‘RUS­SIA PLANNED

NYT re­port states Moscow tried to in­flu­ence him via three US of­fi­cials

New Straits Times - - World -

WASHINGTON

SE­NIOR Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence and po­lit­i­cal of­fi­cials dis­cussed how to in­flu­ence Don­ald Trump through his ad­vis­ers, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion gath­ered by Amer­i­can spies last sum­mer, The New York Times re­ported on Wed­nes­day.

Cit­ing three cur­rent and former US of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with the in­tel­li­gence, the news­pa­per said the con­ver­sa­tions fo­cused on Paul Manafort, then the Trump pres­i­den­tial cam­paign chair­man, and Michael Flynn, a re­tired gen­eral who was then ad­vis­ing Trump.

US con­gres­sional com­mit­tees and a spe­cial coun­sel named by the Justice De­part­ment this month are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether there was Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 US elec­tion and col­lu­sion be­tween Trump’s cam­paign and Rus­sia.

The con­tro­versy has en­gulfed Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion since he fired Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (FBI) direc­tor James Comey two weeks ago amid the agency’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of pos­si­ble Rus­sia ties.

Moscow has re­peat­edly de­nied the al­le­ga­tions and Trump de­nies any col­lu­sion.

The re­port was the lat­est in­di­ca­tion of the depth of con­cerns in the US in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity about

Rus­sian ef­forts to tip Novem­ber’s elec­tion to­wards Trump as he bat­tled Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

On Tues­day, former Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency (CIA) direc­tor John Bren­nan told law­mak­ers he had no­ticed con­tacts be­tween as­so­ciates of Trump’s cam­paign and Rus­sia dur­ing the cam­paign and grew con­cerned Moscow had sought to lure Amer­i­cans down “a trea­sonous path”.

Ac­cord­ing to The New York Times, some Rus­sians boasted about how well they knew Flynn, who was sub­se­quently named Trump’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser be­fore be­ing dis­missed less

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