Phone records and intercepted calls of Trump’s campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.
According to the New York Times
Law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the calls s around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was hacking into the Democratic National Committee. The agencies sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.
The intercepts alarmed these agencies, in part because of the volume of calls that happened while Trump was speaking glowingly about Vladimir Putin.
Manafort, who keeps an apartment in Trump Tower, was never compensated for his work, making it more difficult to keep an account of his entanglement with the campaign.
Intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other Trump associates. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services.
One of these officials was Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman who had worked as a political consultant in Ukraine.
The call logs and intercepted communications are part the investigation including the hacking of the D.N.C. The F.B.I. has obtained banking and travel records.
Paul Manafort dismissed the account. “This is absurd,” he said. “I have no idea what this is referring to. I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.”