex-ring out of a DC pizza parlor. That totally-fabricated story would result in a deranged gunman firing a rifle inside the pizza joint. Also in attendance at the 10th Anniversary gala in Moscow: Jill Stein.

March 21, 2016 — Trump tells Washington Post editorial board that Carter Page is one of his foreign policy advisors. From 2004 to 2007, Page had lived in Moscow working as the chief operating officer of Merrill Lynch’s Moscow operations. While living in Moscow, he developed a close relationship with and became an investor in Gazprom, the Russian state-owned natural gas company.

March 28, 2016 — Trump names Paul Manafort as his new campaign advisor.

March 2016FBI informs DNC that its email accounts have been hacked.

March 30, 2016 — Carter Page tells Bloomberg News that upon being named as one of Trump’s foreign policy advisors, his email inbox exploded up with messages from Russian associates excited about the “possibilities for creating a better situation” because they had been so “adversely affected by the sanctions policy.”

April 2016 — A Baltic state intelligence agency intercepts a phone conversation which indicates Russian government funds are being injected into US elections. The agency passes the tape to CIA Director John Brennen. A multi-agency counterintelligence task force is set up and includes representatives from the CIA; FBI; Office of the Director of National Intelligence; National Security Agency; Justice Department; and, Treasury Department. The Wall Street Journal would later (January 22, 2017) report the counterintelligence task force is looking into communications between Russia and four different Trump associates: General Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone.

April 2016 — Trump names Paul Manafort as new campaign manager, replacing Corey Lewandowski.

May 2016 — Paul Manafort closes his lobbying office in Kiev. Without shredding documents.

May 2016 — DNC hires CrowdStrike to investigate the hack. CrowdStrike, with DNC consent, publicly posts their technical findings, crowd-sourcing a broad community of malware scientists to assist in determining the origin of the hacks.

June 2016 — On behalf of the multi-agency task force, the Justice Department draws up a warrant pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and presents it to the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Denied.

June 2016 — Glen Simpson of Fusion GPS brings on world-renowned intelligence expert Christopher Steele, a former British MI6 agent, to assist in investigating Trump.

July 5, 2016FBI Director James Comey announces the conclusion of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s method of storing emails while she was Secretary of State from 2009 through 2012. Director Comey announces no charges will be filed.

July 7, 2016 — Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page delivers a scathing anti-American commencement address at the New Economic School in Moscow, tediously comparing US foreign policy to Russia policy and China policy, slamming the US at every juncture and praising both communist regimes. (Appendix beginning on page 9.)

July 9, 2016 — Carter Page meets with COB Igor Sechin, chair of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft, who is anxious to get Obama-levied sanctions lifted so he and Exxon CEO Tillerson can start pumping oil from beneath the floor of the Siberian sea. COB Sechin offers Page up to a 19% stake in Rosneft if he can get the personal and corporate sanctions lifted. Page expresses interest and says sanctions will be lifted if Trump is elected president (page 30 of dossier).

July 2016 — After Trump locks-up nomination and establishment-Republicans no longer have a need for the services of Glen Simpson of Fusion GPS and former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele, Simpson and Steele continue their investigations of Trump on behalf of a left-leaning PAC.

July 11, 2016 — Committee on Resolutions meets to adopt individual planks that will make up the platform to be presented for adoption by the full Republican National Committee during the upcoming RNC convention. Hawks and interventionists win out over doves and isolationists on every foreign policy issue except one: Trump campaign representatives insist the plank favoring military assistance to Ukraine be removed. It would be the only request by the Trump campaign for a change to the platform.

July 16, 2016 — Malware scientist “Tea Leaves,” working on the crowd-sourced project to determine the origin of the DNC hack, discovers two servers in Moscow pinging a server registered to the Trump Organization on 5th Avenue. After a thorough analysis, the community of scientists conclude that the pings are not a hacking-attempt from Russia, but rather, conversations back and forth between Trump Tower and two banks in Moscow, Alfa Bank and state-owned Sberbank, a partner of US Silicon Valley Bank. A world-renowned expert in domain-name servers, Paul Vixie, would later analyze the logs and conclude that the communications between the servers were being conducted in “secretive” fashion, with discernible attempts to hide the fact that they were communicating.

  • This information is first reported in an October 31, 2016 Slate article which is criticized in both the tech and media communities but never taken down.
  • A follow-up Slate article on November 2 includes the criticisms levied at the story and outlines alternate theories suggested by critics as more benign explanations for the computer activity.
  • But, an October 31, 2016 New York Times article would confirm many of the same facts and reveal that NYT staff members had independently examined the computer logs and found 2,700 instances of communications being initiated between the Trump Tower server and the server at Alfa Bank in Moscow.
  • The October New York Times article would also report that the FBI had spent “weeks” during the summer examining the links between the 5th Avenue server and two Moscow bank servers but “ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts.”
  • The New York Times article would be heavily cited by Trump apologists as evidence that the FBI found no wrong-doing, not realizing that in citing the article as exoneration (which it wasn’t), they were admitting that an investigation had in fact occurred, highlighting the disparate manner in which FBI Director Comey had handled the simultaneous investigations of Hillary and Trump — one he commented on and the other he didn’t.

July 18 – 21, 2016 — Republican National Convention

July 20, 2016 — General Michael Flynn delivered a barn-burner speech against Hillary, egging on chants of “Lock her up!” by saying he would have been locked up if he had done “a tenth of what she did,” failing to mention that he had actually shared classified information with both Afghanistan and Pakistan in two separate incidents in 2010 and had been promoted afterwards.

July 21, 2016 — Trump tells the New York Times that if member-nations of NATO are behind on their financial payments to NATO, the US will not defend them from invasions by Russia, in spite of treaty obligations to do so.

July 22, 2016

  • WikiLeaks publishes 20,000 DNC emails covering the period of January 2015 to May 2016.
  • These emails were obtained through the Russian hack of DNC email accounts and are private communications between non-governmental private citizens and are not in any way whatsoever related to the much-discussed State Department emails stored on Hillary’s home server while she was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2012.
  • The emails contain information inflammatory to Sanders supporters.
  • An ethnic Russian associated with Trump would later (August 9, 2016) tell former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele that Carter Page had conceived and promoted the strategy of releasing the emails during the DNC convention for maximum effect on Sanders supporters who were perceived as sharing Trump’s anti-establishment and anti-status quo views and visceral hatred of Hillary.

July 23, 2016 — Former MI6 Agent Steele authors memo saying Trump campaign had the plank in support of military assistance to Ukraine removed from the Republican platform at the direct request of Russia.

July 25 – 28, 2016 — Democratic National Convention

July 26, 2016 — FBI announces with high degree of confidence that Russian intelligence agent Guccifer 2.0 was responsible for hacking the private-citizen DNC emails spanning the period of January 2015 through May 2016.

July 26, 2016 — Trump publicly asks Russia to also hack the State Department emails which had been stored on Hillary’s home server from 2009 through 2012.

July 27, 2016 — Trump tells Mareike Aden, German journalist and former Russian and Ukraine correspondent, that he would be looking at recognizing Crimea as a legitimate part of Russia and would be looking at lifting the Obama-imposed sanctions on Russia, if elected president.

July 2016 — Trump attorney Michael Cohen vacations in the European Union country of Italy.

August 13, 2016 — Trump confidant Roger Stone goes on Alex JonesInfo Wars and says he is in communication with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks through a “trusted mutual friend”

August 14, 2016 — New York Times publishes a story saying exiled former Ukraine president Yanukovych had previously given $12.7 million dollars in cash payments to Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort while Manafort served as Yanukovych‘s advisor. This information is based on documents written in Ukrainian, carelessly left behind in Manafort‘s now-closed Kiev office.

August 15, 2016 — Paul Manafort issues a terse categorical denial saying the allegations are “unfounded, silly and nonsensical.”

August 16, 2016 — Near Volgograd, exiled former Ukraine president Yanukovych who had employed Paul Manafort for the better part of a decade, confessed to Putin that he had authorized kickbacks to Manafort while Manafort was serving as Yanukovych’s advisor.

August 21, 2016 — Roger Stone tweets, “Trust me, it will soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel.”

August 19, 2016 — Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort resigns.

September 2, 2016 — US cyber-security firm ThreatConnect publishes it findings that Russian server-hosting company King Servers is linked to the hacks into the systems owned by the Arizona and Illinois elections boards.

September 2016US intelligence officials investigate ties between Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page and COB Igor Sechin, chairman of state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft.

September 2016 — Former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele compiles his investigative findings on Trump into one dossier and delivers it to his contact inside the FBI as well as to agents in the MI6. The names Carter Page, Paul Manafort, General Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen appear multiple times in the dossier.

October 7, 2016

  • The Department of Homeland Security issues a press release which begins with:
    • “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”
  • 4:03 pm — Access Hollywood tape of Trump bragging that being a celebrity allows him to get by with sexual assault, is made public by David Fahrenthold tweeting his Washington Post article.
  • 4:32 pmWikiLeaks releases 2,050 of the 50,000 emails hacked from Hillary campaign manager John Podesta, as foretold by Roger Stone on Alex Jones‘ show two months earlier.

Date Unknown — The Federal Security Service (FSB), formerly known as the KBG, is the central intelligence agency for the Russian Federation. Sergei Mikhailov is second in command of the cyber-security division (CDC) of the FSB. In that capacity, Mikhailov holds talks with state-owned Sberbank about a joint security operation. Noting that Sberbank has one of the largest “datasets on Russian citizens,” Mikhailov suggests merging Sberbank’s data with CDC data to form an all-knowing security apparatus similar to the US National Security Agency.

October 15, 2016FBI again seeks a FISA warrant to tap into the servers at Alfa Bank and state-owned Sberbank in Moscow to discover communications between the Russian banks and three US persons affiliated with the Trump campaign. Granted.

October 26, 2016Rudolph Giuliani, a member of team Trump who has a close relationship with the New York office of the FBI stemming from his days as NY mayor during the aftermath of 9/11 and who says a near-revolt has been underway inside the FBI by agents upset over Director Comey‘s July 5 decision not to bring charges against Hillary, says “we have a couple of things up our sleeve that should “turn this thing around.” “I’m talking about some pretty big surprises.”

October 28, 2016 — Two days later (and only 11 days before the election) FBI Director James Comey, against long-standing FBI policy and over objections of Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, publicly states that the closed-investigation into Hillary’s email-storage procedures would be reopened due to some of her emails being discovered in the temporary memory of Anthony Weiner’s laptop because Weiner’s wife — Hillary’s assistant — had once checked her emails from her husband’s laptop. For their objection, Lynch and Yates cited long-standing FBI policy of never commenting on an open investigation and well-established FBI practices of never commenting on an investigation within 60 days of an election.

October 28, 2016FBI Director James Comey makes no statement regarding the open investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia and, makes no statement regarding the newly-granted FISA warrant which the FBI applied for and was granted. In subsequent explanation of why he did not make a statement regarding the Trump investigations, Director Comey cites long-standing FBI policy of never commenting on an open investigation and well-established FBI practices of never commenting on an investigation within 60 days of an election.

October 31, 2016 — Rev. Michael Snyder, evangelical end-time prophecy-preacher, thanks the FBI for turning things around for Trump, gleefully noting that Hillary’s unfavorability rating had hit an all-time high with 45% of Americans now believing the email “scandal” is worse than Watergate.

November 2016 — Alfa Bank and state-owned Sberbank in Moscow report being hacked — days after the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to tap into their servers.

November 5, 2016 — Three days before the election, Director Comey admits none of the emails in the temporary memory of Weiner’s laptop had anything to do with the prior investigation which had been closed in June with no charges against Hillary Clinton. He re-closes the investigation.

November 6, 2016 — WikiLeaks releases 8,000 additional DNC emails.

November 2016 — The FBI investigation into how Hillary stored State Department emails back in 2009 through 2012 and the quickly-reopened and re-closed investigation into the benign circumstance of Weiner’s wife’s emails being in the temporary memory of Weiner’s laptop, both make their way into the collective psyche of the electorate, establishing without trial or conviction a constructed appearance of guilt even in the face of official pronouncements of no guilt. Proof of this phenomenon is well-established by the most common chant at Trump rallies: “Lock her up!

November 8, 2016 — Between the constructed appearance of guilt in spite of official exonerating pronouncements; and, the Russian-hacked DNC emails leaked to drive Sanders supporters to Trump, Trump wins the election by 78,000 votes spread across three states which gave him the requisite number of electoral college votes in spite of losing the overall national popular vote by almost 3 million votes.

November 10, 2016 — Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov tells Russian news service Interfax that Putin’s government was in regular contact with Trump’s campaign during the election cycle.

November 17, 2016 — General Michael Flynn emerges from meeting in Trump Tower as newly-named head of the National Security Agency, a position he can assume without probing-questions as Senate consent is not required.

November 18, 2016US Senator John McCain, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is in Halifax, Nova Scotia attending the Halifax International Security Forum. He meets former British ambassador to Russia, Sir Andrew Wood, who tells him of the existence of the dossier compiled by former MI6 Agent Christopher Steel, a copy of which is now in the possession of MI6. Sir Andrew Wood says he has not seen the dossier but can without reservation vouch for the honesty and integrity of former MI6 Agent Steele. It is Senator McCain’s first knowledge of the dossier, as the FBI has not publicly commented on its copy, in keeping with long-standing established practices of the FBI of not commenting on open investigations. Senator McCain sends a courier to London to obtain the dossier from an associate of former MI6 Agent Steele.

December 8, 2016 — Carter Page returns to Moscow to meet with Russian “thought leaders.”

Early December, 2016 — Sergei Mikhailov, second in command at the cyber division of the FSB is attending a high-level FSB meeting when government agents storm the room, shove a bag down over his head and “disappear him.” He is suspected of colluding with the CIA through Ukraine hacker group “Humpty Dumpty” and accused of providing Russian intel to the CIA, including the information linking Russian-owned King Servers to the hacks of the election board servers in Arizona and Illinois. It is not known whether he was the source of the dossier information passed to former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele.

December 9, 2016

  • Senator McCain personally hand-delivers a copy of the dossier to FBI Director Comey.
  • CIA agents brief members of congress on the intelligence community’s collective finding that Russia had interfered in the elections with the specific intent to help Trump win the election. Earlier reports had only confirmed the interference was designed to influence the elections.

December 13, 2016 — Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, recipient of Putin’s Order of Friendship, is nominated by Trump to serve as Secretary of State in his incoming administration.

December 26, 2016 — Boxing Day in Russia. Traditionally, empty boxes left over from Christmas Day are filled with food scraps and given to the poor. Oleg Erovinkin, a general in the FSB (formerly KGB), is found dead in the trunk of his car. He had served as intelligence liaison between oil giant Rosneft’s COB Igor Sechin and Putin and would have been privy to all the information in the dossier.

December 29, 2016

  • Satisfied that it has been well-proven that Russia hacked into the emails of the DNC and Hillary’s campaign manager and did so with the express intent of manipulating the sovereign elections of America, President Obama expels 35 high-level Russian officials from America, sanctions GRU and FSB (two of Russia’s intelligence agencies); shuts-down two Russian companies operating in the US and levies restrictions on three others. President Obama informs Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak of the punishments one hour before publicly announcing them.
  • Putin publicly vows to retaliate.
  • General Michael Flynn who had sat at the head table with Putin in Moscow at the December 2015 10th Anniversary of Russia Today and who had helped spread fake news against Hillary Clinton just before the election, makes or receives a total of five telephone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
  • While General Flynn initially denied he had discussed the sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak, he would later — after learning that the FBI records all calls involving foreign government officials — say he couldn’t remember whether the sanctions had been discussed; then, that they may have been; then, resign.

December 30, 2016

  • Putin publicly states he will not retaliate for President Obama’s sanctions.
  • Trump tweets praise for Putin’s restraint.
  • US intelligence agencies become suspicious over Putin’s muted response and begin analyzing the communications between General Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to see if General Flynn made promises or assurances that the incoming administration would deal differently with Russia on the newly-announced second-round of sanctions.

January 6, 2017Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey meet with Trump and brief him on the extensive evidence proving Russian responsibility for the hacks and Russian intent to do so expressly for the purpose of interfering in America’s sovereign elections. The intelligence officials give Trump a copy of the dossier prepared by former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele.

January 10, 2017

  • BuzzFeed publishes the entire 35-page dossier. Mainstream media both quote from it and excoriate BuzzFeed for publishing it, hypocritically pointing out that it’s “just allegations” dubiously obtained, concerns that perfectly describe everything they incessantly trafficked in with regard to Hillary’s method of storing State Department emails.
  • Trump tweets that dossier is “fake news.”
  • In particular, Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen say the “Michael Cohen” referred to in the October 20, 2016 memo (page 18 of the dossier) as being Trump’s attorney and the person who had traveled to Prague in August 2016 for a meeting with Kremlin officials, was a different Michael Cohen because Trump’s Cohen was in Los Angeles when the meeting took place and has never traveled to Prague or Russia. In fact, according to Trump’s Cohen, the only European Union country he traveled to over the summer was Italy, in July, for a vacation.

However, the Prague meeting referred to in the October 20, 2016 memo appears to be a completely different meeting from the one referred to at the bottom of the memo in a “Company Comment” correcting the memo from the previous day:

We reported previously in our Company Intelligence Report 2016/135 of 19 October 2016 from the same source, that Cohen met officials from the PA Legal Department clandestinely in an EU country in August 2016. This was in order to clean up the mess left behind by western media revelations of Trump ex-campaign manager Manafort’s corrupt relationship with the former pro-Russian Yanukovych regime in Ukraine and Trump foreign policy advisor, Carter Page’s secret meetings in Moscow with senior regime figures in July 2016. According to the Kremlin advisor, these meeting/s were originally scheduled for Cohen in Moscow but shifted to what was considered an operationally “soft” EU country when it was judged too compromising for him to travel to the Russian capital.

Italy is an EU country not directly involved and is thus an “operationally soft” EU country.

And the last few days of July run into August.

Always do.

January 11, 2017 — Trump holds news conference. Trump incoming press secretary Sean Spicer tells reporters that Michael Cohen‘s passport shows “he did not leave the country in August or September,” leaving open the possibility that Cohen could have returned to the US in August, following his admitted trip in July to Italy. That possibility would place Cohen in an operationally soft EU country in August.

January 11, 2017 — Terrified that his identity has been revealed — an undoubtedly having an aversion to being “bagged & dragged” — former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele abruptly leaves his home with his family and goes into hiding.

January 12, 2017 — The FBI’s own Inspector General announces an investigation into FBI Director James Comey’s disparate handling of investigations of candidates during the 2016 election; specifically, Director Comey’s decisions to violate long-standing FBI policies by publicly commenting on the investigation into Hillary’s method of storing emails and, publicly commenting within 60 days of an election on the re-opening of that investigation, while simultaneously steadfastly refusing to comment on investigations conducted at the same time into Trump’s ties with Russia.

Friday, January 13, 2017

  • Trump tells Wall Street Journal he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia.
  • Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, National Security Advisor Mike Rogers, and FBI Director James Comey testify before members of congress in a 90-minute closed meeting. Democrats leave the meeting seething but closed-lipped over things they learn from Director Comey and over his stubborn refusal, even now, to confirm the FBI’s investigations into Trump’s election-cycle contacts with Russia, citing in support of his refusal to do so, the very FBI policy he so freely and flagrantly violated in publicly commenting on the ultimately-exonerating Clinton investigations.
  • Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia — the chair and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee — announce they will open an investigation into Russian interference in the sovereign elections of the United States.

January 15, 2017

  • Trump tells Times of London that while President Obama has imposed sanctions on Russia, he would like to have “good deals” with Russia, perhaps lifting the sanctions in return for a reduction in Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Trump laments, “Russia’s hurting very badly right now because of sanctions.” Trump again declares NATO “obsolete” because it hasn’t “stopped terrorism,” failing to comprehend it was designed to defend member nations from invasion and conquer by other nations. Trump either does not understand — or very clearly does understand — that dismantling NATO would allow Putin to go on an unchecked unbridled military campaign of bringing all former Soviet republics back into a reconstituted Soviet empire.
  • CIA Director John Brennan tells Fox New Sunday that Trump doesn’t seem to understand the threat Russia presents to the United States.
  • Trump tweets that maybe CIA Director Brennan is responsible for leaking the Steele dossier.
  • During a CBS interview, Vice President Pence assures the American public that General Flynn never discussed the sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

January 16, 2017 — US Marines land in Norway for a six-month deployment. It’s the first time since WWII that Norway has hosted foreign troops. Norway is a founding member of NATO and shares a border with Russia.

January 17, 2017 — Putin holds a news conference in Moscow and says the people who leaked the dossier on Trump are “worse than prostitutes” and people who still oppose Trump after the election appear to have “trained for this in Kiev and now are ready to organize a Maidan in Washington and not let Trump assume office,” referring to the November 2013 protests at Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev which Putin believes were orchestrated by President Obama to dethrone pro-Russia former Ukraine president Yanukovych in order to prevent Yanukovych from handing Ukraine over to Putin.

January 19, 2017 — New York Times reports Carter Page, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort are under investigation by the FBI assisted the CIA, Treasury Department and National Security Agency.

January 24, 2017 — Senator Richard Burr and Senator Mark Warner issue a second joint statement, this time indicating the Senate Intelligence Committee will expand its investigation to include examination of links between Russia and “individuals associated with political campaigns.

January 28, 2017 — Trump has first official call with Putin. Trump says lifting sanctions was not discussed. Putin says “lifting sanctions” was not discussed — they discussed, “restoring mutually beneficial trade and economic ties between business circles of the two countries.”

February 1, 2017

  • Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is confirmed by the Senate to immediately assume the role of US Secretary of State.
  • Aljazeera reports that bagged & dragged Sergei Mikhailov, second in command at the cyber division of FSB (KGB), along with FSB Agent Dmitry Dokuchayev and Kaspersky Lab employee Ruslan Stoyanov have been charged with treason for passing along classified Kremlin secrets to US intelligence officials.

February 9, 2017

  • Washington Post reports that transcripts of General Flynn‘s December 30, 2016 intercepted telephone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak confirm that he did, in point of fact, discuss the December 29 sanctions levied by President Obama as punishment for Russia interfering in our election.
  • New York Times confirms reports. 

February 10, 2017 — CNN reports that key elements of the dossier prepared by former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele have been confirmed to them by top US intelligence officials.

February 12, 2017 — Carter Page sends an 8-page footnoted letter to Voting Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice requesting an “urgent review” into the “severe election fraud in the form of disinformation, suppression of dissent, hate crimes and other extensive abuses led by members of Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and their political allies last year.”

February 13, 2017General Michael Flynn resigns as National Security Advisor 

February 15, 2017

  • Wall Street Journal reports that US intelligence agents have routinely withheld from Trump “sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information,” due to the “deep mistrust” of Trump and his team over contacts with the Russian government and the animosity Trump has shown towards US intelligence agencies.
  • The Intercept sends an emailed question to Carter Page asking if he would be willing to support Trump using his powers to declassify any government materials that would disclose the content of the intercepted conversations between Page and Russian operatives. In response, Page sent The Intercept a copy of his February 12, 2017 letter addressed to the US Department of Justice.

This is a project in progress. Originally published January 16, 2017, it was one of the first timelines outlining Trump’s ties to Russia. Please share freely and persistently. There are no revenue-producing advertisements or click-bait links — my sole and soul interest is to spread the truth until this grave injustice to the fabric of our democracy is rectified.

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Copyright Notice: Essays on this site are completely original content and are the copyrighted work of Craig Hardegree. Sharing via social media buttons or links to intact essays is encouraged and appreciated but essays may not be otherwise disseminated or republished in whole or in part and may not be disassembled or rewritten without the express written permission of Craig Hardegree.