FBI opened investigation on Trump working on behalf of Russian Federation


14 January, 2019

Tillerson has previously discussed the Hamburg meeting, telling reporters at a news conference that Trump "pressed" Putin on allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which Putin denied. "I couldn't care less".

With the normal flow of information interrupted, the Post reported, administration officials have relied at times on intelligence agencies to glean information about Trump's meetings with Putin - by monitoring Russian officials' reactions to the meetings.

The officials said they found out about the apparent concealment when a White House adviser and a State Department official tried to get information from the interpreter beyond a separate readout provided by Tillerson.

The secrecy "is not only unusual by historical standards, it is outrageous", says Strobe Talbot, former deputy secretary of state under Bill Clinton.

A House Republican's line of questioning uncovered revelations that in May 2017 senior FBI leadership debated whether President Trump was directed by the Russian government to fire FBI Director James Comey, Fox News has learned.

"I'm not keeping anything under wraps", Trump insisted in an interview Saturday night with Jeanine Pirro on Fox News.

US counterintelligence investigators attempted to assess whether Trump's actions constituted a possible threat to national security, and agents also tried to determine whether Trump was knowingly working for Russian Federation or had unknowingly come under Moscow's influence, the Times reported.

Rather than call the Times report "fake news", as he has with so many other anonymously sourced Times reports, Trump used it to again claim that he was justified in getting rid of Comey. 'Anybody could have listened to that meeting, it is open for grabs.

Trump said the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director failed to properly investigate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for government business.

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Trump also took aim at an earlier story in The New York Times stating that the FBI launched a previously undisclosed counterintelligence investigation to determine whether he posed a national security threat, at the same time that it opened a criminal probe into possible obstruction of justice.

"I mean, I had a conversation like every president does".

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called the Times report "absurd" and said Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack".

Former FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2017.

The meeting in Hamburg happened several months after The Washington Post and other news organisations revealed details about what Trump had told senior Russian officials during a meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office.

Mueller has indicted 33 people in the probe and convicted some of the president's close associates.

The Associated Press, commenting on Trump's next series of tweets, which related to the partial government shutdown and the wall, seemingly ridiculed the president as "tweet [ing] into the void" while Congress is away from D.C.

His former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been sentenced to three years in prison for multiple crimes, including felony violations of campaign finance laws that prosecutors allege were carried out under Trump's direction.

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