March 9, 2017 2:39 pm -

Topping a day of Russiagate revelations: who needs Wikileaks when The Smoking Gun gets stories like this?

In the months before Election Day, a longtime confidante and political consultant for Donald Trump was in contact with the Russian hacking group that U.S. intelligence officials have accused of illegally breaching the Democratic National Committee’s computer system and the e-mail accounts of Hillary Clinton campaign officials in a bid to aid Trump, The Smoking Gun has learned.

The contact between Roger Stone, the Trump associate, and the Russian influence operation came via private messages exchanged on Twitter, according to a source. Stone’s contact was with “Guccifer 2.0,” an online persona that U.S. officials say was created by Russian government officials to distribute and publicize material stolen during hacks of the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Gmail accounts used by Clinton staffers like John Podesta, the campaign’s chairman.

Though “Guccifer 2.0” maintained that he was a lone “hacktivist” committed to “fight all those illuminati,” a U.S. intelligence assessment concluded with “high confidence” that the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service, was operating the “Guccifer 2.0” persona, which communicated through Twitter, a WordPress blog, and a series of burner e-mail accounts.

It’s getting to the point where you need a scorecard to track the headlines:

An associate of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is suspected of connections to Russian intelligence – and last night, Rachel Maddow linked this new information to ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and its influence on the Republican Party platform at the national convention, adding credibility to another piece of the unverified Trump dossier.

British “Trump dossier” spy Christopher Steele has come in from the cold

Rep. Adam Schiff wants testimony from Steele before Congress

Trump personally met with Russian ambassador during campaign

Trump aide Carter Page went to Russia last year

S.E.C. Nominee Jay Clayton’s Work for Firm With Ties to Russia and Iran Raises Questions About Conflicts of Interest [talk about an underststement]

FOX News’ celebrity reactionary sheriff David Clarke is yet another Trump associate with high-level Russian pals

The Atlantic has published a comprehensive timeline of Russiagate events, and US Rep. Eric Swalwell has launched a web page connecting the Trump-Russia dots.

Russia-gate began like Watergate – with a break-in that few noticed

Digby: Trump loves authoritarian figures

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.