SAN FRANCISCO — Did Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have a special email server used exclusively to communicate with a Russian bank with ties to President Vladimir Putin? On Monday night, the internet was abuzz with speculation after Slate published a story claiming that a number of experts had not only found the email server, but had concluded there was a “sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank,” a large, private bank in Russia whose oligarch founders have close ties to Putin.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton piled into the news cycle with a tweet calling for an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia.
Here’s what we know so far in this story — and what we don’t:
The original story said two servers — one owned by Trump, one Russian — were communicating.
Trump and Alfa Bank have said there’s nothing nefarious going on at all.
There are competing theories for what the servers were really doing.
We know the servers shut down after the New York Times began investigating the story — but not why.
We still can’t say for sure what really happened.
Sheera Frenkel is a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in San Francisco. She has reported from Israel, Egypt, Jordan and across the Middle East. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 4A53 A35C 06BE 5339 E9B6 D54E 73A6 0F6A E252 A50F
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