Sessions Rejected Russian Proposal by Campaign Adviser, Source Says

The circumstances of Comey's firing are among many events being investigated by Robert Mueller, who was appointed as the Justice Department's special counsel to look into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Former Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis recently testified before that grand jury into his role on President Donald Trump's campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing renewed questions over how much he knew about Russian efforts to interfere with the USA election, after it was revealed this week that he attended meetings with a Trump campaign adviser who claimed to have extensive contacts with Russians.

In a letter to President Donald Trump, Clovis wrote that the "political climate" in Washington, DC "has made it impossible" for him to "receive balanced and fair consideration for this position".

"The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day", he wrote.

The White House says there are no plans to remove Mueller.

And regarding the Manafort indictment, he said, "And even if you look at that, there's not even a mention of Trump in there..."

The post for which President Trump has nominated his campaign co-chair - USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics - has traditionally been held by individuals with advanced degrees in science or medicine.

Trump had picked Clovis for the position despite him not having a background in science, and that lack of experience, alongside a history of racially charged and homophobic comments, made his nomination particularly controversial. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, along with lawyers Ty Cobb, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, advised Trump to be cautious with his public responses, but they were a private sounding board for his grievances, advisers said...

Clovis, a former conservative radio talk show host in Iowa who was a frequent guest on CNN during the election, became an early supporter of Trump's two years ago.

Papadopoulos said he received the information in April 2016 that Russians had "dirt" on Clinton and thousands of emails - about three months before the WikiLeaks organization began releasing troves of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, according to the court filing.

Mike Lavender, senior Washington representative for the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement that "emerging evidence of Clovis' potential involvement with the Trump campaign's Russian connections should be the final nail in the coffin for his confirmation". The White House has called Papadopoulos a low-level campaign volunteer.

Clovis tentatively was slated to have a November 9 hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee.

A source familiar with the investigation said Clovis was the campaign supervisor referenced in the court records.

"That was a fairly stunning event for both of us and it did highlight the problem more significantly than it had been before", Sessions said, referring to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.

A separate former campaign official said the national security team was assembled "to demonstrate that then-candidate Trump was becoming more informed on foreign affairs issues".


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