Congressional investigators have unearthed an email from a top Trump aide over an unreported effort to arrange a meeting between campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the media reported. The aide, Rick Dearborn, who is now President Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff, sent a brief email to campaign officials last year relaying information about an individual who was seeking to connect top officials with Putin, officials familiar with the matter told CNN on Wednesday night. The person was only identified in the email as being from “WV”, which the officials said was a reference to West Virginia.
However, it remains unclear who the individual is, what he or she was seeking, or whether Dearborn even acted on the request. An informed sources said that the individual was believed to have had political connections in West Virginia, but details about the request and who initiated it remain undisclosed. The officials told CNN that the email was sent in June 2016 around the time of the Trump Tower meeting where Russians with the President’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
So far, Dearborn’s name has not been mentioned as part of the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He had served as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff, as well as a top policy aide on the campaign. Dearborn spent nearly two decades working for Sessions in the Senate, eventually rising to chief of staff, a position he held for 12 years, including throughout the 2016 campaign. The White House has declined to comment. “We aren’t going to comment on potentially leaked documents,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said late Wednesday.