Trump's very private meetings are a huge favor to Putin

Many of the President's talking points were rehearsed: "A lot of the people that aren't getting their checks are letting us know, 'We don't care, you've got to solve the crisis at the border, '" he said of the 800,000 federal workers now furloughed due to the partial government.

One day after the New York Times made the claim, Pirro posed the question to Trump in an interview on Saturday night, asking: 'Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?'

President Trump has met with Vladimir Putin face-to-face five times so far, but even high-ranking members of his own administration are unsure exactly what they said to each other, reports the Washington Post.

The New York Times report Friday cited unnamed former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation. "I'm not keeping anything under wraps".

Trump's behavior in the days around Comey's May 2017 firing helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the probe, according to the newspaper.

A US House of Representatives committee will look into a newspaper report the FBI investigated whether President Donald Trump has been working on behalf of Russian Federation, against US interests, the panel's Democratic chairman says. By May 2017, both Comey and Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page told House investigators past year that by the time the Federal Bureau of Investigation director was sacked and special counsel appointed, there was no hard evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

"Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, nearly all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze!"

The Russia reports came as Trump plays up his presence at the White House during the standoff with Democrats over funding for his long-promised wall at the U.S. -Mexico border. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security.

During a phone interview on "Justice with Judge Jeanine", Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on Saturday evening that the stories were "all nonsense". They also sought to determine whether Trump was deliberately working for Russian Federation or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow.

Schumer said given Deripaska's potential involvement with Manafort, and since special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's ties with Russian Federation has not yet concluded, "It's all the more reason these sanctions must remain in place".

In addition to the Mueller probe, the Senate Intelligence Committee has been conducting a parallel investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

"Every time Trump meets with Putin, the country is told nothing".

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion. He says Deripaska himself and any companies he controls remain under sanctions. Deripaska has figured into the investigation due to his ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

"This is just at odds with how presidents have conducted diplomacy for decades and decades in the United States", said Washington Post reporter Greg Miller in a Sunday interview with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Weekend Edition.

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