BY MARY CLARE JALONICK and ERIC TUCKER
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is criticizing the Senate intelligence committee over its investigation into possible collusion between Russia and associates of the Trump campaign.
Trump said on Twitter Thursday: “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”
Leaders of the committee said Wednesday they have not determined, roughly nine months into their investigation, whether Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign to try to sway the 2016 presidential election.
The Republican committee chairman, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, said the committee has interviewed more than 100 witnesses as part of its investigation and that more work still needs to be done. Burr said: “The issue of collusion is still open.”
Burr, along with the panel’s top Democrat, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, provided the first major update on a congressional investigation that was launched the same month as President Donald Trump was inaugurated.
“The committee continues to look at all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion,” Burr said, adding, “I am not going to even discuss initial findings, because we haven’t any.”
Burr and Warner said that the committee has interviewed more than 100 witnesses, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. More than 100,000 pages of documents have been reviewed.
But the committee has yet to interview some witnesses related to the Trump campaign and a June 2016 meeting that Kushner, Manafort and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., held with Russians. The committee wants to interview Trump Jr. and everyone else involved with the meeting.
The lawmakers said that though they have reached no conclusion about whether the campaign colluded with the Kremlin — the question also at the heart of a separate criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller — their investigation has left no doubt about a multipronged Russian effort to meddle in American politics.
“The Russian intelligence service is determined, clever, and I recommend every campaign and every election official take this very seriously,” Burr said.
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