Trump plans on holding a bilateral meeting with Putin this coming Saturday. Usually a president is briefed by a platoon of advisers to get the US's points right and the possible responses of Russia. General McMasters has said Trump plans to go it alone.
While I was away, Rachel Maddow continued her excellent reporting on stories about the Russia probe. She and Josh Marshall pointed to the Wall Street Journal articles by Shane Harris which detailed one GOP operative's attempt to contact Russian hackers to solicit the emails from Hillary Clinton's private server. A Mr. Smith,at 81 had been a driver behind Gop efforts to dig up smears against Bill Clinton in Arkansas in the 1990s, assembled a team of GOP operatives and a Russian-speaking investigator to go after the emails. He contacted General Flynn and the others on the team were urged to have the emails leaked through Wikileaks. The Wall Street Journal article was among the first to actually linked the GOP campaign of 2016 with the Russians.
Smith died just after the Wall Street Journal's interview with him. Harris said he had reached out to him because he was rather proud of his efforts. Apparently,intelligence sources had picked up pin this effort and included it in their analysis of the Russian interference in the 2016 election.
A fun fact was that Smith's team was to use Flynn as the contact person and then second to him,Flynn's son who gained notoriety for spreading the Comet Pizza fake story of Hillary Clinton and the pedophile ring in the basement of a D.C. pizzeria. This led to a right-winger shooting up the place and receiving 4 years in prison.
On another front it appears Muller will be expanding hits investigation into the Russian mob's activities in the election.