Putin Compares James Comey To Edward Snowden

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., left, listen as Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about his role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russia, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON -- The Latest on the investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign (all times local):

8:29 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says former FBI Director James Comey's acknowledgement that he had given memos of his conversations with President Donald Trump to a friend who leaked them to the media is "weird."

Speaking Thursday in live call-in show, Putin compared Comey's move to that of NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of secret documents from the National Security Agency. Putin added on a sarcastic note that Russia could grant Comey political asylum.

Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 when it gave him asylum, resisting U.S. pressure to extradite him.

Comey told Congress last week that he leaked his memos of his conversations Trump to a friend after a tweet by the president suggested he may have taped the conversations.

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8:13 a.m.

President Donald Trump is telling his Twitter followers that they are witnessing the "single greatest WITCH HUNT in American history."

The president didn't clarify what exactly he was referring to in the early morning tweet, however he has frequently described reports about possible ties between members of his campaign and Russia as a "witch hunt."

Trump writes, "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA" - the acronym referring to his campaign slogan, Make America Great Again.

Earlier Thursday, Trump tweeted that a new report suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller may investigate him for possible obstruction of justice after he fired FBI Director James Comey is a "phony story."

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7:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is taking to Twitter denounce reports that the Russia investigation is widening to examine whether he tried to obstruct justice.

In a tweet early Thursday, Trump said: "They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice."

The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking interviews with three Trump administration officials who weren't involved in Trump's campaign. Those officials are: Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Michael Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, the former NSA deputy director.

Accusations of obstruction arose last month when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey told Congress last week that he believed he was fired "because of the Russia investigation."

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4:15 a.m.

The special counsel appointed to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign is now examining whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice, The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening.

Accusations of obstruction arose last month when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey testified in a Senate hearing last week that he believed he was fired "because of the Russia investigation."

Comey also testified he had told Trump he was not under investigation.

The Post and The New York Times both reported that Mueller was seeking interviews with three Trump administration officials who weren't involved in Trump's campaign: Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Michael Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, the former NSA deputy director.

Jun 15, 8:42 AM EDTAP

 
 

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