National Security

Mueller looking into Trump campaign adviser appearances on Russian state TV: report

Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into a former Trump campaign adviser's appearances on the Russian broadcaster RT as part of the special counsel's investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian election interference in 2016.

The Guardian reports that Jerome Corsi, an associate of former Trump adviser Roger Stone, says that Mueller's team has been in contact with American businessman Ted Malloch, who is said by the newspaper to have played a minor role in the campaign. Malloch appeared on RT at least five times following Trump's 2016 election victory.

"Mueller's people asked Ted about his appearances on RT," Corsi told The Guardian. "They thought maybe he was coordinating with Russia - and RT is Russia." 

In those appearances, Malloch repeatedly dismissed allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as fantasy.

In one February 2017 appearance, according to the newspaper, Malloch questioned whether the U.S. could pursue a closer relationship with Russia if the U.S. were to relax sanctions on Russia's government.

"If those sanctions were removed, would not the world be a better place?" Malloch reportedly asked.

It's unclear at what stage Mueller's contacts with or interest in Malloch currently sits. The businessman was reportedly detained at Boston's Logan Airport in March of this year, but The Guardian reports that his appearance at a grand jury proceeding was delayed.

Corsi himself is under investigation by Mueller's team, and he recently told news outlets that he had refused a plea agreement offered by the special counsel office concerning his alleged false statements to investigators.

Malloch has denied any coordination with the Russian government, The Guardian reports, and declined to comment to the newspaper on Corsi's claims.