WASHINGTON DC: US President Donald Trump faced uncomfortable new questions Sunday approximately his dating with Vladimir Putin no matter his indignant dismissal of a record that he has kept top aides inside the darkish approximately his non-public conversations with the Russian chief.

Republican lawmakers generally defended the president, saying he were tougher on Russia than his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, but a few had questions.

“I want to find out a little bit greater about what occurred there,” said Senator Ted Cruz, on NBC’s “Meet the click.” “I need to study more than simply the allegations inside the press.” but he said most individuals out of doors of Washington were now not interested in the subject.

The publish mentioned that Trump has gone to uncommon lengths to maintain his non-public talks with Putin mystery, withholding information from senior officers and at one point even taking away his very own interpreter’s notes.

That account accompanied every other in The new york times that the FBI became so alarmed after Trump fired director James Comey in can also 2017 that it opened a counterintelligence investigation into whether he turned into acting on Russia’s behalf.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a outstanding Republican, advised “Fox information Sunday” that he does not agree with the times, however added that “if this surely did show up, Congress wishes to recognize about it.” Trump, asked in an interview with Fox information overdue Saturday, “Are you presently or have you ever ever worked for Russia,” replied: “I assume that’s the most insulting issue I’ve ever been requested.”

“I’m not retaining something below wraps, I couldn’t care less. I imply, it’s so ridiculous,” he advised Fox news host Jeanine Pirro, with out directly denying the publish story. White house press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a assertion calling the put up tale “so outrageously misguided it doesn’t even warrant a response.”

Democrats weren’t convinced, but. “you understand, there’s so many questions raised,” stated Senator Dick Durbin, a pinnacle Democrat, on NBC’s “Meet the click.”

“Why is he so chummy with Vladimir Putin, this guy who's a former KGB agent, never been a chum to america, invaded our allies, threatens us round the arena, and attempts his damndest to undermine our elections, why is this President Trump’s first-class buddy? I don’t get it.”

John Delaney, a Maryland Democrat who has introduced a run for the White residence, known as Trump’s behavior towards Russia “pretty suspicious,” including, “We haven’t had a president who has been as supportive of Vladimir Putin in decades.”

And Adam Schiff, the head of the residence Intelligence Committee, tweeted that Democrats at the committee had sought remaining yr to gain interpreters’ notes or testimony about Trump’s private meeting with Putin in Helsinki, but Republicans voted them down.

“Will they be a part of us now? Shouldn’t we discover whether our president is certainly putting ‘the usa first?'” he asked. Inside the Fox news interview, Trump said he did not care if information of the July 2018 assembly have been made public.

“all of us could have listened to that meeting, that assembly is up for grabs.”

The reports come as special recommend Robert Mueller’s investigation looms large within the history, punctuated by means of guilty pleas, convictions and indictments of former Trump associates.

those consist of his former country wide security consultant Michael Flynn; former Trump marketing campaign chief Paul Manafort; and Trump’s former non-public legal professional Michael Cohen.

Flynn pleaded responsible to mendacity to investigators about his Moscow ties. Manafort changed into convicted of economic crimes associated with political work he did in Ukraine before the 2016 election as well as witness tampering. Cohen changed into sentenced to 3 years in jail for multiple crimes, along with lying to Congress.

Cohen, who has agreed to testify earlier than Congress on February 7, has disclosed that he negotiated to build a Trump motel in Moscow up until his boss’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate in 2016.

Manafort, meanwhile, has admitted to sharing polling statistics with a Russian in the course of the 2016 presidential race, according to a courtroom filing inadvertently made public via his lawyers. CNN said that the meant recipients were two seasoned-Russia Ukrainian oligarchs.
Manafort has denied lying to investigators approximately his dealings with the Russian, Konstantin Kilimnik, a political representative with alleged intelligence ties, claiming he simply forgot details throughout the tense marketing campaign.

Trump has again and again denounced the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt,” denying any collusion with Russia’s try to sway the 2016 election.

Mueller has been anticipated to wrap up a document on his findings quickly. But the grand jury impaneled to hear proof has been prolonged past its unique 18-month mandate, suggesting investigators have extra paintings to do.

because the Mueller investigation nears an obvious quit, Democratic Senator Mark Warner told CNN that the query of whether Trump ever worked on the Russians’ behalf is critical — the probe’s “defining query.”