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Russia probe unearths attempted meeting between Trump campaign and Putin: report

Russia probe unearths attempted meeting between Trump campaign and Putin: report
© Greg Nash

A top aide to President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE emailed campaign officials last year about an individual seeking to arrange a meeting between top campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a new CNN report.

The email, sent by Rick Dearborn, who is now Trump's deputy chief of staff, was unearthed by congressional investigators probing possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow's efforts to influence last year's presidential election. 

The identity of the individual who sought to arrange the meeting is not clear. CNN reported that the person was referenced as being from "WV," which one source said meant West Virginia. Another source, however, told the network that the individual may have had political connections in West Virginia.

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Dearborn is said to have been wary about the proposed meeting. The White House did not comment.

The email was sent in June 2016, which is around the time that Trump campaign members, including Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower who had promised compromising information on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFor Joe Biden, an experienced foreign policy team Millennials and the great reckoning on race Biden chooses Amanda Gorman as youngest known inaugural poet MORE.

Russian officials made other reported attempts to meet with members of Trump's campaign. The Washington Post obtained emails last week that targeted George Papadopoulos, who was a volunteer on Trump’s campaign. 

No additional meetings between Russian-linked officials and Trump officials have been confirmed.

A special counsel and multiple congressional committees are investigating Russia's role in the 2016 election, as well as possible coordination between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that neither he nor anyone on his campaign colluded with Russian officials and has dismissed the probes as a "witch hunt" intended to smear his presidency.