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Shannon Vavra Apr 21, 2017
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Russia's role in Trumpland, not just the election

Alex Brandon / AP

The FBI gathered intelligence in the summer of 2016 confirming Russian operatives tried to influence Trump's team — not just the election itself, according to a CNN report out today.

Carter Page's Russia links: One of the targets was Trump's former campaign foreign policy advisor, Carter Page, and although we already knew Page traveled to give a speech at a prominent Russian university in July 2016 (in which he lambasted U.S. policy on Russia) the report today reveals the FBI had concerns he was compromised by Russian spies while there. The bureau suspected the spies maintained contact with him after he left the country as well.

Insight: Despite the fact that Page denies any wrongdoing in Russia, a former Obama administration official who was briefed on Russia's influence in the election said Russians working at think tanks, universities, and businesses are often working intelligence roles as well, so Page could have had conversations he didn't know were vital to Russian intelligence operations.