Trump under fresh scrutiny over relationship with Putin

Clay Curtis
January 14, 2019

Their statement follows Trump's comments in a Fox News Channel interview in which he alleges potential legal problems involving a Cohen relative and takes digs at Cohen's honesty and own legal woes.

US President Donald Trump has denied hiding details of conversations with Russia's Vladimir Putin, saying he is "not keeping anything under wraps".

Senator Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the judiciary committee, said he plans to press Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, for a pledge to let Mueller complete his work. "It suggests to me that the Mueller investigation needs to continue to its logical conclusion".

Asked in an interview with Fox News late Saturday "are you now or have you ever worked for Russia", Trump responded: "I think that's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked".

Trump never answered Pirro's question directly, but went on to say that no president has taken a harder stance against Russian Federation than he has.

"Why is he so chummy with Vladimir Putin, this man who is a former KGB agent, never been a friend to the United States, invaded our allies, threatens us around the world, and tries his damndest to undermine our elections, why is this President Trump's best buddy?"

Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy said Sunday that the Russian Federation investigation has always been about President Donald Trump. The overall investigation is looking into Russian election interference and whether Trump's campaign coordinated with the Russians, as well as possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

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He said that the report only suggests that after Comey was sacked in May of 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department "very rashly" thought they found a crime of obstruction against Trump.

The bombshell story comes just one day after the New York Times revealed that the FBI opened a joint counterintelligence and criminal investigation into whether the president was working for Russian Federation against American interests when he fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017.

Current and former US officials told the Post that after a 2017 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg, Germany, Trump took his interpreter's notes and told her not to speak of details of the meeting with other administration officials. According to the story, Trump's actions included "taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials", such as former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

"Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs".

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times he had no knowledge of the inquiry but said that since it was opened a year and a half ago and they hadn't heard anything, apparently "they found nothing".

Trump made the demand after a July 2017 meeting with the Russian president at the G-20 conclave in Hamburg, Germany, which was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the paper reported Saturday. He says Deripaska himself and any companies he controls remain under sanctions.

Warner and Johnson spoke on CNN's "State of the Union", while Coons and Graham appeared on "Fox News Sunday".

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