Russian intelligence 'recorded discussing influencing Donald Trump'

The intelligence panels want Flynn to provide information on whether there was Russian interference in the 2016 US election and whether there was collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.

Next to go was FBI Director Comey, who Trump fired after he refused to cease his probe, and then told the Russians that he was a "nut job".

Last week, CNN published a report alleging that intercepted phone calls showed Russian officials bragged about influencing Flynn and by extension Trump's administration.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says in an interview on CNN that the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent his committee's staff a two-sentence email saying it would not be turning over the materials now that the Justice Department has appointed a special counsel.

Despite this new information, The Times said it still remains unclear whether the Russian officials had attempted to follow through on their implication and influenced Manafort and Flynn.

Citing three current and former USA officials familiar with the intelligence, the newspaper said the conversations focused on Paul Manafort, then the Trump presidential campaign chairman, and Michael Flynn, a retired general who was then advising Trump.

On Tuesday, Brennan shared that he "was concerned by a series of suspicious contacts between Russian government officials and Mr. Trump's associates". Replying to the Washington Post story, the White House said it would not "confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals".

American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence.

On May 18, Reuters reported that Flynn and other advisers to Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, citing current and former USA officials.

ABC News, which first reported on Page's planned testimony, said he would testify before the House panel on June 6.

Mr Trump has dismissed talk of Russian interference in the election as "fake news", insisting there was no contact between his campaign and Russian officials.

The attempts to compel Mr Flynn to produce documents were another sign of the intense focus on Mr Trump's former national security adviser, who was sacked in February after the White House said he misled administration officials, including vice president Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russian officials.

Back home, the Director of National Intelligence and Director of the National Security Agency testify today separately.

There are several ongoing investigations on Capitol Hill into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation, in the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and the House Intelligence and Oversight Committees.

He also told reporters the committee was trying to obtain an audio recording of any conversation between Trump and Comey, or Comey's notes on his meeting with the Republican president in January.

  • Leroy Wright