Friday, 22 March, 2019

Trump denies hiding detail of Putin summit talks from staff

Where the investigations into U.S. President Donald Trump stand Trump denies hiding detail of Putin summit talks from staff
Ellis Copeland | 13 January, 2019, 15:42

Speaking to Fox News after the Washington Post story was published, Trump dismissed the notion that he had taken steps to stifle the meetings' contents.

President Donald Trump has rejected a Washington Post report that he has refused to share details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin with top USA government officials.

The New York Times reported the probe began in the days after Trump fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in May 2017 and said the agency's counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether his actions constituted a possible threat to national security. I'm not keeping anything under wraps....

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the story was so outrageously inaccurate it didn't even warrant a response.

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up", Trump said, claiming the Post is a "lobbyist" for Bezos' interests.

Tillerson told The Post in an email that he "was present for the entirety of the two presidents' official bilateral meeting in Hamburg", but declined to comment on the meeting and whether Trump had taken the interpreter's notes.

The FBI had been suspicious of Trump's ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign, but it held off on opening a probe until the president sacked Comey, who refused to roll back the Russian Federation investigation, the Times said.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said he could not comment on the specifics of the report, but said his committee would press ahead with its probe of Mr Trump's contacts with Russian Federation.

Mr Comey took to Twitter later on Saturday, offering a quote he attributed to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made".

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Special counsel Robert Mueller is thought to be in the final stages of an investigation that has focused largely on whether Trump or his associates conspired with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign.

US President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018. We were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things ...

At the same time that the FBI opened a probe into Trump for possible obstruction of justice after he fired FBI Director James Comey, counterintelligence agents were investigating why Trump was acting in ways that seemed to benefit Russian Federation, a source familiar with the matter told CNN on Friday.

"If you ask the folks in Russian Federation, I've been tougher on Russian Federation than anybody else, any other. probably any other president, period, but certainly the last three or four presidents".

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt" and views it as an attempt to besmirch the legitimacy of his presidency.

Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russian Federation sought to install through what United States intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.

Trump's ex-national security advisor, Michael Flynn, has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his Moscow ties.

Trump's former presidential campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been convicted in one case brought by Mueller and pleaded guilty in another, over financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine before the 2016 campaign, and for witness tampering.

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