Timeline: What we know about the Trump campaign, his White House and Russia



March 28: Then-candidate Donald Trump hires Manafort to head his delegate efforts for his Republican primary campaign.
May 19: Trump, now the presumptive GOP nominee, gives Manafort a promotion: campaign chairman and chief strategist.
June 20: After Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is abruptly fired, Manafort emerges as Trump’s top campaign official.
July 27: As the Republican nominee for president, Trump publicly calls on Russia to hack Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s private emails.
August 14: The New York Times reports on $12.7 million in secret cash payments earmarked for Manafort from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
August 15: Manafort denies having received payments from Ukraine and Russia, writing, “The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical.”
August 18: Manafort tells NBC News he’s “never had a business relationship” with a Ukrainian oligarch.
August 19: CNN reports that FBI and Justice Department prosecutors are conducting an investigation into possible US ties to alleged corruption of the former pro-Russian President of Ukraine, including the work of Manafort’s firm.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 17: Paul Manafort, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, is interviewed on the floor of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Republican National Convention begins tomorrow. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 Paul Manafort firm under investigation in Ukraine probe 01:42
That same day, Manafort resigns his position on Trump’s campaign.
October 7: The US intelligence community publicly blames Russia for election-related email hacks. “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the DHS and DNI joint statement reads.
November 18: Trump as President-elect appoints Flynn as his national security adviser. The appointment raises concerns as the retired lieutenant general has a history of making controversial anti-Muslim remarks and is accused of mishandling classified information. Flynn was fired from his role as the director of Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 by the Obama administration over claims he was a poor manager.
December 1: CNN reports that Manafort has reemerged in Trump’s orbit as a player shaping the new administration during the presidential transition period.
December 19: Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Flynn have a conversation in the wake of the shooting of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, in which Flynn expressed his condolences, according to a transition official. The call took place on December 19, according to The Washington Post.
December 25: Kislyak and Flynn exchange holiday pleasantries via text message on Christmas, according to multiple transition officials.
December 28: The Russian ambassador texts Flynn, according to a transition official.
December 29: The Obama administration announces new sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of 35 of its diplomats over the country’s alleged interference in the 2016 US election. Flynn and Kislyak speak several times on the phone the same day, reportedly discussing the sanctions.
December 30: Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow would not expel American diplomats in response to US sanctions against Russia and would instead attempt to rebuild relations with Washington after Trump’s inauguration. Trump tweets praise of Putin’s move.


January 6: A US intelligence report says Putin ordered a cyber campaign to help Trump beat Clinton in the US presidential election.
January 12: The Washington Post first reports that phone calls took place the day the White House announced Russian sanctions.
January 13: Trump spokesman Sean Spicer says Flynn’s calls to Kislyak focused on the logistics of connecting Trump and Putin. “The call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the President of Russia and the President-elect after he was sworn in, and they exchanged the logistical information,” Spicer says. “That was it. Plain and simple.”
January 15: Spicer confirms Flynn and Kislyak have been in communication, but US Vice President Mike Pence tells CBS that the two men did not talk about sanctions.

Mike Pence: No contact between Trump campaign and Russia

“They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” Pence says.
January 23: Spicer, now the White House press secretary, reiterates that Flynn told him sanctions were not discussed in the calls.
Three days after Trump officially becomes President, US officials say investigators are scrutinizing several calls between Flynn and Russia’s ambassador.
January 26: The Justice Department privately warns the Trump administration that Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with Kislyak and is potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The message is delivered by acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who is fired on January 30 for refusing to enforce Trump’s controversial travel ban barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.
February 9: Pence finds out he had been misled by Flynn, according to two administration officials.
February 10: An aide close to Flynn says he cannot rule out that the adviser spoke about sanctions on the call with Kislyak.
On the same day, Trump says he is unaware of reports that Flynn may have spoken about sanctions during the calls and says he will “look into that.” A US official then confirms that Flynn and Kislyak did speak about sanctions, among other matters.
February 13: Russia again denies the allegations that the men discussed sanctions, telling CNN:”We have already said there haven’t been any.” On the same day, reports surface of the Justice Department’s warning to the administration regarding Flynn.
As the reports emerge, Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway tells MSNBC that Flynn “does enjoy the full confidence of the President,” but around an hour later, Spicer says Trump is “evaluating the situation.”
Flynn resigns a few hours later, admitting he had “inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information” regarding the phone calls with Kislyak and apologizes.

White House briefing Flynn resignation question_00023112.jpg

 Spicer: Trump concluded there was no trust 05:29
February 14: Spicer says Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation because of trust issues with the national security adviser.
CNN reports that high-level advisers close to then-nominee Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence, according to multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials. Among those senior advisers regularly communicating with Russian nationals were Manafort and Flynn.