2016 Campaign

Lewandowski Spoke to Data Firm Before Announcement

Christopher Wylie, a former employee of British-based company Cambridge Analytica, told NBC News that the company misused personal Facebook data of some 50 million people.

Said Wylie: “I left Cambridge Analytica before it joined the Trump campaign. What I do know is that Cambridge Analytica was meeting with Corey Lewandowski in 2015 before Trump had even announced.”

Trump Campaign Data Firm Talked Business With Russians

New York Times: “The contacts took place as Cambridge Analytica was building a roster of Republican clients in the United States — and harvesting the Facebook profiles of over 50 million users to develop tools to analyze voters’ behavior.”

“Cambridge Analytica also included extensive questions about Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, in surveys it was carrying out in American focus groups in 2014. It is not clear what — or which client — prompted the line of questioning, which asked for views on topics ranging from Mr. Putin’s popularity to Russian expansionism.”

Trump Lawyer Gave Campaign More Than Legally Allowed

President Trump’s personal lawyer in the Russia probe, John Dowd, contributed more money last year to the president’s re-election campaign than is legally permissible, CNBC reports.

“Under federal law, the maximum amount an individual may contribute to a political campaign, per election, is $2,700. But Dowd has given a total of $3,000 to Trump’s 2020 general election campaign, according to the tally the FEC sent the Trump campaign.”

Papadopoulos Testified Trump Wanted ‘Back Channel’

A great new book, Russian Roulette, reports that George Papadopoulos spent months “trying to set up a back channel between the campaign and the Kremlin, in part to arrange a Trump-Putin meeting before Election Day,” according to Mother Jones.

“According to a later court filing, Papadopoulos, who in October 2017 pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, aimed to set up an ‘off the record’ meeting between campaign representatives and Putin’s office. Trump has famously denied there was any relationship between his campaign and Moscow. But Russian Roulette reveals that Papadopoulos has told investigators that at a March 31, 2016, meeting Trump held with his foreign policy team, when Papadopoulos informed Trump he had contacts in the United Kingdom who could set up a meeting between Trump and Putin, Trump said this was an ‘interesting’ idea. Trump, according to Papadopoulos’ account, looked at then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a top Trump adviser at the time, as if he expected him to follow up. Afterward, Papadopoulos, working with Russian cutouts, kept pursuing such a meeting.”

Roger Stone Claimed Contact with Wikileaks In Early 2016

“In the spring of 2016, longtime political operative Roger Stone had a phone conversation that would later seem prophetic, according to the person on the other end of the line,” the Washington Post reports.

“Stone, an informal adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, said he had learned from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that his organization had obtained emails that would torment senior Democrats such as John Podesta, then campaign chairman for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.”

“The conversation occurred before it was publicly known that hackers had obtained the emails of Podesta and of the Democratic National Committee, documents which WikiLeaks released in late July and October. The U.S. intelligence community later concluded the hackers were working for Russia.”

House Republicans Conclude No Evidence of Collusion

“House Intelligence Committee Republicans have completed a draft report in their year-long Russia probe that states they found no evidence President Trump or anyone affiliated with him colluded with Russian officials to affect the outcome of the 2016 elections, a conclusion expected to incite backlash from committee Democrats,” the Washington Post reports.

“Republicans also determined that while the Russian government did pursue ‘active measures’ to interfere in the 2016 election, they did not do so with the intention of helping Trump’s campaign, contradicting the findings of the intelligence community.”

New York Times: “The decision to end the investigation with a conclusion of no collusion hands Mr. Trump a convenient talking point even before Mr. Mueller interviews the president and possibly other key witnesses.”

Ex-Trump Aide Say Probe ‘Not a Witch Hunt’

“Five and a half hours after testifying before a grand jury in the Russia probe, a former political adviser to Donald Trump told ABC News exclusively that he believes the investigation is ‘warranted.’”

Said Sam Nunberg: “No, I don’t think it’s a witch hunt. It’s warranted because there’s a lot there and that’s the sad truth.”

”Nunberg declined to say whether he’d be back in front of the special counsel’s attorneys or the grand jury. A source close to him said he is scheduled to testify five more times.”

Trump Never Won College-Educated White Voters

Nate Cohn: “After Donald J. Trump’s upset victory in the 2016 presidential election, one data point from the network exit polls jumped out at analysts: his two-point win among college-educated white voters. Many pre-election polls had suggested they would favor Hillary Clinton. And now, more than a year later, polls again show Mr. Trump with striking weakness among well-educated white voters, implying he has alienated many who backed him in 2016. But it is increasingly clear that there’s another explanation: The exit polls were wrong.”

Regions With More Neurotic People Supported Trump

Pacific Standard: “The factors that drove support Donald Trump in the United States and Brexit in the United Kingdom have been well-parsed by this point: racial resentment, the fear of demographic change, economic hardship, the pain of feeling left behind in a globalized economy.”

“But new research reveals another element that contributed to those anti-establishment votes: neuroticism.”

The finding is “consistent with the idea that populist campaigns played on the fears of the voters,” the researchers write. After all, they note, “campaigns that draw on fear should be particularly compelling to people already prone to being anxious.”

Russians Released Anti-Clinton Video Game

“Russians created an anti-Hillary Clinton video game called ‘Hilltendo’ and tried to make it go viral in the weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, CNN has determined through a review of internet records and computer code.”

“It’s one of the strangest ways yet discovered that Russians tried to influence the American election. But it’s indicative of just how creative Russian internet trolls were willing to be.”

Trump Lawyer Got Inside Info from Russia Investigation

Daily Beast: “On Dec. 19, 2017, a former staffer for Sen. John McCain named David Kramer testified before the House intelligence committee behind closed doors. He’d played a role in bringing the salacious and unverified Steele dossier to the FBI’s attention, and members peppered him with questions about it.”

“Then something unusual happened. Word of Kramer’s testimony got out—to the lawyer of another witness.”

“A few days after Kramer’s testimony, his lawyer, Larry Robbins, got a strange call. The call was from Stephen Ryan, a lawyer who represents Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen is facing scrutiny from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators regarding potential coordination between Trump’s team and the Kremlin. He featured prominently in the Steele dossier—the document that Kramer handled—and is currently suing Buzzfeed for publishing it.”

Nunberg Backs Down Saying He Will Testify

Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg “spent much of Monday promising to defy a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller, even throwing down the challenge to ‘arrest me,’ then backed off his defiance by saying he would probably cooperate in the end,” the AP reports.

“Nunberg said he was angry over Mueller’s request to have him appear in front of a grand jury and turn over thousands of e-mails and other communications with other ex-officials, among them his mentor Roger Stone. But he predicted that, in the end, he’d find a way to comply.”