The president’s ties to Russia have been intensely scrutinized. We looked at Trump’s shifting positions in four areas: His relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his stance on Russian election interference, his knowledge about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting and his business interests in Russia.

Relationship with Putin
Trump bragged about his relationship with Putin after hosting the 2013 Miss Universe beauty pageant in Moscow. But it was unclear if they ever met, and he walked back his claims during the campaign.
“I do have a relationship”
“I don’t know who Putin is”
“Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow - if so, will he become my new best friend?
June 18, 2013, on Twitter. Trump had invited Putin to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in a personal letter.
I do have a relationship.
November 2013, in an interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts before the pageant.
Key events
I got to know him very well because we were both on ‘60 Minutes.’ We were stablemates.”
Nov. 10, 2015, in a Republican presidential debate. While both appeared on the season premiere of “60 Minutes,” it was later revealed that they were interviewed in different cities.
He has been very nice to me.
April 28, 2016, during an interview on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
March 18, 2018 Putin is reelected.
2016 Election Interference
Trump denied claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election, even going against his own intelligence agencies. But more recently his position has changed.
“I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia
“I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia”
I think it was Russia.
Jan. 11, 2017, at a news conference where Trump was asked who was responsible for the public leaks of Democratic emails during the campaign.
Trump Tower Meeting
A June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower put Trump's son in the spotlight. The purpose was to discuss information that could be used against Hillary Clinton. But did Trump himself know what the meeting was about? Read more.
It was “about adoption and the Magnitsky Act”
“This was to get information on an opponent”
Business with Russians
Trump has done business with Russians for decades. But the extent of his investments and deals in Russia came under scrutiny during the 2016 campaign.
“I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians”
“I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA”
“There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won, in which case I would have gone back into the business and why should I lose lots of opportunities?”
Nov. 29, 2018, responding to a plea deal where Michael Cohen admitted to concealing efforts during the 2016 campaign to build a Trump-branded tower in the Russian capital.

About this story

Photo illustrations based on photos by Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press, Evan Vucci/Associated Press.

Originally published Aug. 13, 2018.

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