Russians discussed how to influence Trump via aides

Russians discussed how to influence Trump via aides

US spies collected information a year ago revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over US President Donald Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former US officials familiar with the intelligence.

"We will be following up with subpoenas, and those subpoenas will be created to maximize our chance of getting the information that we need", Representative Adam Schiff told journalists at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

Flynn, a top adviser to candidate Trump before becoming national security adviser, was paid more than $33,000 in 2015 to speak at a Moscow gala where he was seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his testimony, Mr Brennan said it became clear last summer that Russian Federation was attempting to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, and that he warned Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia's FSB security service that such interference would hurt the relationship with Washington.

Mr Brennan's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee gave a much clearer view of how seriously U.S. intelligence took the Russian threat, and why the Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating it in July a year ago, well before the country was aware of the allegations.

A day earlier, former CIA director John Brennan told a House committee that he had seen intelligence that "revealed contacts and interactions" between Russian officials and Americans "involved" in the Trump campaign.

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page said he'll testify in a closed-door meeting before the House Intelligence Committee.

ABC News, which first reported on Page's planned testimony, said he would testify before the House panel on June 6.

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The committee has tried another way to receive the documents by issuing two subpoenas for two of Flynn's former businesses. He agreed to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees in late March in exchange for immunity from prosecution, but neither committee has agreed to that so far.

The FBI also informed a House committee that it would not be complying with a Wednesday deadline to turn over memos written by former FBI director James Comey detailing his discussions with President Donald Trump.

He was forced to resign after 24 days when information surfaced that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

"I know what the Russians try to do", he told the committee.

One memo reportedly shows Mr Trump pressuring Mr Comey to shut down the bureau's investigation into Mr Flynn's Russian Federation ties.

The FBI has collected data on computer bots, programs that perform repetitive functions like searches, allegedly linked to Russian Federation that helped target and push negative information on Hillary Clinton and positive information on Donald Trump through Facebook and other social media, the officials say.

Schiff declined to comment specifically on what financial information the committee was obtaining, but speaking in general terms, he noted that one tactic Russians use to influence foreign nationals is financial entanglement.

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