Published: Fri, March 03, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

House intelligence committee panel sets Russian Federation inquiry

Those leaks demonstrated that Flynn had more contact with Russian Federation before President Trump's inauguration than he had told even the vice president, including negotiations over sanctions many felt undermined the then still-active Obama administration.

What they did: U.S. officials included as much raw intel about the contacts and election meddling as possible into analyses, and raised specific topics in briefings knowing their comments would be archived.

The revelation comes as it has emerged on Wednesday that then-senator Jeff Sessions spoke twice a year ago with Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador, encounters he did not disclose when asked during his confirmation hearing to become attorney general about possible contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, the Washington Post reported citing justice department officials.

The FBI interviewed Flynn about the contacts days after the inauguration.

The official called the sit-down at Trump Tower in NY a "brief courtesy meeting".

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"The Intelligence Committee has been investigating Russian Federation for years and warning about the Putin regime's hostile worldwide actions, its aggression in cyber space, and its influential global propaganda campaigns", said Republican Representative Devin Nunes of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Trump's statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed - or its sources exposed - once power changed hands. Officials who spoke with the New York Times said those concerns have not yet been confirmed. "There continues to be no there, there", Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said.

The report notes that members of the Obama White House were intentionally leaving a trail so it couldn't easily be covered up by the incoming administration.

Both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are heading investigations into Russia's involvement in election hacking and surrounding matters.

The British and the Dutch, according to former anonymous American officials speaking to the Times, provided information on meetings between President Vladimir Putin's and Trump's associates in European cities. "When the intelligence community does that type of comprehensive review, it is standard practice that a significant amount of information would be compiled and documented".

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