A computer scientist tracking malware and going by the name “Tea Leaves” claims to have discovered a pattern of conversation that appears to tie a server registered to the Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon tells Russia to stand down Billionaire GOP donor maxed out to Manchin following his Build Back Better opposition MORE organization to two Russian servers registered to "Alfa Bank."


According to a new report from Slate, computer scientists began looking into GOP presidential nominee’s servers in the wake of the hack into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that U.S. intelligence has blamed on Russian actors. 

“We wanted to help defend both campaigns, because we wanted to preserve the integrity of the election,” one of the unnamed academics involved said. 

Tea Leaves discovered a bank in Moscow that continually contacted a server registered to the Trump Organization. Further research of the pattern of conversations revealed they would occur during office hours in both New York and Moscow, Slate reported.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonLet's 'reimagine' political corruption The Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second MORE and critics have criticized Trump for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin. But Trump has pushed back, saying he has “nothing to do” with Russia and doesn’t know Putin. 

That hasn’t stopped his opponents from claiming ties between the two. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) alleged that FBI has “explosive information” about a connection between Trump and the Russian government, suggesting that federal investigators have unveiled damning new information about Trump. 

And later that same day, NBC reported that the FBI is looking into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s foreign business and political dealings. He became a liability for the Trump campaign amid reports of his involvement with a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

Clinton’s campaign quickly seized on the Slate report Monday night, and senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement that it is “the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.”

"This line of communication may help explain Trump's bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin and endorsement of so many pro-Kremlin positions throughout this campaign,” Sullivan said. “It raises even more troubling questions in light of Russia's masterminding of hacking efforts that are clearly intended to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign. We can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia's meddling in our elections."

However, a Monday night report from the New York Times said that FBI officials' investigations of the GOP presidential nominee have yet to confirm any ties to Russia.  

And the Errata Security blog posted a debunker article on Tuesday calling Slate’s conclusion “nonsense.” It says the domain in question “was setup and controlled by Cendyn, a company that does marketing/promotions for hotels, including many of Trump's hotels” and concludes that the link between the two servers is “just normal marketing business.”

Updated 11:32 a.m.