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The US and Russian presidents have been revealed to have had correspondence pre-dating Mr Trump’s presidency. The explosive Senate Intelligence Committee report added fuel to Democrat arguments that Mr Trump has colluded with Mr Putin to gain power in the 2016 election. The report was released by the committee yesterday.
In a letter from 2007 highlighted in the report, Mr Trump declared he was a “big fan” of Mr Putin.
In 2007, Mr Putin was named Time magazine’s person of the year, which prompted Mr Trump to get in contact.
He said: “Congratulations on being named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” – you definitely deserve it.
“As you probably heard, I am a big fan of yours! Take care of yourself.”
In a series of letters from 2013, Mr Trump also invited the Russian President to see “beautiful women” at the Miss Universe pageant.
He said in the letter: “I know that our Moscow pageant will be out biggest and best Miss Universe ever, and we are already overwhelmed with a very positive and extensive response from both international and Russian media (…)
“I want to take this opportunity to personally invite you to be my guest of honour in Moscow.”
He then added in handwriting that the event would host “the worlds most beautiful women”.
The pageant invitation also name-dropped Aras Agalarov, an oligarch who partnered with Mr Trump in the Moscow event.
Mr Putin responded to Mr Trump’s 2013 letters and sent him a gift, despite not attending the pageant.
He said: “Dear Mr Trump, I would like to congratulate you and your colleagues on successfully holding the Miss Universe contest in Moscow.
“I hope that all the participants in this remarkable event will go home with good memories of their visit to the Russian capital.
“It is a pity that we were not able to have our meeting, but I hope we will be able to talk during one of your upcoming visits to Russia.”
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The senate report examined Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, as well as gathering compromising information on high profile Americans.
The report stretches to nearly 1,000 pages and lays out a huge web of contacts between Trump and his aides to Russian government officials.
In a shock reveal, Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian intelligence officer employed by GRU, was identified to Mr Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The report holds that in 2016, Mr Manafort met with Mr Kilimnik to discuss how Mr Trump might beat Hillary Clinton, and gave the Russian spy internal polling data.
But the Senate committee said it couldn’t “reliably determine” why Mr Manafort handed over this information, or what exactly Mr Kilimnik did with it.
Another reveal from the report showed Mr Trump’s 1996 stay in Russia was arranged by David Geovanis, a Moscow-based businessman who the report says has links to the Russian security services.
The report added: “In some circles of the US expatriate business community in Moscow, it has been common for visiting businessmen to be taken to nightclubs or parties where prostitutes are present.
“It is likely that Russian security or intelligence services capitalise on those opportunities to collect information.
“During the 1990s and into the 2000s, David Geovanis developed a reputation in Moscow, in part as a host for visiting businessmen.”
Mr Trump has denied any collusion with the Russian government, and quoted a tweet saying the panel found no evidence for it.
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