dglobalnews.com Netherlands warned U.S. about contacts between Russian Federation and Trump
Published: Fri, March 03, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Netherlands warned U.S. about contacts between Russian Federation and Trump

The Times reporting is gleaned from more than a half-dozen current and former officials, who say the directive did not come from President Obama himself.

On Wednesday night, the House committee released a bipartisan statement outlining the scope of its investigation to include Russian cyber activity and other "active measures" directed against the USA and counterintelligence concerns related to Russia and the 2016 US election.

The memo, which was sent to White House staff on Tuesday, comes after Senate Democrats last week asked the White House and law enforcement agencies to keep all materials involving contacts that Trump's administration, campaign and transition team - or anyone acting on their behalf - have had with Russian government officials or their associates.

The three administration officials who confirmed that White House staffers were instructed to comply did so on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the counsel's office memo publicly.

"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. "There continues to be no there, there", Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said.

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The New York Times published a staggering report Wednesday evening on the Obama administration's extraordinary and extensive effort in the waning days of the Obama presidency to preserve and distribute intelligence it had uncovered on Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation. The FBI is now investigating Russia's election meddling and Trump ties to Russian Federation.

But a flood of reporting and leaks from inside the White House have raised serious questions about the president's relationship with Russian Federation, and it's increasingly clear that an independent investigation will be necessary.

On Monday, Nunes made clear that the investigation would probe leaks from the intelligence community that led to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's resignation.

Flynn resigned last month after admitting that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Although it's not improper for an incoming administration to hold meetings with foreign ambassadors, the NY Times makes pointed mention of how "all meetings between Trump associates and Russians are now significant". In one instance, the State Department sent a cache of documents marked "secret" to Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland days before the January 20 inauguration.

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