Donald Trump delivers his first speech focused on foreign policy to an audience at the Mayflower Hotel, hosted by the Center for the National Interest. There he meets Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Carter Page are also at the event.
The Center for the National Interest (previously The Nixon Center) is headed by Dimitri Simes, who is operating as an unofficial foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. He’s also a Kremlin asset, like Trump, and he met with Vladimir Putin as recently as two months before this event. Putin has publicly called Simes his “American friend and colleague.”
Simes, born Dimitri Konstantinovich Simis, also arranged a meeting in 2015 between Russian operative Maria Butina, her Russian handler Alexander Torchin, and leaders of the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve. Torchin was also the Deputy Governor of Russia’s Central Bank. Her handlers in the U.S. were Simes and an American University professor named Anton Fedyashin.
After Trump becomes president and this meeting at the Mayflower is uncovered, Russian political analyst Andrey Piontkovsky writes:
During his speech, Trump advocates for aligning our overseas troops with Russia’s to combat terrorism, in Syria for example. The average American doesn’t understand that Russia is prone to aiding Islamic terrorism in places like Syria, not combatting it.
The speech was co-written by Richard Burt, a member of the advisory boards for both the Council for the National Interest and Russia’s Alfa Bank. He was enlisted to join the Trump campaign by Paul Manafort. Simes is also believed to have helped draft the speech, but it’s unclear if that has been proven.
The event was originally scheduled to be given at the National Press Club. It’s unclear why the location changed but could possibly be to make this meeting possible.
This is one of many interactions between Jeff Sessions and Dimitri Simes, but other meetings have not been added to Trump File at the time of this writing. Trump nominates Sessions to be his (first) Attorney General in November 2016.
American Kompromat by Craig Unger, p. 14