A new CNN report on Wednesday claims the FBI has information that indicates associates of President Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The CNN article cited U.S. officials who said the FBI is reviewing that information consisting of human intelligence, travel, business and phone records, and accounts of in person meetings.
The U.S. officials told CNN that the investigation is still ongoing and the information is not yet conclusive but it raises suspicions among FBI counterintelligence officials that the coordination may have occurred.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort had secretly worked with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally, to “greatly benefit the Putin Government.”
The Associated Press uncovered that Manafort had signed a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska, beginning in 2006 and maintained a business relationship with him until at least 2009.
The Associated Press story admitted that the White House attempted to “brush the report aside” although it raised concerns in Congress about Trump’s ties with Russia.
During the White House Press briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was questioned if President Trump had known about Manafort’s past efforts to advance Putin’s interests.
Spokesman Spicer denied that President Trump was aware of Manafort’s past clients during the past decade.
Manafort also has past ties with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who received support from the Kremlin but was eventually ousted in February 2014 and is still wanted in Ukraine for high treason.
Manafort’s billionaire Russian client Deripaska was a supporter of Yanukovych.
House Intelligence Chair Nunes Says Intelligence Community Collected Information In The Trump Transition Team
On Wednesday House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R- California) gave an unexpected press conference where he claimed the U.S. intelligence community “incidentally” collected information in the Trump transition team.
“First, I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting” Nunes said.
Nunes later admitted that “none of this surveillance was related to Russia, or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.”
Nunes’ colleague on the House Intelligence Committee, Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) voiced his disapproval with Nunes’ partisan approach of taking the alleged intercepted information and sharing it with the White House and press corps without providing it to members of the House Intelligence Committee.
Rep. Schiff tweeted: “Today, Chairman Nunes shared information with WH still withheld from our committee. He cannot conduct a credible investigation this way.”
Here is the statement that Rep. Schiff released in his tweet about Chairman Nunes:
Today, Chairman Nunes shared information with WH still withheld from our committee. He cannot conduct a credible investigation this way. pic.twitter.com/wwrp7H7JWC
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 22, 2017
On Monday the House Intelligence Committee held a hearing on Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election that involved FBI Director James Comey stating that the FBI is still investigating whether there was any coordination between people associated with the Trump campaign and the Russians.
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