The New York Times is reporting that “conservative American think tanks that have broken with President Trump” seem to be victims of hacking attacks by Russian military intelligence. According to the newspaper, “a report scheduled for release on Tuesday, Microsoft Corporation said that it detected and seized websites that were created in recent weeks by hackers linked to the Russian unit formerly known as the G.R.U. The sites appeared meant to trick people into thinking they were clicking through links managed by the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute, but were secretly redirected to web pages created by the hackers to steal passwords and other credentials.”
But aside from the fact that both the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute are critical of President Donald Trump’s push for friendlier ties to Russia, these two think tanks also have another significant commonality. Both have ties to individuals caught up in the Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
George Papadopoulos, the former Trump foreign policy advisor who pled guilty to lying to the FBI, worked for the Hudson Institute between 2011-2015. Konstantin Kilimnik, the Russian national who has been indicted Special Counsel Robert Mueller, once worked for the International Republican Institute while also serving as a fixer for Paul Manafort, the former Trump Campaign chairman who is currently on trial.