Posted: Feb 16, 2017 10:14 AM PST
Updated: Mar 03, 2017 08:14 AM PST
President Donald Trump's senior aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with ousted adviser Michael Flynn, met with the Russian ambassador to the United States in December at Trump Tower, according to a senior administration official, who described it as an "introductory meeting" and "kind of an inconsequential hello."
Senior Democrats have called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign after it emerged in March that he failed to disclose two meetings with Russia's ambassador to Washington during the US election campaign. Sessions did not mention the meetings with Sergey Kislyak during his confirmation hearings, when he was asked if he knew of any contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Feb. 14: 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 Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn.
Feb. 13-14: Michael Flynn resigns as Trump's national security adviser. Press Secretary Sean Spicer says Trump asked for Flynn's resignation because of trust issues.
Feb. 9: Vice President Mike Pence finds out he had been misled by Flynn with "incomplete information" regarding Flynn's contact with Russian intelligence agents, according to two administration officials.
Jan. 26: The Justice Department privately warns the Trump administration that Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and is potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Jan. 26: 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.
Jan. 23: Three days after Trump officially becomes President, US officials say investigators are scrutinizing several calls between Flynn and Russia's ambassador.
Jan. 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. "They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States' decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia," Pence says.
Jan. 13: 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."
Jan. 6: A US intelligence report says Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a cyber campaign to help Trump beat Clinton in the US presidential election.
Dec. 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.
Oct. 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.
Aug. 14-15: The New York Times reports on $12.7 million in secret cash payments earmarked for Manafort from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. Manafort denies having received payments from Ukraine and Russia, writing, "The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical." He would later resign his position on Trump's campaign.