US officials: No, Democrats, Donald Trump is not pals with Vladimir Putin

Democrats have long claimed that rival Donald Trump is pals with Russian President Vladimir Putin and charge that the Kremlin is behind the hacking of Democratic email accounts as part of some sinister plot to help the GOP nominee win the election.

They also point to alleged financial ties between Trump and Russia, but the FBI has effectively quashed any chance of this being true.

The New York Times reported Monday the FBI sees no clear links between Trump and Russia. The bureau also dispelled the myth that the computer hacking was motivated by a desire to see Trump prevail in the race for the White House.

More from The Times:

For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.

Democrats are desperate to shift the focus away from the discovery of more Clinton-related emails and are upset that FBI Director James Comey is not helping them out by talking about the bureau’s probe of Trump’s alleged ties with Russia and that country’s involvement in the presidential election.

No one more so than outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

“It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity,” Reid wrote in a letter Sunday. “The public has a right to know this information.”

Comey was every Democrat’s best friend when he announced that he was not recommending charges be filed against Clinton, but has suddenly become public enemy number one after Friday’s announcement of new emails being discovered.

The FBI declined to comment Monday, but The Times reported that intelligence officials said there was “a broad investigation into possible links” between Moscow and Trump.

Unfortunately for Reid and other supporters of Hillary Clinton, the newspaper added that “no evidence has emerged that would link [Trump] or anyone else in his business or political circle directly to Russia’s election operations.”

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