Senator tells intel panel to 'follow the money'

Earlier in the day, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate intelligence committee accused Russian Federation on Thursday of mounting a campaign of "propaganda on steroids" seeking to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and listed several areas of concern about possible links to Republican Donald Trump's campaign.

Appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, national security expert Clint Watts said several Russians linked to the investigation into Kremlin disinformation activities had been killed in the past three months.

Russian Federation tried to hijack the U.S. democratic process, a senator investigating alleged interference in the USA election says.

Burr said that there had been "conversations" about interviewing Michael Flynn - who was sacked by Trump as national security adviser for misleading the vice-president over his contacts with the Russian ambassador - but his appearance is not confirmed.

The two senators announced a thorough investigation into the links between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump in during the electoral campaign, for which around 20 people will be interviewed, including Trump's son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner.

Burr said the committee was in constant negotiations with intelligence officials about access to additional documents.

His reply recalled what George H.W. Bush told Americans during his 1988 presidential election campaign, "Read my lips: No new taxes".

The Senate Intelligence Committee is holding its first hearing on the matter Thursday.

"An outside foreign adversary effectively sought to hijack our most critical, democratic process, the election of a president", said Sen.

Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Mark Warner, its top Democrat, pledged at a joint news conference that they would work together, in contrast with the partisan discord roiling a similar probe by the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.

He has reassured his committee members and the public that he'll not engage in the circus stunts in progress on the House intelligence panel, where the chairman's coziness with the White House has drawn calls for him to recuse himself. "The election is rigged" is a primary campaign put out by Russian propaganda up to the election", Watts said. When asked if Russian Federation interfered in the U.S. vote Putin said, "Read my lips: No".

Mr Putin has strongly denied allegations of Russian meddling, saying today that the "endless and groundless" accusations against his administration as "nonsense". He also said he is ready to meet with President Donald Trump at an upcoming arctic summit.

Democrats continue their calls for Republican Chairman Devin Nunes to step down - accusing him of protecting the White House.

Last week, Mr Nunes went straight to the White House after hearing allegations about surveillance of Mr Trump's team, rather than sharing them with Democrat colleagues on the panel.

  • Arturo Norris