Democrats mull subpoenas for interpreters amid reports of Trump secrecy about Putin

President Donald Trump speaks at a military briefing during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq

Trump seizes on bombshell New York Times story to attack 'witch hunt'

"Not only did I never work for Russian Federation, I think it's a disgrace that you even asked that question because it's a whole big fat hoax", Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to Louisiana. "It's just a hoax". No, he hasn't. Sure, sanctions have been imposed, but mainly at the behest of more principled administration figures or Congress. Trump also has denigrated US intelligence agencies' consensus of Russian interference in the 2016 election, he has called North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "obsolete", he has hastened Russia's hold on Syria and he even parroted Putin's lie about the Soviet Union's Afghanistan invasion, among other examples of being soft of Moscow.

The Post story says that Trump personally acted to prevent notes taken by his interpreter during one-on-one meetings with Putin from being shared with aides.

At least three different congressional committees have also been probing various aspects of Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Trump said he simply had a conversation with Putin, as he would with any world leader.

President Trump told reporters Monday morning he never worked for Russian Federation, faced with a New York Times report over the weekend that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation after he fired FBI Director James Comey to determine whether he worked, wittingly or unwittingly, for the Kremlin.

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That was reportedly passed to the current special counsel, Robert Mueller, but it isn't clear whether the counterintelligence question - Was Trump working on behalf of Russian Federation? - remains part of the broader investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

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The Times report published late Friday said in the wake of Comey's firing, "law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russian Federation against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation".

The discredited Federal Bureau of Investigation leaders are "known scoundrels", Trump told reporters. "I don't trust them as far as I throw them". Schiff and other Democrats tried to get that before but were blocked by Republicans, then the majority in the House.

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"I, for one, don't trust what I read in the New York Times", he said on Fox News Sunday.

It's not acceptable how little information many in the administration or in Congress have about what Trump and Putin discussed in Helsinki, Engel said. There has been a confusing and sometimes even alarming tendency on the part of President Trump to complement President Putin and to do things like his abrupt announcement of a withdrawal from Syria that led his own secretary of defense to resign, that has led many of us to question his closeness to and his affinity for President Putin. His actions have kept even senior government officials in his administration in the dark about what he's discussed during his sit-downs with Putin.

"Just to clarify, since you were Central Intelligence Agency director, did you have any idea that this investigation was happening?"

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