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'Trump dossier' on Russian Federation links now part of special counsel's probe

'Trump dossier' on Russian Federation links now part of special counsel's probe

Burr said Russia's extensive information operation did not change the outcome of the election or the vote tally.

"Questions that you might have surrounding Comey's firing are better answered by the general counsel or by the Justice Department, not the Select Committee of Intelligence in the United States Senate", Burr continued.

"We're developing a clear picture of what happened", Burr said.

The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday largely endorsed the findings of the intelligence community that Russian Federation sought to sway the 2016 US elections through a hacking and influence campaign, and they called for a "more aggressive, whole-of-government approach" to ensure future elections aren't similarly compromised. Only an interview with the former British intelligence officer who produced it, Christopher Steele, could help move things forward, Burr said, but Steele has not agreed to talk.

The committee is conducting a multi-pronged investigation into Russian election meddling that includes a review of the intelligence community's January assessment on the matter (ICA). "If we believe that you have something valuable to bring to the committee, if you don't voluntarily do it, I will assure you today you will be compelled to do it".

The committee has interviewed more than 100 witnesses as part of its investigation, including "everybody who had a hand" in an assessment on Russian meddling in the elections.

Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier, which Trump was told by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey contained salacious material about the businessman-turned-president. They've also interviewed Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and confidant.

The Republican said the panel can not determine the dossier's credibility without understanding who paid for it and who contributed to the material.

More news: US Auto Makers Step Up Plans for Electric Vehicles

Still, the FBI has reportedly used the dossier in its investigation of top Trump campaign officials.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Democratic Sen.

He said the Russian effort to sway the election also involved attempts to test the vulnerabilities of 21 states' election systems.

While both Burr and Vice Chairman Sen.

Mark Warner criticized Twitter last week for its response to Russian meddling, calling the company's briefing to congressional investigators "deeply disappointing". CNN reported Wednesday that some of the ads specifically targeted MI and Wisconsin, two states that were critical to President Donald Trump's victory.

Also questioned were senior executives of social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, which displayed numerous Russian-supported advertisements that were meant to exacerbate divisions among voters on hot-button issues before the election.

In closed sessions, the senators have interviewed several key players in the sprawling Russia controversy, including Paul Manafort, the onetime Trump campaign chief who resigned abruptly last August amid press reports that he earned many millions working for the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine who fled to Moscow in early 2014.

This story has been edited and will continue to update with additional developments.


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