Phone records and intercepted calls have revealed that members of Donald Trump's campaign and other Trump associates repeatedly made contact with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, the New York Times reported. Four current and former American officials, however, found no evidence of cooperation thus far.
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies discovered the intercepted communications as they were looking into evidence that Russia was meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
One of the advisers involved in the communications was former campaign Paul Manafort who resigned after coming under fire for his past work with pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs. In a phone interview on Tuesday, Manafort dismissed the claims made by American officials.
"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.”
The officials wouldn't disclose additional details, including what was discussed on the calls, which Russian officials participated in the calls, and how many of Trump's advisers were in contact to the Russians.