New emails from President Trump’s campaign obtained by The Washington Post show that one staff member on multiple occasions tried to set up meetings between campaign and Russian officials.
The Post in a report published Monday detailed the emails sent by George Papadopoulos, who was a volunteer on Trump’s campaign, from March through September of last year.
Papadopoulos in April told Trump’s campaign manager at the time, Corey Lewandowski, that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to "host the Trump team when the time is right.”
Several Trump officials, including Paul Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman, expressed concern over the proposed meetings.
Other officials who raised concerns over Papadopoulos’s proposals to meet with with Russian officials include the Trump campaign’s co-chairman, Sam Clovis, and Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic.
Papadopoulos also passed on an exchange with the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), which conveyed that the Russian foreign ministry was receptive to Trump making a trip to Russia.
An official with the Council confirmed that a discussion about a U.S.-Russia dialogue "informally” occurred.
"We discussed the idea informally as one of the opportunities for ... dialogue between Russia and the U.S.,” Ivan Timofeev told The Post.
"RIAC often hosts meetings with prominent political figures and experts from the US and many other countries.”
Manafort, according to the report, passed on the note to one of his colleagues, saying "We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips.”
"We thought we probably should not go forward with any meeting with the Russians until we have had occasion to sit with our NATO allies,” Clovis said in a March email discussing a potential meeting.
The emails are part of 20,000 pages of documents the campaign provided to Congress earlier this month.
Amid ongoing probes into Moscow's interference in the 2016 election, scrutiny has increased on Trump's team in the wake of reports of a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
In addition to the president's son, the meeting was attended by Manafort and White House adviser and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Sources told Reuters earlier this month that a grand jury impaneled by special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed records related to the meeting, which critics say show Trump's team sought to collude with Russia while the nation was hacking Democratic groups.