The Latest: Schumer calls on Republicans to back Mueller



Updated 9:53 am, Sunday, March 18, 2018



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the dismissal of Andrew McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election (all times local):

10:20 am.

The Senate’s top Democrat is calling on congressional Republicans to stand behind special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.



In a statement Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York condemned Trump’s suggestion that Mueller’s investigation be shut down.

Schumer says “Republican colleagues, particularly the leadership” need to make it clear that “firing Mueller is a red line for our democracy that cannot be crossed.”

Trump complained anew in a tweet late Saturday that the Mueller probe was a “witch hunt” and “should never have been started in that there was no collusion.”

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10:10 a.m.

A Republican senator is dismissing President Donald Trump’s suggestion that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s GOP campaign be immediately concluded.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma says he believes the probe needs to “bring out the facts.”

He tells ABC’s “This Week” that Trump is clearly frustrated, but the “best thing the special counsel can do is finish the investigation and gather all the information that’s needed to come to a conclusion, so the American people can make their own decision.”

In a tweet Saturday, Trump complained the Mueller probe “should never have been started in that there was no collusion.”

Lankford says that the Mueller probe has uncovered meaningful information about Russian interference in the 2016 election and that Mueller appears be to acting appropriately.

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9:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is reviving concerns that the special counsel team investigating Russian election interference may be biased against him.

Trump tweeted Sunday: “Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!”

The tweet marks one of the first times that Trump has mentioned special counsel Robert Mueller by name.

Trump allies previously have questioned whether Mueller can lead an unbiased probe because some of his investigators have made campaign contributions to Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton. Mueller is a former FBI director appointed by Republican President George W. Bush.

Other Trump backers have noted that Mueller interviewed with Trump to serve another term as FBI director. Trump instead nominated Christopher Wray to lead the bureau.

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8:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is raising doubts about whether former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe kept personal memos outlining McCabe’s interactions with the president.

McCabe was fired Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Associated Press is reporting that McCabe’s memos have been provided to special counsel Robert Mueller, who’s investigating possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Trump tweeted Sunday: “Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me. I don’t believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date. Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?”

McCabe has been the object of Trump’s ire over McCabe’s role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey — the FBI director who was fired last year by Trump — also kept memos of his dealings with Trump.

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12:25 a.m.

The onetime FBI deputy director who’s a James Comey confidant has been fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

And The Associated Press has learned that Andrew McCabe kept personal memos detailing interactions with President Donald Trump, and that those memos have been provided to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

The AP reports that the memos are similar to the notes compiled by Comey, who was fired last year as FBI director.

McCabe’s memos could factor into Mueller’s investigation as his team examines Trump campaign ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice.

McCabe’s memos include details of his own interactions with the president. They also recount different conversations he had with Comey, who kept notes on meetings with Trump.

That’s according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation who wasn’t authorized to discuss the memos publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

— By Associated Press writer Eric Tucker



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