Comey dismisses House report that found no Russian Federation collusion

Gage Skidmore  Flickr

Gage Skidmore Flickr

US special counsel Robert Mueller had at least four dozen questions he wished to ask President Donald Trump about his ties to Russian Federation and possible obstruction as part of his ongoing investigation into Moscow's interference into the 2016 presidential election, according to The New York Times.

Mueller has indicted Manafort on money laundering and bank fraud charges related to his work for a Ukrainian political party several years before he joined the Trump campaign in April 2016.

Trump's lawyers have been negotiating terms of a sit-down, the Times reported - and the list of questions grew out of those negotiations, the Times reported.

Comey, who was sacked by Trump in May 2017, also said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the president should avoid an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Times obtained a list of questions it said Mueller's team read over the telephone to Trump's legal team, which compiled them into a list.

Mueller also wants to quiz Trump about whether he knew about Russian hacking during the campaign.

Other key questions revolve around Trump's relationships with his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, attorney general Jeff Sessions, and James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director that Trump fired in May 2017.

"The majority relate to possible obstruction of justice, demonstrating how an investigation into Russia's election meddling grew to include an examination of the president's conduct in office", NYT reports. Mr Flynn is now cooperating with Mr Mueller's investigators. According to multiple news reports on the matter, Trump had seen Sessions - who was the first sitting U.S. senator to publicly endorse him during his campaign - as someone who would protect him from the Russian Federation probe.

One question asks what discussions Mr Trump may have had regarding "any meeting with [Russian President Vladimir Putin]".

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, possible collusion with the Trump campaign and whether the president has unlawfully tried to obstruct the probe.

"Regarding the decision to fire Mr. Comey: When was it made? Why?" His lead lawyer, John Dowd, was trying to convince Mueller he did not need to interview Trump, the Times reported. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russian operatives during the presidential transition.

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