Special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony was so low-key, with Mueller frequently refusing to answer questions and sometimes appearing to forget or be unaware of key details of his investigation, leading some supporters of Mueller's investigation to describe him as seeming tired. Politico even called his testimony a " lackluster... less-than-blockbuster performance." The outlet noted that Mueller frequently asked members of Congress to repeat their questions, and often didn't answer them at all.
Mueller's subdued, sometimes frustrating testimony, however, contained at least one blockbuster revelation that seems to have been largely overlooked. That testimony was summarized by one member of the Judiciary Committee, who led Mueller through a scenario in which the Russians were given internal polling data by the Trump campaign and used it in their covert operation designed to tip the election to Trump, which, as summarized by NBC News, would appear to be a clear instance of "collusion."
Mueller was asked about Konstantin Kilimnik, who according to Mueller's report, as published by The New York Times, "has ties to Russian intelligence." In fact, Donald Trump campaign official Rick Gates, who has cut a plea deal and cooperation agreement with Mueller, described Kilimnik as a "spy," according to the report.
The report details that Trump's then-campaign chair Paul Manafort -- as well as Gates, a longtime Manafort business partner -- passed sensitive, internal Trump campaign polling data to Kilimnik.
What the alleged "spy" for Russia did with the data remains unknown, but Kilimnik had direct connections to Oleg Deripaska — a Russian aluminum magnate and oligarch who has loaned millions to Manafort, money that Manafort had never paid back, as The Inquisitr previously detailed.
Under questioning from California Rep. Zoe Lofgren during Mueller's Wednesday morning appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller confirmed the ties among Kilimnik, Russia, and the Trump campaign officials, and as NBC News reported, Lofgren "zeroed in" on the suspicious transmission of internal polling data from Gates and Manafort to Kilimnik.
Mueller said it was "accurate" that, as Lofgren put it, Trump campaign officials and the Russian "spy" discussed "the Trump campaign and Manafort strategy for winning Democratic votes in Midwestern states and internal polling data," according to a transcript of the hearing, published online by The Washington Post.
Lofgren also noted that Manafort and Kilimnik discussed the Trump campaign strategies to win the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. Other than Minnesota, which was won by Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump unexpectedly won the other three states named by Lofgren by a combined total of fewer than 80,000 votes, giving Trump an Electoral College victory, per The Washington Post,
In his report, Mueller also found that a "sweeping" Russian election interference operation included a highly targeted social media campaign, all designed to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election. Mueller also identified hacking by Russian agents who stole internal Clinton campaign "analytics" data, as The Inquisitr reported.
Was there a connection between Trump's razor-thin wins in the three states listed by Lofgren that gave him the White House, and Manafort and Gates sharing polling data with Kilimnik? Lofgren summed up Mueller's testimony, appearing to paint exactly that picture.
"They got the Democratic game plan for the election, Lofgren said, as quoted by Newsweek, adding that Manafort and Gates "met with the Russians and repeatedly gave them internal data, polling, and messaging in the battleground states."
"While the Russians were buying ads and creating propaganda to influence the outcome of the election," Lofgren noted, summarizing Mueller's testimony, the Russians were armed not only with stolen Clinton campaign data but also with inside information "they had been given by the Trump campaign chairman Mr. Manafort."
Lofgren also asked Mueller if the Trump campaign "expected it would benefit electorally" from the Russian hacking and social media propaganda operation — to which Mueller answered, "That's correct."