Senate intelligence leaders pledge bipartisan Trump-Russia inquiry

WASHINGTON: The Republican chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday promised a thorough investigation into any direct links between Russia and Republican Donald Trump during his successful 2016 run for the White House.
Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Mark Warner, its top Democrat, pledged at a joint news conference that they would work together, in contrast with the partisan discord roiling a similar probe by the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. Burr was asked if the Senate panel wanted to determine if there was anything suggesting a direct link to Trump, and responded: “We know that our challenge is to answer that question for the American people.”
Trump’s young presidency has been clouded by allegations from US intelligence agencies that Russia sought to help him win, while connections between his campaign personnel and Russia also are under scrutiny. Trump dismisses such assertions and Russia denies the allegations.
The Senate committee intends to begin interviewing as many as 20 people, including Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and one of his closest advisers, beginning as early as Monday.
Burr served as a security adviser to Trump’s campaign but said he had not coordinated with him on the scope of the committee’s investigation. He insisted he could remain objective.
Burr declined to go along with the White House’s denial of collusion between the campaign and Russian hackers, who US intelligence officials believe favoured Trump in last year’s campaign at the expense of Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton. — Reuters

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