The Latest: House intel panel asks Trump press aide for info
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the ongoing investigations into Russia interference in the 2016 election (all times local):
The House intelligence committee has asked a former Trump White House staffer for information in connection with its probe into Russian interference in the election.
Boris Epshteyn confirmed Tuesday that he had been contacted, saying in a statement that the committee had asked him to volunteer information.
He has asked the committee questions to better understand what information it is seeking and will determine whether he can reasonably provide it.
Epshteyn, who grew up in Moscow, worked a short time in the White House press office. He left in March and now works as a political analyst for right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will provide some documents to the Senate intelligence committee as part of its probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
A person close to Flynn says he will turn over documents related to two of his businesses as well as some personal documents the committee requested earlier this month. The person says Flynn plans to produce documents by next week.
Flynn’s decision comes after he invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination in declining an earlier request from the committee. Flynn’s attorneys had argued the earlier request was too broad and would have required Flynn to turn over information that could have been used against him.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Flynn’s private interactions with the committee.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says the allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election are “fiction” invented by the Democrats in order to explain their loss.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Putin reaffirmed his strong denial of Russian involvement in the hacking of Democratic emails. The interview was recorded during Putin’s Monday trip to Paris and released Tuesday.
He said the claims of Russian meddling are driven by the “desire of those who lost the U.S. elections to improve their standing by accusing Russia of interfering.”
Putin added that the “people who lost the vote hate to acknowledge that they indeed lost because the person who won was closer to the people and had a better understanding of what people wanted.”
Trump made a similar claim in a tweet early Tuesday.
President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, says he has received — and rejected — a request for information from the House intelligence committee as part of its ongoing investigation into Russia’s election meddling.
Cohen is a former Trump Organization executive who served as a cable television surrogate for the Republican during the presidential campaign.
The House intelligence committee’s request for information from Cohen came as the investigators continued to scrutinize members of Trump’s inner circle.
Cohen tells the AP he declined the request because it was “poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered.”
President Donald Trump says Russian officials “must be laughing at the U.S.”
U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Moscow tried to meddle in the 2016 presidential election by hacking Democratic emails. A special counsel is now investing whether Trump’s associates may have colluded with Russia during the campaign.
Trump tweeted Tuesday: “Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News.”