Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

United States says Russian Federation meddling not 'robust' as 2016

United States says Russian Federation meddling not 'robust' as 2016

The Republican president has long complained about the criminal probe into his White House victory but Wednesday's comment appeared to be his most direct call for shutting down the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

President Donald Trump's legal team and special counsel Robert Mueller's office are reportedly closing in on a deal to allow Mueller to interview the president.

Amid a series of morning tweets, Trump wrote, "This is a awful situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further". That is what Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and other Democrats have asserted. After special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 United States election, Trump apparently considered firing Mueller.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump's tweets are simply the president "fighting back". "It's the president's opinion".

The difficulty in trying to use Trump's tweet to prove obstruction is that he may have posted it for several reasons, including to rally support among his political base, said Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor in NY who now lectures at Columbia Law School.

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Mr Trump has called claims of collusion "a hoax!". Earlier this summer, Parscale tweeted that Trump should fire Sessions in order to bring the Mueller probe to an end.

The President's lawyers had previously offered the special counsel written answers to obstruction questions and limiting the interview to matters before his presidential inauguration, which are largely confined to collusion.

Trump's lawyers oppose the in-person portion of the interview, according to the Times, and may be inclined to turn down the proposal - something that could trigger a subpoena battle with Mueller.

When Mueller first proposed a presidential interview in late December, Trump was keen to do it.

The former special agent, Asha Rangappa, said on CNN that Trump is "clearly feeling some heat", possibly out of fear about what might come out at this week's trial of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Whether those are Trump's own finances, the facts surrounding the Trump Tower meeting or other Russia-related activities, we do not know.

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Although CNN has reported that several members of Mueller's team have donated to Democrats, Russia's interference in the 2016 election has also been the subject of several Republican-led congressional inquiries.

The White House is feeling heat over election security, almost two years after intelligence officials determined that Russian Federation sought to influence the 2016 election by hacking Democrats and pushing phony news about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in an effort to benefit Trump.

In this Thursday, November 2, 2017, file photo, Paul Manafort, US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves Federal District Court, in Washington. "Congress must protect Mueller".

"There's no reason he shouldn't be able to voice that opinion", Sanders said, adding that the investigation should be completed "sooner rather than later". "I don't think they have any evidence he did anything wrong".

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