Mueller Goes After Trump, Probes How Much He Knew On Russia Contacts: Report
Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team are investigating how much President Trump knew about his campaign members’ contacts with Russian officials and representatives during the 2016 race.
In their effort to determine if Trump or top aides knew of the extent of the campaign team’s contacts with Russia, investigators in Mueller’s team questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s election campaign, Reuters reported Saturday.
The focus of the questions put to Clovis by Mueller’s team has not been previously reported.
“The ultimate question Mueller is after is whether candidate Trump and then President-elect Trump knew of the discussions going on with Russia, and who approved or even directed them,” said one source. “That is still just a question.”
Clovis, who currently serves as the senior White House adviser to the Agriculture Department, has already testified before the grand jury for Mueller’s probe, and is said to be “cooperative” in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Clovis came under scrutiny in the Russia probe after it was revealed that a former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, George Papadopoulos, told him last year about his connections with Russian representatives that could arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At the time, Clovis told Papadopoulos that he would “work it through the campaign,” but praised his “great work.”
Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russians while he was working for Trump’s campaign.
Trump has repeatedly denied collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and has called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”
Court documents made public last week revealed that Papadopoulos told campaign officials during a March 2016 meeting attended by Trump that he had connections with Russians that could help arrange a meeting between the Republican presidential candidate and Vladimir Putin.