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Trump campaign panned by House Intel Committee for Trump Tower meeting

Key Trump campaign advisors showed ‘poor judgment’ by attending a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer, the Republican-run Intelligence panel found – in a document that came out just as the lawyer said she was reporting to Moscow. 

Even in a document panned by Democrats for focusing on the Hillary Clinton camp and FBI and intelligence failures under the Obama administration, the GOP-panel gave a written slap to participants in the infamous June 2016 meeting.

The report found that the trio of top Trump advisors who attended the meeting – Donald Trump Jr., former campaign chair Paul Manafort, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner,’ showed ‘poor judgement’ by attending the meeting.

President Donald Trump said he was ‘honored’ by the House Intelligence panel’s report

They attended in order to meet a Russian ‘who falsely purported to have damaging information on the Clinton campaign,’ the panel states flatly – a conclusion that emerged from emails between the president’s eldest son and the son of a Russian oligarch.

The Kremlin-linked lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, acknowledged in a new interview with NBC that she was feeding information to Moscow, despite earlier denials.

“I am a lawyer, and I am an informant,” she told the network. “Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general,” she said.

The Republican-run panel also pointed to contacts between the Trump camp and WikiLeaks – the transparency organization that the Intelligence Committee considers a hostile non-state actor countering the U.S. government.   

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, April 22, 2018. The Intelligence Committee faulted the decision by top Trump advisors to meet with her

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, April 22, 2018. The Intelligence Committee faulted the decision by top Trump advisors to meet with her

‘The Committee also found the Trump campaign’s periodic praise for and communications with Wikileaks — a hostile foreign organization — to be highly objectionable and inconsistent with U.S. national security interests,’ the report said. 

Even as it found ‘no evidence’ Trump associates stole Democratic Party emails or those belonging to her campaign chair during the campaign, it calls contacts with WikiLeaks, which published the emails, ‘ill-advised.’ 

Veselnitskaya’s comments about feeding information to Moscow air tonight on ‘NBC Nightly News’ and on MSNBC’s ‘On Assignment.’ 

 The report, which Trump called a ‘great honor’ and which found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, also traced efforts by the Trump Organization to open a Trump Tower Moscow.

Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, now under criminal investigation, exchanges repeated emails with an official whose name is redacted but has been reported in the past to be Russia-born Trump associate Felix Sater. 

Touting the deal, he writes at one point: ‘Buddy, our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it.’

The deal fizzled out in 2016, Donald Trump Jr. testified.

But that wasn’t before Cohen ‘attempted to reach out to members of the Russian government’ to promote the project.

But he ‘apparently did not havea ny direct points of contact 

He also writes that if ‘Putin gets on stage with Donald for a ribbon cutting for Trump Moscow … Donald owns the republican nomination,’ he writes. 

 President Trump said Friday he was ‘honored’ by the new Republican-run House Intelligence Committee report that exonerated his campaign from colluding with Russia.

The president brought up the report during a photo-op with German Chancellor Angela Merkel hours after the heavily-redacted document was released. The report, running more than 250 pages, found his campaign didn’t collude with Russia – though it also found a Trump Tower meeting with Russians showed ‘poor judgement.’

Donald Trump Jr. attended the meeting with a Russian lawyer who now says she sent information to Russia

Donald Trump Jr. attended the meeting with a Russian lawyer who now says she sent information to Russia

‘We were honored. It was a great report – no collusion which I knew anyway, no coordination, no nothing,’ Trump said from the Oval Office.

Then, without naming it, he went after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. ‘It’s a witch hunt that’s all it is. There was no collusion with Russia. You can believe this one.’

Then, turning to Merkel, Trump said, ‘She probably can’t believe it. Who can?’

Trump lauded the report with what to him is the ultimate attribute: strength.

‘The report was very powerful, very strong, there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian people,’ he said with emphasis. ‘As I’ve said many times. I’ve always said there was no collusion. But I’ve also said there has been nobody tougher on Russia than me,’ Trump said.

Then he called it ‘totally conclusive’ – although a separate, significantly more bipartisan Senate investigation continues, as does the Mueller probe, which has already obtained guilty pleas from several Trump associates.     

The bitterly divided Republican-run House Intelligence Committee released a redacted version of its final report on Russian ‘Active Measures’ Friday that exonerates the Trump campaign from ‘collusion’ with Russia.

President Donald Trump and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel take part in a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on April 27, 2018

President Donald Trump and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel take part in a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on April 27, 2018

The report found ‘no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government,’ but it also found ‘poor judgement and ill-considered actions’ on the part of both the Trump and the Clinton campaigns.

The reports findings repeatedly highlight information to back up Trump campaign officials, while faulting the Obama administration and federal investigators for some of their actions.

It calls the Russian campaign to affect U.S. politics ‘nothing novel,’ and calls the U.S. government response to the Russian campaign ‘slow and inconsistent.’

The Republican-run House Intelligence Committee released a redacted version of its final report on Russian 'Active Measures' that exonerates the Trump campaign from having any 'collusion' with Russia

The Republican-run House Intelligence Committee released a redacted version of its final report on Russian ‘Active Measures’ that exonerates the Trump campaign from having any ‘collusion’ with Russia

The report comes as special Robert Mueller’s team has racked up a series of guilty pleas and continues to investigate Russia’s actions. 

It got put out on a day that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-linked lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in 2016 changed story to say she was an informant to Moscow.

‘I am a lawyer, and I am an informant,’ she told NBC News, the New York Times reported. ‘Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general.’

The report found ‘no evidence’ that Donald Trump’s pre-campaign business dealings constituted collusion. The Mueller probe is investigating efforts to build a Trump Tower Moscow.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-linked lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in 2016, changed her story to say she was an informant to Moscow

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-linked lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in 2016, changed her story to say she was an informant to Moscow

Found FBI did not find any ‘deception’ during former security advisor Mike Flynn’s interview, although Flynn has plead guilty to lying to the FBI. 

The Republican panel found ‘no evidence’ Trump associates stole Clinton emails that got hacked during the campaign. But it calls contacts with WikiLeaks, which published the emails, ‘ill-advised.’

Trump has said repeatedly there was ‘no collusion’ with Russia. 

The report references the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016 where Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner ‘expected to receive’ derogatory information about Clinton ‘from Russian sources.’

But it noted they ‘did not ultimately obtain’ the information they sought. 

Donald Trump Jr. 'expected to receive' derogatory information about Clinton at a Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016, according to the report 

Donald Trump Jr. ‘expected to receive’ derogatory information about Clinton at a Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016, according to the report 

The report comes as special Robert Mueller's team has racked up a series of guilty pleas and continues to investigate Russia's actions 

The report comes as special Robert Mueller’s team has racked up a series of guilty pleas and continues to investigate Russia’s actions 

Meanwhile, the report hits the Clinton campaign, finding it used ‘cutouts’ – an espionage term – to pay for opposition research on Trump that was ‘obtained from Russian sources.’

That is a reference to the infamous Steele dossier compiled by ex British foreign intelligence officer Christopher Steele. 

One finding notes that Trump’s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, has been ‘indicted on several charges.’ But it notes that none of them relate to ‘allegations of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.’

Nevertheless, Manafort’s ties to the Pro-Moscow Ukrainian government remain a key area of interest for investigators, and money laundering charges against him relates to his work in that area.  

House Intelligence chairman Rep. Devin Nunes stepped back from overseeing the probe after reports on his trips to the White House. The report was released by Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas

House Intelligence chairman Rep. Devin Nunes stepped back from overseeing the probe after reports on his trips to the White House. The report was released by Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas

The 253-page report even blames the ‘establishment’ – not Trump – for the hiring of aides with ‘pro-Russia views.’

‘The Republican national security establishment’s opposition to candidate Trump created opportunities for two less-experienced individuals with pro-Russia views to serve as campaign advisors: George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.’ 

It mentions efforts by Trump officials to set up a ‘back-channel’ to Russia after the election – but argues this suggests the ‘absence of collusion’ during the campaign since if there really were collusion it would have been unnecessary. 

 The Republican-led House intelligence committee on Friday officially cleared the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign, releasing its final report over Democratic objections and ending its probe.

The investigation began with bipartisan promise but ultimately succumbed to factional squabbling. Republicans had already announced the main findings last month. An investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller is ongoing, as are probes led by the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees.

The House panel did find that Russia sought to sow discord in the U.S. through cyberattacks and social media. Some portions of the public report are redacted for national security reasons. Republicans say they will pressure intelligence agencies to be able to release more information.

The report’s conclusion is fiercely opposed by committee Democrats. They say the committee did not interview enough witnesses or gather enough evidence to support its finding.

Trump has repeatedly said there was ‘no collusion.’

In a statement, Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who has been leading the investigation, said he was ‘extremely disappointed with the overzealous redactions’ made by the intelligence agencies. He said many of the blacked out details include information already public such as witness names and previously declassified information.

Conaway said the committee had pledged to be ‘as transparent as possible’ with the report.

‘I don’t believe the information we’re releasing today meets that standard, which is why my team and I will continue to challenge the IC’s many unnecessary redactions with the hopes of releasing more of the report in the coming months,’ he said.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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