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Trump denies hiding detail of Putin summit talks from staff

Trump denies hiding detail of Putin summit talks from staff

As for his conversations with Putin, he said: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn't care less".

According to the report, in a break from standard policy and the practices of former presidents, Trump has denied top advisers detailed information of several meetings with the Russian leader, whom U.S. agencies have accused of seeking to undermine American democracy.

Mr Trump's relations with Russian Federation before his election in 2016 are the subject of an ongoing federal investigation.

Warner said the U.S. government still does not know what took place in Trump's meetings with Putin, including another in Helsinki last summer where Trump appeared to embrace Putin's claim, rejected by U.S. intelligence, that his country had nothing to do with an interference effort in the 2016 election. They cited Comey's handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, a controversy that many believe helped Trump defeat the Democratic nominee in the 2016 presidential election.

In one instance, following a meeting Trump had with Putin in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017 that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was also present for, a White House adviser and a senior State Department official were seeking additional information from Trump's interpreter that was more than the information provided in a readout from Tillerson.

The president directly responded to the accusations during an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, pledging transparency about his encounters with Putin, specifically their meeting in Helsinki last summer.

The investigation was launched after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and then tied that action to Comey's handling of the Russian Federation probe.

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

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 Trump's contacts with Russian Federation. That investigation was taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller when he was appointed in May of 2017.

The first question to ask yourself when absorbing this story is, what does it mean for a president to be working for Russian Federation, and against the United States?

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called the Times report "absurd" and said Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack". "We know from the reporting on Friday that the FBI had entered into a criminal and a counterintelligence investigation into the president".

Greg Valliere, chief global strategist for Horizon Investments, said "the mere hint - if true - that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had suspicions about Trump being a Russian agent is mind-boggling". But Trump's behavior in the days around Comey's May 2017 firing as FBI director, specifically two instances in which he seemed to tie Comey's ousting to the Russian Federation investigation, helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the investigation, according to the newspaper.

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

Trump's 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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