U.S. intelligence agencies starting in the spring of 2015 detected conversations in which Russian government officials discussed associates of Donald Trump, several months before he declared his candidacy for president, according to current and former U.S. officials.
In some cases, the Russians in the overheard conversations talked about meetings held outside the U.S. involving Russian government officials and Trump business associates or advisers, these people said.
It isn’t clear which Trump associates or advisers the Russians were referring to, or whether they had any connection to his presidential aspirations.
The reports were gathered by intelligence agencies that routinely monitor Russian espionage against the U.S. Such efforts can include monitoring phone calls and emails as well as information from informants. The efforts weren’t aimed at Mr. Trump or his associates, these people said. (our emphasis)Of course, if there's further information on those associates (including "kompromat"?) stemming from these conversations, Federal investigators would gain significant leverage as they continue to unravel the Trump crime family in all its corrupt, treasonous glory ("Follow the money.") Also, while this report concerns "associates" of Putin chew toy Donald "Rump" Trump, Rump's direct connections with Russian officials go back earlier in time than 2015, and intelligence agencies either in the U.S. or abroad have doubtless picked up additional intel on Rump from those contacts as well.
Drip, drip, drip.