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Tag: Russia

Trump Lashes Out Over Leak of Questions in Mueller’s Russia Probe

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump called it “disgraceful” that someone leaked to the media more than four dozen questions that special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask him as part Russia investigation.

The New York Times reported Monday night that it received a copy of the questions after they were turned over to Trump’s lawyers. The questions range from what Trump knew about contacts with Russia during the 2016 presidential election to why he fired FBI Director James Comey.

“So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were ‘leaked’ to the media,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!”

In another tweet, Trump wrote, “It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened. Witch hunt!”

It’s unclear how the New York Times acquired the questions, but the newspaper said they did not come from Trump’s current legal team.

 

 

Mueller Wants to Ask Trump 49 Questions on Collusion, Russian Ties

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s meddling during the election, has more than four dozens questions that he wants President Trump to answer to determine whether he interfered with the probe or colluded with Moscow to undermine the democratic process.

The New York Times received a copy of the questions, which provide the best insight yet into Mueller’s expanding investigation.

The special counsel team handed over the questions to Trump’s lawyers as Mueller tries to convince the president to sit down for an interview under oath. 

While many of the questions touch on topics that have already been reported, some have never been made public, such as whether Trump was aware of anyone outreach by his presidential campaign, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, to Russia for help during the election.

The questions range from the president’s motivation for firing FBI Director James Comey to any discussions Trump had with his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, about a real estate deal in Moscow. Mueller also wants to ask Trump if he was aware if his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, tried to create a back channel to Russia.

One question focuses on whether Trump had any contacts with Roger Stone, a political adviser who suggested he had inside information about the hacking of Democratic emails.

Whether Mueller gets to ask those questions to Trump remains unknown. While the president said he wanted to sit down for an interview, his attorneys have advised him not to and privately expressed concern that he will commit perjury.

Comey Slams House Intel Report on Collusion, Says Trump Has No Credibility

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey slammed a House intelligence Committee report by Republicans that concluded President Trump’s campaign didn’t collude with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017, also said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the president should avoid an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.

“I have serious doubts about his credibility,” Comey said.

Comey, who is doing a round of interviews to publicize his new memoir, added: “Sometimes people who have serious credibility problems can tell the truth when they realise that the consequences of not telling the truth in an interview or in the grand jury would be dire, But you’d have to go in with a healthy sense that he might lie to you.”

Comey called the GOP-authored report on its Russia investigation “a political document,” saying the probe “wrecked the committee.”

Trump hailed the 253-page report Friday as vindication that the special counsel investigation is a “total Witch Hunt.”

Comey accused the president of “an effort to undermine the credibility of the investigation that the special counsel’s conducting.”

House Panel Says ‘No Evidence’ of Trump-Russia Collusion, Drawing Scathing Rebuttal from Dems

Members of the House Intelligence Committee. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee on Friday released a highly redacted, final report on its one-year Russia investigation, saying it found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

But Democrats, in a scathing rebuttal, accused Republicans of drawing a premature conclusion in a “a systematic effort to muddy the waters and to deflect attention away from the President.”

Trump seized on the report to amplify his assertion that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should end.

“Just Out: House Intelligence Committee Report released. ‘No evidence’ that the Trump Campaign ‘colluded, coordinated or conspired with Russia,’” Trump wrote. “Clinton Campaign paid for Opposition Research obtained from Russia- Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!”

The final report closes what has been a politically contentious investigation with little agreement between Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans did conclude Russia sought to sow discord ahead of the election by launching cyber attacks and propaganda campaigns on  social media.

The Senate judiciary and intelligence committees are conducting their own investigations, as is Mueller, who so far has landed indictments against more than 20 people and entities.

Trump Lashes Out at FBI and Justice Department on Fox & Friends

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump lashed out at the FBI and Justice Department and even threatened to intervene in the Russia investigation in a rambling, half-hour interview on “Fox & Friends.”

Trump angrily castigated the Justice Department, saying it should be investigating his enemies, not him.

“I am very disappointed in my Justice Department,” Trump said, adding that it’s an “absolute disgrace” that the FBI is investigating his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Trump cited the FBI searches as proof that he is being set.

“That’s not the FBI; that’s a fix,” Trump said.

Trump also said he may back out of his pledge to stay out of the Justice Department investigation.

“I have decided that I won’t be involved. I may change my mind at some point, because what’s going on is a disgrace,” he said.

Raising concerns that he may fire special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump called the Russia investigation a “witch hunt with people in the Justice Department who shouldn’t be there.”

Trump once again congratulated himself on firing then-FBI Director James Comey.

“I did a great thing for the American people by firing him,” Trump said. “Look, Comey is a leaker and he’s a liar and not only on this stuff — he’s been leaking for years.”

Mueller Confirms Manafort Raid Targeted Records on Trump Tower Meeting, Russian Oligarch

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

When FBI agents raided the home of Paul Manafort, the former head of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, last summer, a judge signed off on seizing records related to a previously undisclosed meeting between the campaign and Russian lobbyists at the Trump Tower in June 2016.

Agents walked out with tens of thousands of records, including documents related to a civil lawsuit over a drawn-out dispute with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, Bloomberg reports.

The scope of the search was revealed Monday in a court filing by Robert Mueller’s special counsel team that is investigating possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The disclosure is significant because it means Mueller is focusing on a potential collusion case against members of Trump’s campaign.

Deripaska, who is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, hired Manafort as a political consultant and invested $18.9 million with Manafort’s cable-television venture. Deripaska, the billionaire founder and majority shareholder of En+ Group, also paid Manafort $7.35 million in management fees.

When the deal went sour, Deripaska sued.

Deripaska was among the Russians penalized with sanctions last month by the Trump administration.

Manafort, who faces trial on numerous charges related to conspiracy and fraud in connection with his business relationship with pro-Russia, Ukrainian officials. Manafort has pleaded not guilty, while his longtime business partner has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation as part of a leniency deal in exchange for pleading guilty to some charges.

Flight Records Contradict Trump’s Alibi for Mysterious Moscow Visit in 2013

President Trump answering media questions on Air Force One. Photo via the White House.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump twice told then-FBI Director James Comey that a salacious report about him with hookers in Moscow could not possibly be true because he didn’t spend the night in Russia.

But flight records obtained by Bloomberg contradict the president’s claims and could pose a serious problem for Trump as the special counsel investigation advances. 

According to memos kept by Comey and turned over to Congress last week, the president insisted he was so busy he didn’t have time to sleep while in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

According to Bloomberg’s reconstruction of events, Trump flew from Asheville to Moscow on a Bombardier Global private jet owned by Phil Ruffin, his partner in the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas, the New York Times reported in January 2017. The plane arrived in Moscow at 6:15 a.m on a Friday and departed Russia at 3:58 a.m. on Sunday.

The records indicate Trump stayed overnight in Moscow between Friday and Saturday.

According to Comey, Trump was obsessed with discounting the “Golden Showers thing” and insisted he didn’t stay overnight in Moscow.

The allegations were detailed in a dossier about alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia by British spy Christopher Steele.

When Trump returned to New York from Moscow at 4:11 a.m. local time, he tweeted, “I just got back from Russia-learned lots & lots. Moscow is a very interesting and amazing place!”

Ultimate Loyalty Test for Cohen Who Said He Would ‘Take a Bullet’ for Trump

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal attorney and self-described “fix-it-guy,” said he would “take a bullet” for Donald Trump and “never walk away.”

But that was five months ago. Now Cohen’s loyalty is being put to the real test after FBI agents earlier this month raided his office, house and hotel room, seizing business records, emails and other documents, including correspondence with Trump. Federal investigators also are investigating a $130,000 payment that Cohen said he made to keep Stormy Daniels quiet about an affair she said she had with Trump in 2006. 

The president’s lawyers and advisers fears there is the “strong possibility” that Cohen, who has a wife and two children, will flip on Trump. His cooperation could be very valuable to prosecutors, including special counsel Robert Mueller, because few people, if any, know the inner-workings of Trump’s businesses and finances like Cohen, the New York Times reports. 

On Saturday, Trump lashed out at the New York Times on Twitter and said, “Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!”

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