Tags: Donald Trump | Russia Probe | leon panetta | trump | campaign | met russians | 30 times

Panetta: Trump Campaign Met 30 Times with Russians

Image: Panetta: Trump Campaign Met 30 Times with Russians
Leon Panetta (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 Nov 2017 08:48 PM

Former CIA Director and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday said members of the Donald Trump presidential campaign met with Russians about 30 times.

Panetta who served in the Barack Obama administration and was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton did not cite a source for the number in an appearance on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Blitzer asked Panetta about a new report that Donald Trump Jr. received private messages on Twitter from WikiLeaks before and after the campaign.

"Well, it would appear to be another additional piece of evidence related to the activities of either his family members or members of his campaign working with the Russians in one way or another," Panetta replied. "I mean, there have been some 30 times, as I understand it, in which individuals in the Trump campaign met and discussed the campaign with the Russians."

WikiLeaks has denied Russia is the source of Democratic National Committee emails it released about one month ahead of the election. Panetta told Blitzer there is no question the Russians "had an influence here."

"After all," he said, "it was Donald Trump himself before the Democratic Convention that made a public plea to the Russians to be able to go after these emails, a lot of which were held by WikiLeaks, to go after them and release them."

Trump has said his comment to Russia to release the Democrats' emails was said in jest because of the speculation in the press and among Democrats that Russia had them.

Reuters reported in May that 18 such meetings happened. But Panetta's statement of 30 instances of the campaign "working with the Russians in one way or another" may refer to email or phone contacts as outlined by The Washington Post Fact Checker earlier Monday.

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Former CIA Director and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday said members of the Donald Trump presidential campaign met with Russians about 30 times.Panetta who served in the Barack Obama administration and was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton did not...
leon panetta, trump, campaign, met russians, 30 times
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2017-48-13
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 08:48 PM
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