One of the biggest stories since Election Day is over what impact #Russia had on the election. #Donald Trump has continued to deny any wrongdoing, while dismissing Russia's impact on the election outcome, but it appears the Kremlin might have damaging information about the president-elect as well.
Trump and Russia
During the course of the entire campaign, Donald Trump had been accused of handling Russia and President Vladimir Putin differently compared to others. While Trump would always find ways to criticize his political opponents and other world leaders, he's only had positive things to say about Russia. Last week, Trump met with top members of the intelligence community, where they presented information that linked Russia to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, with the clear intention in helping the billionaire real estate mogul win the election. In response, Trump continued to push back that there was any correlation between the hack and his victory. As reported by #CNN on January 10, there was more in the report than originally made public.
According to a CNN exclusive, additional information made available to Donald Trump and President Obama shows that Russian operatives claim to have "compromising personal and financial information" about the former host of "The Apprentice." A two-page synopsis was given to Trump and Obama, based on a previous 35-page report of memos. CNN has confirmed that they have read the memos in question, and discussed them with a wide range of individuals with further knowledge, including "high ranking intelligence, administration, congressional and law enforcement officials." During the campaign, Trump failed to produce his tax returns, though it's unknown if that is the financial information that Russia claims to have in their possession.
In addition to Russia claiming they have private financial information about Donald Trump, there also appears to be a link between campaign surrogates and the Russian government. The synopsis backed by leading national security officials, states that Trump's team had a "continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government."
As of press time, Donald Trump and his transition team have yet to respond to CNN or any other press inquires. Despite the news, Trump is expected to continue to deny any knowledge of the attack, as he prepares to be sworn in as the next President of the United States on Inauguration Day in just over a week. While Trump is sworn in, over 100,000 protesters are planning to voice their opposition on the streets in Washington, D.C. next week.