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Trump may decry the Russia investigation, but the trail of evidence is long

David Ignatius on

WikiLeaks dumped nearly 20,000 Clinton documents on July 22. Three days later, Trump tweeted: "The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails ... because Putin likes me." Two days after that, at a July 27 press conference, Trump said: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."

U.S. intelligence agencies said on Jan. 6, 2017, they had "high confidence" that Russian intelligence had used WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 "to release U.S. victim data obtained in cyber operations." CIA Director Mike Pompeo has since described WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service."

Roger Stone, a Trump friend and sometime adviser, kept beating the WikiLeaks drum through August 2016, saying he was communicating with Assange and that more damaging Clinton leaks were coming. WikiLeaks contacted Don Jr., too, in five messages that continued until Election Day.

"I love WikiLeaks," said Trump at a rally Oct. 10. And no wonder. This was the campaign's secret weapon.

The next time Trump demands a probe of Mueller's investigation or the FBI's handling of Clinton emails, remember that he isn't arguing the facts or the law about collusion with Russia. He's pounding the table.

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David Ignatius can be reached via Twitter: @IgnatiusPost.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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