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FILE - In this Tuesday, July 26, 2016 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia. Donald Trump just keeps giving Russian President Vladimir Putin more reasons to hope he wins the U.S. election, while raising serious questions about the Republican candidate’s intentions toward the Kremlin. ?In his most recent outreach to Putin, Trump not only refused to condemn Russia’s military takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula but said, if elected, he would consider recognizing it as Russian territory and lifting sanctions against Moscow. “We'll be looking at that. Yeah, we'll be looking,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

The FBI sees no clear link between Trump and Russia but Democrats see a double standard


The FBI has investigated possible ties between Russia and Donald Trump for months, but the agency says so far there is no conclusive link between Trump and the Russian government.

Even the hack of the Democratic National Committee's emails was seen as more of a general disruption and less of a pro-Trump tactic, The New York Times reports.

Hillary Clinton's campaign has argued the FBI should discuss these investigations openly after it publicly revealed a new batch of emails possibly tied to her private server.

Trump, despite repeated denials, has shown an affinity for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump... and the Russian government.
Sen. Harry Reid

Trump has also praised Putin's leadership publicly. This, combined with the hacks on the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's email, have led Democrats to argue Trump must have ties to Russia.

Here's the full Reid letter quoted above.

But what about this Russian bank?

Meanwhile, Slate reported experts had found communications between the Trump Organization and the Russia-based Alfa Bank, including some on a server registered to the organization. 

The Clinton campaign said it might be the "most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow." But the FBI said the messages between Alfa Bank and the Trump server might just be marketing or spam-based.

Here's the Clinton campaign's full statement.

But what about Manafort?

The one known tie to Russia is Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. He was an advisor to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and has been linked to pro-Russian government groups in Russia and the Ukraine.

The FBI is investigating Manafort, but it is focusing on his ties to the Ukrainian government and not Russian influence, the Times reports. 

Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Manafort denied reports of the investigations to NBC News, calling the allegations "political propaganda."

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland decried what he saw as a "double standard" in the investigations.

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And Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook implored FBI director James Comey to reveal more of its findings.

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