British Brexit Political Operatives Met With Russian Ambassador Days After Visiting With Trump

Two British political operatives were in regular contact with the Russian ambassador in London while they campaigned for, and met with, Donald Trump in the United States in 2016, a review of emails and social media posts shows.trump-putin
Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore were prominent figures in the 2016 campaign for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
Banks’ donation of more than 8 million pounds (nearly $11 million) to the pro-Brexit campaign is the subject of a probe by the country’s Electoral Commission, amid concerns of Russian interference.
After successfully campaigning for Brexit in June, the men’s attention appeared to turn to the United States.
In August 2016, Banks and Wigmore attended a Trump rally in Mississippi with Nigel Farage from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
Farage spoke at the event, and was introduced by then-candidate Trump as “the man behind Brexit.”
Social media posts show the men traveled to Las Vegas for the final presidential debate in October 2016 and Banks told CNN he also attended a Trump event in St. Louis.
After the election, Banks and Wigmore were among a small group of Britons who visited the then-President-elect at Trump Tower in New York City.
Throughout the same period, Banks and Wigmore were in regular contact with the Russian ambassador in London.
Emails reviewed by CNN show dozens of correspondences between the Russian embassy officials and the two men, including lunch and embassy event invitations.
There is no evidence the Trump campaign knew about the men’s contacts with Russian officials.
Beginning in late 2015 and continuing into 2016, Banks was offered the opportunity of involvement in a $3 billion consolidation of six Russian gold mines with a company part-owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former deputy chief of staff, Kirill Androsov.
The deal was referred to as the “gold play” in multiple emails.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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