FBI opened probe into whether Trump working for Russians

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has denounced a New York Times report that the FBI launched an investigation into whether President Trump had been working on behalf of Russian Federation when he fired James Comey as director of the bureau in May 2017.

The New York Times, based on unnamed sources, said that such an investigation against Trump that was started by the FBI carried explosive implications, as the law enforcement agents sought to determine if the president was knowingly working for the Russians or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence.

Real estate mogul Donald Trump checks out sites in Moscow, Russia, for luxury residential towers in 1996.

The FBI investigation has since been taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is examining the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. It is unclear whether Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter, and some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it.

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"The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing", Giuliani said. They cited Comey's handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, a controversy that many believe helped Trump defeat the Democratic nominee in the 2016 presidential election.

The White House too has now released a statement on the issue calling the reports "absurd".

The inquiry was launched after Trump fired former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

The sources noted that Trump's own admission that he fired Comey in May 2017 over his refusal to end the investigation into his campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation was one of the motivations for the probe into the president's personal ties to Moscow.

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Ralf Speth, JLR's chief executive, placed part of the blame for the cull on the "continuing uncertainty related to Brexit". Ninety percent of its vehicles are diesel-powered, although it has been investing in new electric and hybrid vehicles.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that White House counsel Pat Cipollone is gearing up by hiring 17 new lawyers to the team to prepare to "prevent President Trump's confidential discussions with top advisers from being disclosed to House Democratic investigators and revealed in the special counsel's long-awaited report".

McCabe said he believed Comey was sacked because he refused to give in to Trump's requests to kill the probe. But, added to everything already known about contacts between Trump associates and Russian individuals - all of which were initially denied - this raises multiple red flags.

The grand jury empaneled by the special counsel has been extended for another six months, however, signaling that the probe may continue beyond the winter.

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Sections of the filing were meant to be redacted, but the text underneath several blacked-out lines could be copied and viewed. Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced on February 8 for his Virginia jury convictions for bank and tax fraud.

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