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Kremlin dismisses US media reports on Trump aides' ties with Russian intelligence

On February 14, New York Times published an article claiming that "members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials"

MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. The US media reports about alleged contacts between members of Donald Trump’s election team and Russian intelligence officers are groundless, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

"Let us not believe in what media say, for nowadays it is very difficult to tell actual news from fake ones," he said when asked if such contacts really took place. The Kremlin spokesman added that the relevant media reports cited five different sources "but not one of them is identified, which is just ridiculous." "Let us not rely on unidentified sources," Peskov said. "These reports are absolutely groundless, not based on any facts."

When answering a questing about contacts between representatives of the two countries, Peskov stressed that "working contacts are maintained." "Representatives of the US embassy in Russia communicate with Russian officials, meet with foreign ministry officers. The US diplomats also meet with representatives of the Russian regions, they also travel the country, which is a common diplomatic practice," the Kremlin spokesman said adding that there was nothing unusual about it.

New York Times and its sources

On February 14, New York Times published an article on its website claiming that "members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials." New York Times added that three of the officials said that "American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee."

New York Times also said that "all of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified." "The officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, the identity of the Russian intelligence officials who participated, and how many of Mr. Trump’s advisers were talking to the Russians. It is also unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Mr. Trump himself," New York Times added.

The press service of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service later said that they would not comment on "groundless media insinuations.".