Jane Mayer: Trump Team Was in Routine Communication With Moscow in 2016


Jane Mayer reports today in the New Yorker on the events of August 2016, three months before the election:

According to an article by the Washington Post, that month the C.I.A. sent what the paper described as “an intelligence bombshell” to President Obama, warning him that Putin was directly involved in a Russian cyber campaign aimed at disrupting the Presidential election—and helping Trump win. Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.’s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.’s director, John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump’s team and Moscow that had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.)

Um, what? A “stream of illicit communications”? Between “Trump’s team and Moscow”? I would like to know more about that! I’ll bet everyone would like to know more about that. When did this happen? Who, precisely, is “Moscow”? Is this shorthand for people in government, or just some private citizens who live in Moscow? And what exactly does “illicit” mean?

This is almost certainly the single most interesting sentence published today.