- January 2018: Trump's circle has repeatedly attacked the research firm Fusion GPS that prepared the famous "Steele dossier", the dossier that details the collusion between Trump and Putin, a dossier in which so far nobody has found anything false and, in fact, many of its assertions are now proven to be true. Christopher Steele, a well-respected former British secret agent, has never discussed it with the media. Fusion GPS finally responds to Trump's attacks in a New York Times article. We learn that the FBI already knew of collusions before Fusion GPS provided them with the Steele dossier. I feel vindicated: Fusion suggests that investigators should look into "the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump's businesses". See my lengthy investigation: What's in "Vladimir" Trump's tax returns? where i said the same things one year ago. Quote: "We told Congress that from Manhattan to Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and from Toronto to Panama, we found widespread evidence that Mr. Trump and his organization had worked with a wide array of dubious Russians in arrangements that often raised questions about money laundering.". And then concludes with the obvious question that Trump never answered: "Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?"
- January 2018: The Wall Street Journal publishes the story that Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen paid a porn actress to keep her silent about Trump's affair with her. Trump and Cohen deny everything.
- January 2018: Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist, is subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury
- January 2018: Donald Trump and his mouthpiece Fox News launch a campaign of denigration, smearing and intimidation against the FBI and the department of justice, and law enforcement in general, forcing some of the most honorable civil servants in the USA to resign and threatening to fire others, something eerily reminiscent of Putin's purges in Russia.
- January 2018: The Atlantic details Paul Manafort's sinister career before he became the chairman of Trump's election campaign
- January 2018: Forbes magazine (not exactly a left-wing publication) writes: "The Trump Organization borrowed billions of dollars to finance its real estate operations but subsequently defaulted on many of its loans. Nevertheless, the Trumps were inexplicably able to continue borrowing millions more from the very banks still owed money. Around the same time, Russian entities linked to the Kremlin quietly moved $10 billion dollars from global locations into the United States using the same banks. Bank anti-money laundering teams somehow failed to identify the movement of funds and did not flag or report the transactions to the US government. Government inspectors independently uncovered the suspicious Russian transactions, known as "mirror trades" (stock purchases in overseas branches and identical immediate sales in United States). Democratic legislators have demanded banking information for identifying links; Republicans controlling Congressional committees refuse to cooperate. Has the Russian government purchased Trump's loans from the banks he was indebted to?"
- February 2018: After countless denials, Trump's attorney Michael Cohen finally admits that he did pay a huge sum to porn star Stormy Daniels who was threatening to go public about an alleged relationship with Trump. This is relevant because the Steele dossier's most controversial item is the existence of a video involving Trump and Russian prostitutes, a fact always denied by the Trump camp. It looks more likely now that we know for sure that Trump had an affair with at least one porn star. Later the story will change countless times until finally everybody will admit that the hush money came from Trump.
- February 2018: National Security Agency's director Adm Mike Rogers tells Congress that Donald Trump has never given him the authority to disrupt Russian cyberattacks
- February 2018: Trump's chief adviser Bannon, who had refused to testify to Congress in January, is forced to testify in February, but refuses to answer most of the questions (See for example this article)
- February 2018: Federal prosecutors accuse 13 Russians of stealing the identities of US citizens and launching a campaign of fake news, in favor of Trump, accusing three of them of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five of aggravated identity theft
- February 2018: Trump shows no alarm in the fact that Russia conspired against the USA but blames the FBI's investigation of Russia for a mass shooting in Florida that could have been prevented; at no point in time this man, who is technically in charge of protecting the USA from foreign attacks, shows any concern about Russia's attacks on the USA, and in fact he keeps trying to stop anyone who tries to protect the USA from Russian attacks
- February 2018: The White House's chief of staff John Kelly downgrades the top secret security clearance for the Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner (in other words, Kelly decided that Kushner cannot be trusted with national secrets)
- February 2018: A Washington Post article reveals that at least four countries (United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico) tried to take advantage of the financial troubles of Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner to blackmail him (Kushner's business has a $1.2 billion debt that comes due in January 2019), and that Kushner never reported his contacts with these countries (Kushner repeatedly had to amend the form that he is required to file with details on his contacts with foreign persons: every time the media discover one such contact that he "forgot" to list, he has to amend the form).
- March 2018: A former Cambridge Analytica employee, Christopher Wylie, reveals that in 2015 Cambridge Analytica stole the private information of millions of Facebook users and used it to manipulate political elections
- March 2018: Christopher Steele, the author of the Steele dossier, investigates the death of Putin's former adviser Lesin and writes that Lesin was murdered by Russian agents in a Washington hotel.
- March 2018: Vladimir Putin announces on Russian television that Russia has developed a new nuclear missile aimed at the USA. He clearly states that the target is the USA. He even shows a video simulating an attack on Florida. There follows not a single word of condemnation from Trump, a man known to tweet on just about everything.
- March 2018: The New York Times reports on a Belarussian model who is being detained in Thailand on charges of prostitution and who has offered details about the business dealings of Trump in Russia. According to a videotape secretely produced by Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka) and smuggled out of prison, she has evidence of dealings between Trump and Russia via Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska (to whom Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, owed huge sums, see July 2017). This former model had previously provided valuable information to an investigation against Putin published by Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, an investigation widely considered reliable by Western intelligence agencies (Navalny has repeatedly been jailed in Russia for his anti-Putin campaign). As part of that investigation Navalny used a video provided by this prostitute in which we can hear this tycoon Deripaska and a Russian politician close to Putin discussing US-Russian relations. Her detention in a country where prostitution is generally tolerated is seen by many was an attempt to silence her.
- March 2018: The Atlantic reports the strange odyssey of Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Donald Trump, in particular the secret correspondence between Stone and Wikileaks (Stone had previously denied any such contacts). Stone also communicated in August and September of 2016 with a Twitter user known as Guccifer 2.0 who was later revealed to be a Russian spy.
- March 2018: Trump fires secretary of state Rex Tillerson who backs Britain's position on the poisoning of a Russian dissident in Britain: Britain accused Putin, and Tillerson sided with Britain. One day later Trump fires Tillerson. After being fired, Tillerson ominously warns the nation against Russia's "troubling behavior".
- March 2018: The New York Times discovers that Muller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to obtain documents related to Trump's business dealings with Russia
- March 2018: Obeying orders from his boss, Trump's attorney general Jeff Sessions fires former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who has been investigating the Russia-Trump scandal. McCabe responds by warning that his dismissal was part of a larger effort to discredit the intelligence agencies investigating Trump. Former CIA chief John Brennan tweets: "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you. "
- March 2018: For two years Cambridge Analytica, the main source of "fake news" during the 2016 presidential campaign, has denied using Facebook data and has denied any contact with Russia. Trump's campaign manager Steve Bannon has been a former vice presidents of Cambridge Analytica. In March 2018 The British television channel Channel 4 send reporters disguised as prospective clients to talk with Cambridge Analytica and secretly filmed the interviews during which Cambridge Analytica admits using the unethical methods that it had always denied. The Observer published an interview with Cambridge Analytica's employee Christopher Wylie in which the described the company's work as a "grossly unethical experiment". Fcebook suspended the account of Cambridge Analytica for "misuse" of customer data and confirmed that the data used by Cambridge Analytica came from Russian-born Cambridge University scientist Aleksandr Kogan. Finally, The New York Times discovered business ties between Cambridge Analytica and Russia, and The Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller requested Cambridge Analytica's internal documents. Basically, Cambridge Analytica had always lied about these two issues.
- March 2018: The media learn from Russia that Trump congratulated Putin for his re-election, but did not condemn him for rigged elections and for the poisoning of a Russian defector in Britain
- March 2018: Ralph Peters, a Fox News strategic analyst, and a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Army, resignes with a letter that accused "Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration" and that accused Fox News's prime-time anchors of "dismissing facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the F.B.I., the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller."
- March 2018: In a television interview, former CIA chief John Brennan, an expert on Putin's Russia, speculates that Putin "may have something on Trump". Reminder: the Steele dossier that Trump and his mouthpiece Fox News continually escoriated had been proven mostly right on target except for a sex video mentioned in that report that never surfaced.
- March 2018: Putin boasts on Russian television that new Russian weapons will render NATO defenses "completely useless": the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Avangard hypersonic missile system;, the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM);, the Poseidon underwater drone;, and the Kinzhal hypersonic missile. He demonstrates a simulated missile attack on Florida.
- March 2018: Two Russian spies poison Sergei Skripal, a former spy who escaped to Britain, with a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok.
- September 2018: British prime minister tells parliament that the investigation into the Skripal poisoning discovered that the two Russian spies who poisoned Skripal are active officers in Russia’s intelligence agency GRU that reports directly to Putin (the same agency charged in July by US prosecutors with hacking the Democratic Party’s computers during the 2016 presidential campaign). Then the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reveals that two (different) Russian spies expelled a few days earlier by the Netherlands had been plotting cyber sabotage of the Swiss laboratory where the investigators analyzed the poison. The lab is used by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which monitors compliance with a global treaty on chemical weapons. Trump does not comment with a single word.
- March 2018: Trump picks radical right-wing politician and Fox News contributor John Bolton as national security adviser. An article in the Guardian reveals that Bolton collaborated with Cambridge Analytica in 2014. John Bolton's organization paid Cambridge Analytica $1,152,299. Only four other campaign organizations paid Cambridge Analytica more than Bolton's before 2017: Make America Number 1, which is backed by the billionaire founder of Cambridge Analytica, Robert Mercer ($1,476,484); Cruz For President ($5,805,552); and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. ($5,912,500).
- April 2018: The FBI raids the offices of Trump's attorney Michael Cohen and discovers that one of his other clients is Sean Hannity, Trump's main supporter on Fox News
- April 2018: James Comey, the former FBI chief fired by Trump for refusing to end the Russian investigation, publishes his book of memoirs in which he calls Trump "unethical, untethered to truth". Based on Trump's own fear of it, Comey now believes that the video mentioned in Steele's dossier might indeed exist.
- April 2018: The New York Times reports about Trump's dubious business ties to Russia, which may have saved him when he was bankrupt and no legitimate bank was willing to loan him money. All of this was already in my old article What's in "Vladimir" Trump's tax returns?.
- April 2018: After his name is disclosed during the investigation on Trump's attorney Michael Cohen, radical right-wing TV host Sean Hannity makes the mistake of publicly stating that he never paid Cohen. If Hannity did not pay Cohen, why was Cohen so desperate to hide Hannity's name? Could it be that it was Cohen who paid Hannity? Could it be that Trump has been paying Hannity all this time to keep up the pro-Trump propaganda on Fox News?
- April 2018: The New York Times reveals that Veselnitskaya recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. During an interview on NBC News, she acknowledges that she worked for Yuri Chaika, Russia's prosecutor general. It was already known that her talking points for the Trump Tower meeting were exactly the same point of a confidential memorandum circulated by Chaika to his assistants. Obviously the Trump Tower meeting was not about adoption of children, as originally claimed, but about how Russia could help the Trump campaign.
- April 2018: A Rolling Stone magazine article titled "Michael Cohen's Criminal Ties" quotes Kenneth McCallion, a former prosecutor who investigated Russian criminal money: "Trump's genius - or evil genius - was, instead of Russian criminal money being passive, incidental income, it became a central part of his business plan. It's not called 'Little Moscow' for nothing. The street signs are in Russian. But his towers there were built specifically for the Russian middle-class criminal."
- May 2018:
Buzzfeed details how the Trump clan actively pursued business ties with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump wanted to build the tallest building in Europe, the 100-story Trump World Tower Moscow, and his people were negotiating the deal at the same time that Russian agents were working to influence US public opinion in Trump’s favor.
This clearly contradicts what Trump repeatedly stated and tweeted, e.g.: "I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!" (january 2017).
- May 2018: Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen is investigated for the "hush money" that he paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, but a New York Times article also reveals a shady business empire run by what many called "Trump's consigliere" (a reference to the Italian mob). Quote: "many of his associates have faced criminal charges".
- May 2018: The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, publicly declares that "there is no reason to dispute that Russia favored Trump" in the presidential elections of 2016.
- May 2018: Rex Tillerson (Trump's former secretary of state) delivers a speech in which he says: "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom".
- May 2018: Trump announces that he wants to dismantle the nuclear agreement with Iran, a fact that sends oil prices surging and therefore rescues the Russian economy (oil is the main export of Russia).
- May 2018: A New York Times article reveals the August 2016 meeting between Donald Trump's son Donald Jr and an emissary of Saudi Arabia and UAE with the purpose of planning an anti-Iranian campaign, precisely what has just happened with Trump dismantling the nuclear agreement.
- May 2018: The investigation into the July 2014 crash over Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that killed all 298 people on board returns a verdict: Russia was directly involved in the downing of the airplane. Over the years Trump has repeatedly defended Russia and this time too he avoids any comments. Trump's mouthpiece Fox News hardly report the news that is making headlines all over the world.
- May 2018: During a MSNBC interview, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates says that "Trump has taken the assault on the rule of law to a new level".
- May 2018: The New York Times reveals that C-SPAN video footage shows Putin's friend Viktor Vekselberg visiting Trump Tower in January 2017, a few days before Trump's inauguration as president.
- May 2018: As Donald Trump launches a smearing campaign against the FBI that is closing in on his associates, the ranking Republican senator who oversees the FBI, Trey Gowdy, states on Fox News that "the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got".
- May 2018: Trump enacts tariffs on steel imports that mostly punish NATO, Asian and Southamerican allies (the European Union, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and Japan), coincidentally undermining all US alliances that Russia dislikes. Trump is de facto dismantling precisely the alliances that Putin has always ranted against.
- June 2018: After eight months of denials, Trump's lawyers finally admit that Trump dictated his son's false statements about the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya
- April 2018: Trump hires a new personal attorney, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, an old friend of Trump with a 30-year history of quashing probes into Trump's shady business deals. In 1988 then US attorney Rudy Giuliani quashed an investigation into the financing of Trump Tower and made an alleged case of money-laundering against Trump disappear.
- June 2018: Trump's new attorney Rudy Giuliani claims that "our recollections change all the time" to justify Trump's frequent contradictions, and that Trump has the right to obstruct justice because the department of justice reports to him. Trump tweets that, if indicted, he has the power to pardon himself: "I have the absolute right to pardon myself" (just like any dictator of banana republics). Giuliani laments that the investigation against Trump is led by "13 Democrats" and laments "they couldn't find anybody else?" (But the leading investigator, Robert Mueller, is a Republican and a decorated Marine, and no names have been provided for the "13 Democrats" who would be behind this investigation). Giuliani later states that legally Trump could have killed Comey, instead of just firing him, and still not be prosecuted. This is as close as it gets to admitting guilty and mounting a defense strategy.
- June 2018: Before the G7 meeting with the other Western powers, Trump publicly calls for Russia to be invited to the meeting (note: Russia, not China, not India, not Brazil, not even Spain or Poland, just Russia) and blames Barack Obama (not Putin) for Russia's invasion of Ukraine
- June 2018: Robert Mueller accuses Manafort of obstruction of justice and also indicts Manafort's long-time business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, widely considered a middleman for Ukraine's Party of Regions (now discredited as a criminal organization) and possibly a Russian spy
- June 2018: Clearly worried about what might surface about his involvement in the Russia Collusion scandal, Fox commentator Sean Hannity publicly urges Trump associates to destroy the evidence of their contacts with Russia
- June 2018: The World Cup opens in Russia, another personal political victory for Vladimir Putin
- July 2018: After a 16-month investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee (mostly Republican senators) agree with the FBI, NSA and CIA that Russia helped Trump in the 2016 elections
- July 2018: The NATO meeting ends with precisely the result desired by Putin: Trump insults the allies and sows discord. Notably, Trump singles out Angela Merkel, who is widely considered Putin's most disliked politician of the ones still in power. This comes just one week before Trump meets Putin,
showing strong differences between allies.
- July 2018: The Department of Justice charges 12 Russians (mostly working for the Russian military intelligence agency GRU) with hacking the servers of the Democratic Party to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign. It also reveals that the hacking of the Democratic Party server happened on the very same day that Donald Trump said live on television “I will tell you this, Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing”. The 29-page indictment details multiple Russian operations to including the theft of data about half a million voters. (Note: the Fox News website does not report the event that is makind headlines all over the world). Trump's reaction to the indictment of 12 Russian agents was to criticize Obama, not Russia. Quote: "These Russian individuals did their work during the Obama years. Why didn't Obama do something about it?" (For the record, this is not true: as punishment for Russia's interference in US elections, Obama imposed sanctions on Russian individuals, expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian buildings in the USA).
- July 2018: A few days after having insulted European leaders from Britain to France, Trump meets with Russia's president Putin in Finland and speaks with open admiration of Putin. During an explosive news conference, Trump attacks the FBI, CIA and NSA and defends Russia, absolving Russia not only of interference in the US elections but also of its annexation of Crimea, of its invasion of eastern Ukraine, of its support for the Assad regime in Syria, of its assassination of exiled dissidents, and of its violations of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Former CIA's chief John Brennan tweets “Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.” Republican senator John McCain tweets: “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant”. Former FBI Director James Comey, a lifelong Republican, tweets: "Patriots need to stand up and reject the behavior of this president". Former director of national intelligence James Clapper (who served under Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush) tells an interviewer that "I really do wonder if the Russians have something on him." Republican representative Will Hurd writes in the New York Times: "Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people, I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them." Steve Hall, a former CIA operative in Russia, tells an interviewer: "Before the Helsinki summit I was not prepared to go to the darkest corner in the room and say there is compromising information on Donald Trump."
Former CIA chief Leon Panetta: "I have never in my lifetime seen an administration that is presenting such a confused message when it comes to a national security threat".
- July 2018: Trump's view of history is simple: "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity". Leftists and anti-Americans all over the world rejoice: that's what they had been claiming for 70 years.
- July 2018: Tapes that Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen secretely produced prove that Trump knew and approved Cohen's payment to model Karen McDougal to cover up their extramarital affair (Trump originally denied even knowing of the payment, let alone approving it). Not directly relevant to the Russia investigation, but it proves that Trump is a shameless liar. Trump's reaction is to threaten both the FBI and Cohen.
- July 2018: A Gallup poll finds that the percentage of Republicans who perceive Russia as a friend has doubled since 2014 from 22% to 40%, a major win for Russia.
- July 2018: Michael Cohen testifies that Donald Trump knew beforehand of the meeting between his son and Russian agent Natalia Veselnitskaya (unlike what Trump always claimed).
- July 2018: After stonewalling for two years that there was no collusion with Russia, both Trump (in a tweet) and his lawyer Giuliani (on television) claim that collusion is not a crime.
- August 2018: After stonewalling for one year that the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was not about Russia's intention to smear Hillary Clinton, Trump finally tweets that it was precisely that and claims that there is nothing wrong with it.
- August 2018: Trump terminates ex-CIA head John Brennan's security access (a highly unusual act), despite the fact that Brennan has never been faulted with any security breach (ironically citing Brennan's "erratic conduct and behaviour", which is precisely what Trump is known for).
This happens on the very same day that the world media report
remarks made in Switzerland by US diplomat Yleem Poblete about
a new mysterious Russian satellite orbiting the Earth and apparently able to damage US satellites.
- August 2018: Paul Manafort's begins amid an atmosphere more typical of mafia trials: both the judge and the jurors receive death threats. (So did i, by the way).
- August 2018: Microsoft announces that it has foiled a covert operation by Russian hackers (the same "Fancy Bear" group that hacked the Democratic National Committee's website in 2016) intent on hacking websites of some senators and think tanks that have advocated sanctions against Russia. The think tanks include the Hudson Institute (that runs the Kleptocracy Initiative) and the International Republican Institute (that promotes democracy around the world). Both are conservative groups much closer to the Republican Party than the Democratic Party.
- August 2018: Two simultaneous legal developments. Trump's ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort is found guilty of fraud, and Trump's ex-attorney Michael Cohen admits that Trump asked him to arrange secret payments to a porn star and to a model to hide extramarital affairs. Manafort's crimes were committed before he started working for Trump, and only show Trump's poor judgment and his tendency to hire pro-Russian advisors. Cohen's confession is more serious because, according to US law, the payments amount to breaking campaign finance law. In 2011 a federal grand jury indicted a presidential candidate, John Edwards, for the exact same reason: paying "hush money" to cover up an extramarital affair. For the record, Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of wilfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign. Manafort was found guilty on eight charges of tax fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose foreign banks accounts (he using 31 foreign bank accounts in three different countries to evade taxes on millions of dollars).
- August 2018:
Craig Unger's book "House of Trump, House of Putin" details 59 Trump links to the Russian mafia
- August 2018: Alen Weisselberg, the CEO of the Trump Organization (the man who knows exactly what money comes in and goes out), is granted immunity to testify in the Michael Cohen case.
- August 2018:
Washington lobbyist Samuel Patten pleads guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign lobbyist, and admits funneling an unnamed pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch's money to Donald Trump's presidential inaugural committee, funneling the money secretly through a Cypriot bank account. Patten also admitted working for Kilimnik, the Russian associated of Paul Manafort with ties to the Russian military intelligence. (It is no secret that several Russian oligarchs donated to the Trump campaign and inauguration, but there is no clear reason why).
- September 2018: A Gallup poll shows that 68% of the US electorate regard Trump as less ethical than Ronald Reagan, 58% as less ethical than Barack Obama, 52% as less ethical than Bill Clinton, and 43% as less ethical than Richard Nixon.
- September 2018:
The New York Times publishes an article by an anonymous official of the Trump government reveals how Trump's collaborators conspire to protect the country from Trump's "worst inclinations". Quotes: "The root of the problem is the president's amorality... Trump's impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic... Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un." It also reveals that some in the Trump government would like to invoke the 25th amendment of the constitution that allows the vice-president and a majority of the government's secretaries to remove a president who is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office". This comes one day after Bob Woodward's new book on the Trump government ("Fear: Trump in the White House") quotes top officials as conspiring in an "administrative coup d'etat" to protect the nation from Trump. As usual, Trump's response is to deny everything.
- October 2018: Russian spies are accused of a series of cyber-plots across the globe. The Netherlands accused four Russians of targeting the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which has been probing the chemical attack in Britain, and accused other Russians of targeting the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014 by a Russian missile. Britain government accused the Russian secret services of targeting the US Democratic Party. The US justice department accused seven Russian agents of targeting, among other things, the nuclear energy company Westinghouse. Trump's reaction is to say absolutely nothing and instead to launch a smearing campaign against China, accusing China, not Russia, of election meddling (See Why Trump Slapped Sanctions on China). Trump addressing the United Nations Security Council: "They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade". His vice-president Mike Pence in a speech to the Hudson Institute a few days later: China "has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections." They provided no evidence, of course.
- October 2018: The New York Times reveals that in 2016 a member of the Trump campaign, Rick Gates, approached the Israeli firm Psy-Group, which is staffed by former Israeli intelligence operatives, to launch a a broad effort, codenamed "Project Rome", of fake news about Republican primary opponents of Trump for the purpose of swaying the votes of the 5,000 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention. While this is unrelated to the Russian investigation, it shows that the Trump campaign was interested in precisely what Russia delivered to them.
- October 2018: The US department of justice accuses Elena Khusyaynova of waging "information warfare against the United States.” Since 2014 she has been the chief accountant for Project Lakhta, an operation based in Russia and funded by Russian oligarch Evgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, a friend of Vladimir Putin (nicknamed “Putin's cook” because he became a billionaire with food-catering companies). Project Lakhta was behind the social-media campaign to disparage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. After Trump's election, Project Lakhta has pushed fake news that praise Trump (for example praising the president for "wiping away $22 billion in regulations in his first five months") and disparage also Trump's opponents within the Republican Party such as John McCain ("an old geezer who has lost it and who long ago belonged in a home for the elderly"), themes that were then routinely amplified on Fox News. Project Lakhta is now attempting to influence the forthcoming November elections in favor of pro-Trump right-wing candidates.
- November 2018: Trump fires his attorney general Jeff Sessions, whom Trump often held responsible for not stopping the investigation into the Russia-Trump collusion scandal. Trump replaces him with Matt Whitaker whom he calls “a very respected man” while Forbes (hardly a left-wing magazine) reports that said Whitaker served on the board of World Patent Marketing, a Florida-based “scam that has bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars,” according to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission, and that said Whitaker threatened at least one victim who complained. In August 2017 a federal court shut down the company due to its fraudolent activities (quote:“The record supports a preliminary finding that Defendants devised a fraudulent scheme to use consumer funds to enrich themselves”). His qualifications are therefore dubious at best but he has been a critic of the investigation into the Russia-Trump collusion from the beginning.
- November 2018:
British general Mark Carleton-Smith, the chief of Britain's army, declares that
Russia presents "indisputably far greater threat" to Britain's national security than Islamic terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and IS.
- November 2018: German police raid Deutsche Bank based on information in the Panama Papers that the bank may have been involved in money laundering via a subsidiary in the British Virgin Islands. Deutsche Bank was the only bank in the world willing to lend money to Trump when he was virtually bankrupt at about the same time that these dubious transactions were going on. The bank was fined in 2017 as part of a Russian money-laundering scheme that involved its Moscow and New York branches. Deutsche Bank has always refused to disclose documents requested by Democratic lawmakers related to its relationship with Trump.
- November 2018: Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen admits lying to Congress about Trump's efforts in 2016 to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, just at the time when Russia started sabotaging Hillary Clinton's campaign. This confirms what was written in the Steele dossier: “the Kremlin’s cultivation operation” of the candidate included offers of “various lucrative real estate development deals in Russia... Trump’s previous efforts had included exploring the real estate sector in St Petersburg as well as Moscow.”
- December 2018: Former FBI chief James Comey asks in vain to testify in public and only reluctantly the Republicans grants him a closed-door but transcribed interview (they wanted to keep his testimony secret). The full transcript is later released. Comey repeats under oath his accusations against Trump and also states that the investigation into Donald Trump was kept secret during the 2016 presidential campaign (unlike the investigation into Hillary Clinton) because the Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan instructed him that way.
- December 2018: Robert Mueller tells a judge that Michael Flynn has provided "substantial" help to his investigation into Russia election interference in 2016. and that Flynn should serve no jail time for his crimes.
- December 2018: Robert Mueller asks a judge fr clemency towards Michael Cohen and his memo states that "the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government" and that "it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election."
- December 2018: Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen is sentenced to three years in prison for campaign-finance violations, tax fraud and lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump dismisses Michael Cohen as a "weak person". Cohen responded (in court): "Recently, the president tweeted a statement calling me weak, and he was correct, but for a much different reason than he was implying - it was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass."
- December 2018: Maria Butina pleads guilty of infiltrating the NRA and the Republican Party on behalf of Russia.
- December 2018: So far the investigations found that at least 16 Trump associates had contacts with Russians during the election year 2016 and that Trump in person was trying to get a contract to build a skyscraper in Moscow. In February 2017 Trump had said: "I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does".
- December 2018: The Senate Intelligence Committee, dominated by Republicans, issues two reports that detail the Russian operations during the 2016 campaign. Both reports show, yet again, that Russia aimed to sway public opinion towards Trump (or, equivalenty, against Hillary Clinton). One report was compiled by Texas cybersecurity firm New Knowledge in collaboration with Columbia University and Canfield Research; the other one by Oxford University and big-data firm Graphika. The Russian project was run by the St Petersburg firm Internet Research Agency, which is owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin.
- December 2018: Trump orders the withdrawal of the USA from Syria, sparking the resignations defense secretary Jim Mattis and other officials. The USA's withdrawal is precisely what Russia wants. Senator Chris Coons called Trump’s decision “a great big Christmas gift” to the leaders of Russia and Iran.