Trump preparing certified letter attesting to no Russia ties

Carolyn Kaster  AP

Lawyers for President Donald Trump said Friday that a review of his last 10 years of tax returns did not reflect "any income of any type from Russian sources", but their letter included exceptions related to previously cited income generated from a beauty pageant and sale of a Florida estate.

President Trump later fired Yates for refusing to enforce his travel ban.

The admission by the White House that Trump has retained a Washington law firm to defend him against allegations of irregular business and financial links with Russian Federation, came shortly after reports emerged that Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey.

The US leader has asked the unnamed Washington law firm to send a letter to a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee making clear he has no connections to the Kremlin, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

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Intelligence officials tell CNN that Clapper, as a matter of policy, would not be involved in an investigation of possible collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation because USA intelligence agencies are barred by law from probes involving U.S. persons.

Yates said she could not say if that happened in connection with Michael Flynn. The White House has denied this.

Earlier, following Monday's Senate judiciary subcommittee hearing on Russian interference in the United States election, Trump tweeted, "The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?"

Yates was joined at the hearing by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

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Obama also issued a warning about Flynn, telling Trump during their November 10 meeting not to hire him, NBC News and CNN reported on Monday, hours before the start of the Senate hearing. On Sunday, supporters tweeted using the hashtag #SallyYatesIsAPatriot. He took to Twitter to air grievances with the process. He will likely pass on the more sensitive questions, because the hearing is open, and refer to the declassified report that intelligence agencies published in January.

But he went on to say that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. "I had it in Moscow long time ago, but other than that I have nothing to do with Russian Federation", he said, referring to the pageant. "I want to know about what Clapper said, and I want to know more about Trump's business dealings". "It's, I think, fairly limited, because it's a - normally fairly high-level officials".

The Senate subcommittee is conducting one of several federal investigations into Russia's election tampering. "But it's a brazen interference with a criminal investigation". That committee also invited Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan to testify.

Screen grab from C-SPAN of Sen.

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"This is nothing new here", he told reporters at the Capitol.

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