Russian Federation probe looms over Coats' bid to become national intelligence director

On Monday, Nunes made clear that the investigation would have a clear focus on leaks from the intelligence community that lead to former-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's resignation.

President-elect Trump denied his campaign had contacts with the Russian government, accusing the U.S. intelligence agencies as well as the Obama administration of hyping the story about his Russian ties to sabotage his administration.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was forced to resign as Trump's national security adviser last month after The Washington Post revealed that he had discussed USA sanctions against Moscow with the Russian ambassador to the US before Trump entered the White House ― and subsequently lied to the media and to Vice President Mike Pence about the contents of their discussions.

The report says information came from multiple US allies, including Britain and the Netherlands, describing meetings between Russian officials and Trump associates that took place in European cities. Flynn initially told Vice-President Mike Pence and other Trump advisers that he did not discuss sanctions with the envoy during the transition, though it was later revealed that he did.

The committee, which has been probing contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, said in a statement that Nunes and Schiff had agreed on a classified six-page document laying out the scope of their investigation. "It's too early. Special counsel only applies to a criminal investigation", Gowdy said, adding that the FBI investigates crimes, not Congress. He did not disclose those discussions to lawmakers when asked what he would do if he came across evidence of communications between members of the Trump team and the Russian government during the campaign.

United States intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation sought to influence the presidential election to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. However, it didn't address whether any members of the Trump campaign had participated in the effort.

Iraq takes another major district in western Mosul
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited Iraq and vowed that the U.S. will support Iraq in its fight against Islamic State jihadists. Another commander, Hisham Abdul Kadhem, said , "Right now, thank God, we're inside Mosul airport and in front of its terminal".

"You can not have somebody, a friend of mine Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee". He said he thought of the contacts as "appropriate" provided that "I felt I had something to share that didn't breach my responsibilities to the committee in an ongoing investigation".

Trump and members of his administration have pushed back on the report and any suggestion that his campaign colluded with the Russians.

Gingrich said Trump should "take a lesson from the past" by appointing a "very smart, independent person" to investigate.

Those congressional inquiries aren't good enough for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who had three demands regarding Sessions during his own news conference Thursday.

Others on the committee said the Armed Services Committee was not conducting any business that would have called for a meeting with Kislyak. Trump's focused on domestic issues in the face of a "consensus" against Russian Federation that's too strong to overcome and "the best news is no news", he said.

Former senator Daniel Coats pledged on Tuesday that in his role as the nation's next spy chief he would work with Congress to investigate allegations that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 elections. The State Department sent Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin a cache of "secret" documents detailing Russia's efforts to intervene in elections around the world just days before Trump's inauguration on 20 January.

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