Friday, 18 January, 2019

Trump lashes out over dual reports on relationship with Russian Federation

GettyImages-1000194372 Trump blasts FBI probe into whether he worked for Russia
Deanna Wagner | 14 January, 2019, 08:40

According to the Times report, counterintelligence investigators sought to determine whether Trump was intentionally working to further Moscow's goals or had unknowingly succumbed to its influence.

Trump went on to attack the "failing" New York Times as "a disaster of a newspaper", adding, "And if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing".

"If you compare objectively President Trump's policies to Russia compared to President Obama's policies to Russia, by any measure, President Obama was much easier, much more gentle on Russia", Cruz said. 'I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written'.

Trump's claim was disputed by Virginia Sen.

"My firing of James Comey was a great day for America", Trump claimed, describing the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director as "a Crooked Cop who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller".

Trump has gone to what the Post described as "extraordinary lengths" to keep the specifics of his conversations with his Russian counterpart under wraps.

On Sunday, Cruz argued that Americans outside Washington D.C. aren't "concerned" about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential Trump collusion with Russian Federation. The Times reported Mueller also took over the counterintelligence investigation, but the paper said it is unclear whether that aspect of his investigation is ongoing.

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Trump's denials follow a Washington Post report Saturday that "U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump's face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years". There has been a confusing and sometimes even alarming tendency on the part of President Trump to complement President Putin and to do things like his abrupt announcement of a withdrawal from Syria that led his own secretary of defense to resign, that has led many of us to question his closeness to and his affinity for President Putin.

Current and former United States officials told the paper that Trump's efforts include confiscating the notes from his interpreter and not allowing them to discuss the details of the meetings with other officials in his administration.

Last summer, the committee released preliminary findings of its investigation, including the allegation that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "extensive and sophisticated" public relations campaign to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton while sowing discord on social media. "Anyone could have listened to that meeting".

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".

Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attended Mr. Trump's first official meeting with Putin, but the two presidents also spoke for up to an hour at dinner, a conversation the White House did not acknowledge for almost two weeks.

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". He says Deripaska himself and any companies he controls remain under sanctions.