MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” presented a “definitive timeline” of the Trump-Russia connections Tuesday.
The segment began by asking why Trump has “kowtowed to Putin since the beginning of the campaign,” showing an interview from December 2015 in which Trump praised Putin in an interview on the show while downplaying that the Russian leader has his opponents murdered.
“At least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump said.
Noting the ongoing Mueller investigation, co-host Mika Brzezinski said, “what we know so far might explain why the president appears to panicked.”
Brzezinski went through the dates one by one.
In September 2015, Trump’s business “sought deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow” just months after he announced he was running for president.
That same month, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen suggested that the candidate “may even meet with Putin when he comes here for the United Nations.”
In October 2015, on the night of the third GOP primary debate, Trump signed a letter of intent “with a Moscow-based developer” on the Trump Tower deal.
Days later, shady Trump associate Felix Sater wrote in an email, “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.”
In December, future disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn was photographed attending a dinner where he sat directly next to Putin.
In January 2016, Cohen reached out to Putin’s personal spokesman to ask for help on the Trump Tower Moscow deal.
Shortly after that, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions joined the campaign, along with Paul Manafort, who previously worked for Kremlin-backed autocrats in Ukraine. Manafort offered to work for free, despite later reports revealing his massive debts to Russian oligarchs.
In March 2016, Russians sent phishing emails to Democrats tied to Clinton. Within nine days, they got access to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.
Days later, Trump announced his foreign policy team, which included George Papadopoulos, who Trump described as an “excellent guy.”
That same week, Papadopoulos met with Russian agents and discussed setting up a meeting with Trump, along with dirt on Hillary Clinton.
That same month, Papadopoulos attended a meeting with Trump and Sessions where he brought up the proposed Russian meeting. Sessions reportedly shot down the idea, but Trump claims he doesn’t remember the meeting.
A month later, the DNC was hacked. Around the same time, Papadopoulos was told by his Russian contact that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary.
Sessions and Jared Kushner met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a Trump speech around this same time, and both later “forgot” about it.
We later learned Kushner had three undisclosed calls with Kislyak until the election, and Sessions met him multiple times.
In June 2016, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who promised him “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Kushner and Manafort also attended the meeting.
During this time, Trump promised to hold a major speech on “all of the things going on with the Clintons.”
Weeks later, Trump Jr. denied any involvement with the Russians.
That same month, Jared Kushner brought in Cambridge Analytica to run the campaign’s tech operation. The firm then reached out to WikiLeaks to discuss Clinton’s deleted emails.
The first batch of DNC documents was leaked by Guccifer 2.0, a tool of the Russian military, were leaked that month.
Around this same time, foreign policy adviser Carter Page traveled to Russia to meet with officials, telling multiple officials about the trip, who then denied any knowledge of the trip.
In July, Manafort offered a Russian oligarch “private briefings” on the campaign in a secret deal.
That month, the Trump campaign removed a pro-Ukrainian plank in the RNC platform.
Days later, Wikileaks leaked 20,000 more emails.
On July 27, Trump asked Russia to “find the 33,000 emails that were missing.”
In August, Trump associated Roger Stone claimed to have backchannel dealings with Wikileaks, and later predicted it was Podesta’s time in the barrel.
Manafort was soon ousted from the campaign after it was revealed he had been receiving secret payments from Ukraine.
During this time, the CIA linked the hacks to Russia but Trump continued to downplay Russia’s involvement.
In September, Sessions again met with Kislyak, and later “forgot.”
That month, Wikileaks began to communicate with Trump Jr. on Twitter.
After Trump came under fire for the Access Hollywood tape, Wikileaks dumped thousands of Podesta’s emails.
Trump won the election shortly after that, prompting the Mueller investigation just months into his tenure.
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