Trump Says He's 'Not Keeping Anything Under Wraps,' About Meetings With Putin

Leroy Wright
January 14, 2019

But the White House, and Trump himself, disagree. Warner accused the White House of being very slow to put in place the penalties. The counterintelligence investigation, according to the Times, was in part spurred by Mr. Trump's remarks on two occasions that Comey's firing was related to the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was Central Intelligence Agency director at the time the investigation was launched, declined to comment on the New York Times report, but insisted in an interview with CBS that "the notion that President Trump is a threat to American national security is absolutely ludicrous". According to the newspaper, law enforcement officials were so concerned they began investigating whether the President was working on behalf of Russian Federation against U.S. interests.

The interpreter revealed only that Mr. Trump replied "I believe you" when Putin denied meddling in the USA elections, according to the Post.

Robert Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed special counsel soon after Comey's firing.

Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, sent an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department in June raising concerns about Mueller's investigation, and arguing that it was inappropriate for Mueller to look into whether Trump may have sought to undermine the probe.

In their message to Trump, the chairmen of the Intelligence, Judiciary and Oversight committees say: "Our nation's laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress".

There is "no detailed record, even in classified files" of Trump's face-to-face meetings with Putin, the Post reported. "It suggests to me that the Mueller investigation needs to continue to its logical conclusion".

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The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Trump has repeatedly sought to hide his interactions with Putin, often one of the main USA adversaries in global affairs. The report cited unnamed current and former USA officials. "I find it astonishing", Senator Lindsey Graham said on the "Fox News Sunday" program.

"Anybody could have listened to that meeting", he said.

"Here's the bottom line", the president said.

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times he had no knowledge of the counterintelligence inquiry but said that since it was opened a year and a half ago and they hadn't heard anything, apparently "they found nothing". USA intelligence agencies have said Moscow tried to tip the election to Trump. "If this really did happen, Congress needs to know about it and what I want to do is make sure how could the Federal Bureau of Investigation do that?"

Whatever the facts, Democrats are eyeing a major dust-up and a chance to spend floor time blasting President Trump over allegations of election conspiracy with the Russians, along with the opportunity to make GOP lawmakers take a vote either defending or implicitly condemning the president.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week defended the decision, saying the companies are undergoing a major restructuring to "sever Deripaska's control and significantly diminish his ownership".

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