CNN lays out incredibly damning timeline of Trump campaign ties to Russia in July 2016
"He (Putin) said he didn't meddle. I asked him again," US President Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he flew to Hanoi for a state visit (Vietnam News Agency/AFP / STR)

CNN on Thursday put out a damning timeline of the Trump campaign's dealings with Russian agents that occurred over a two-week span in late July 2016.


Among other things, the timeline shows that prosecutors have evidence that a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact longtime Trump ally Roger Stone about future Clinton-related email releases from WikiLeaks, which had on the very same day released emails that were stolen by Russian agents from the Democratic National Committee.

Just five days later, Donald Trump himself directly and openly encouraged Russia to release any emails it may have stolen from the private email server that rival Hillary Clinton used while she was secretary of state.

And then, less than a week later, then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates met with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian political consultant whom U.S. law enforcement agencies allege has ties to Russian intelligence.

Not included in the timeline was the infamous meeting in Trump Tower that occurred less than two months prior in which Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner met with a Russian operative who had promised them dirt on Clinton.

CNN analyst David Gregory then explained how that timeline alone was enough to justify special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign.

"Russia had interest -- they wanted him to be president," Gregory said. "Vladimir Putin didn't like Hillary Clinton... and we know from that chronology that the Trump campaign was open for business! Hey, go find her emails, we'll take any opposition research from wherever it comes!"

Watch the video below.