Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Head of Senate Russia probe: "The issue of collusion is still open"

The top portion of Facebook's Oct. 4 2017 New York Times The top portion of Facebook's Oct. 4 2017 New York Times
Javier Burns | 05 October, 2017, 00:41

Warner emphasized the need for "an organized, whole-of-government approach" to address further meddling, and he also said the committee is working with social media entities to deal with foreign efforts to spread false information throughout the internet.

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner echoed Burr's statement. Mark Warner, the intelligence committee's vice chairman - held the press conference Wednesday to discuss the progress the committee has made in its Russian Federation meddling investigation.

The dossier accuses the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia, and it asserts that Russian intelligence agencies have information about Trump's participation in sexual escapades in Moscow, something Trump has denied.

The committee is still investigating whether the Russians had any coordination with members of Trump's campaign, and he suggested that they were still examining just how Russians knew where to target social media spots.

Burr acknowledged that the investigation into Russia's alleged interference in last year's presidential election was taking a long time but said it was important to "get it right".

That report said Russian Federation waged a cyber and disinformation campaign to discredit Hillary Clinton, help Donald Trump's campaign, and undermine faith in the democratic process.

The Senate intelligence committee has said it has confidence in an USA agency finding earlier this year that Russian Federation intervened in the U.S. presidential election in an effort to skew the vote in Donald Trump's favour.

The committee has interviewed more than 100 witnesses as part of its investigation, including "everybody who had a hand" in an assessment on Russian meddling in the elections.

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Among those who have been questioned are former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as well as Mr Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.

"You can not walk away from this and believe that Russian Federation is not now active in trying to create chaos in our election process", Burr said.

Burr said Monday that he was opposed to releasing the advertisements publicly because he believes "no investigative body should be the source of sensitive documents, and I consider any document for this investigation sensitive".

Republican committee chairman Richard Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner have scheduled a news conference to disclose the conclusions they have reached and plans to prevent Russian meddling in future USA elections, according to sources familiar with their plans.

Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier, which Trump was told by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey contained salacious material about the businessman-turned-president.

"We have, on several occasions, made attempts to contact Mr. Steele, to meet with Mr. Steele", Burr said.

"Those offers have gone unaccepted", Burr said.

Burr ticked off the areas of possible collusion the committee had already probed, and also issued a blanket threat to future witnesses that they should testify voluntarily or face a subpoena.

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