Donald Trump's campaign was actively -- though not necessarily purposely -- colluding with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign, a bombshell new report appears to show.
On Thursday, The Daily Beast published a report about the true identity of the hacker who goes by the identity Guccifer 2.0, who had taken responsibility for leaking emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee. The report noted that Guccifer 2.0 slipped up and forgot to cover his tracks, allowing investigators to learn that he was actually an officer working with Russia's military intelligence directorate (GRU).
Though it was long suspected that Guccifer 2.0 was actually connected to the Russian government, the report appears to prove it; and also shows that Donald Trump's campaign was actively working with Russian intelligence during the campaign.
As the report noted, Trump campaign adviser (and close friend) Roger Stone bragged during the campaign that he was in direct contact with Guccifer 2.0, and later published an article in Breitbart News claiming that it was not Russia, but Guccifer 2.0 who hacked the DNC emails.
The report from The Daily Beast showed that Roger Stone was actually working hand-in-hand with Russian intelligence. It was not clear if Stone was aware that the contact was with the Russian government, but the report proves, for the first time, that Donald Trump's campaign was colluding with Russia, whether knowingly or not.The report on Guccifer 2.0's identity also calls into question whether WikiLeaks knowingly colluded with Russia, which had been suspected. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had insisted that Russia was not behind the leak of the DNC emails, but the Daily Beast report appeared to prove otherwise.
And if WikiLeaks did know that the source came from the Russian government, it would prove another link between the Russian government and Donald Trump's campaign. As The Atlantic noted, a series of leaked chats shows that Assange was in direct contact with Donald Trump, Jr., offering advice on how they should approach the leaks and suggesting that Trump contest the results of the election if he had lost.
Donald Trump has consistently denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and the Russian government, and that could still be true. There was no evidence to suggest Roger Stone knew the true identity of Guccifer 2.0 when they corresponded.