The Latest: Schiff says Trump aims to disparage Russia probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional probes into contacts between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia (all times local):
The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee says President Donald Trump is trying to “disparage” the FBI and congressional investigations into Russian election meddling.
Rep. Adam Schiff told The Associated Press on Tuesday that by undermining the credibility of the probes, “no matter what is produced (he) can say it’s a fake.”
Trump has said the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller has nothing to do with him.
Schiff told the AP that his committee is probing “anyone and everyone affiliated with the Trump campaign” and the interactions they had with the Russians. He would not say whether his committee has shared any evidence of criminal conduct with Mueller.
The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee isn’t saying whether the panel has shared information with the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. But Rep. Adam Schiff told The Associated Press on Tuesday that “there’s no free flow of information” between Robert Mueller and the House investigations.
But, Schiff noted that the committee is giving Mueller “some information that we think is important for him to have.” And if the House discovers evidence that could be “criminal in nature, that I think we need to share.” Schiff would not say whether that has happened so far.
Both panels are probing Russian interference and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign was involved.
The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee says the United States is “marginally better prepared” to prevent Russian interference in U.S. elections. But, Rep. Adam Schiff cautions that “the Russians are a very capable cyber-adversary.”
The California congressman made his remarks Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press.
Schiff said it’s impossible to say whether Russian interference in the election nearly a year ago is the reason Republican Donald Trump won the presidency over Democrat Hillary Clinton. He said the Russians will be “more clever” in how they hide their efforts to influence future elections.
But he said social media are on notice that they could be used by foreign governments to influence elections.
A former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign has told a House committee he had contact with a high-level Russian official while on a trip to Russia last year.
In a transcript released Monday by the House intelligence committee, Carter Page tells the committee he “briefly said hello to” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich when he traveled to Russia for a speech. Page also tells the panel he had informed some members of the Trump campaign about the trip and he had planned to share information with them about what he had learned.
Page has often been contradictory about whom he met on the trip, but his testimony Thursday was under oath.
Page says he had no personal information about Russian election interference.