Pence says it’s time for Mueller to ‘wrap it up’

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON » Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence said Thurs­day he be­lieves it’s time for spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller to con­clude his in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 elec­tion and other po­ten­tial mis deeds by those in the pres­i­dent’s or­bit.

“In the in­ter­ests of the coun­try, I think it’s time to wrap it up.” Pence told NBC News fol­low­ing the re­lease of three Amer­i­cans held by North Korea.

Pence said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has “fully co­op­er­ated” with Mueller’s probe, in­clud­ing turn­ing over more than one mil­lion doc­u­ments. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has called the in­ves­ti­ga­tion a “witch hunt,” and his out­side coun­sel, for­mer New York mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani, has called on the Jus­tice Depart­ment to put an end to the probe.

Pence added: “I would very re­spect­fully en­cour­age the spe­cial coun­sel and his teamto bring their work to com­ple­tion.”

The vice pres­i­dent was pressed on the news about mil­lions of dol­lars in pay­ments from com­pa­nies to Trump’s per­sonal at­tor­ney Michael Co­hen.

Pence said that was a “pri­vate mat­ter” and “some­thing I don’t have any knowl­edge about.”

House Democrats re­lease Face­book ads

Democrats on the House in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee have re­leased more than 3,500 Face­book ads that were cre­ated or pro­moted by a Rus­sian in­ter­net agency, pro­vid­ing the fullest pic­ture yet of Rus­sia’s at­tempt to sow racial and po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sion in the United States be­fore and af­ter the 2016 elec­tion.

Most of the ads are is­sue-based, push­ing ar­gu­ments for and against im­mi­gra­tion, LGBT is­sues and gun rights, among other is­sues. A large num­ber of them at- tempt to stoke racial di­vi­sions by men­tion­ing po­lice brutality or dis­parag­ing the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment.

Some pro­mote Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump or Bernie San­ders, who ran against Hil­lary Clin­ton in the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial pri­mary. Few, if any, sup­port Clin­ton.

The in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee Democrats re­leased a sam­pling of the ads pur­chased by Rus­sia’s In­ter­net Re­search Agency last year, but they are now re­leas­ing the full cache of ads that Face­book of­fi­cials turned over to the panel af­ter ac­knowl­edg­ing in Septem­ber they had dis­cov­ered the Rus­sian ef­forts.

The re­lease of ads from early 2015 through mid-2017 does not in­clude 80,000 posts that the agency also shared. Some of the ads are par­tially redacted, part of an ef­fort by Face­book and the com­mit­tee to pro­tect un­sus­pect­ing peo­ple whose names or faces were used.

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