WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the investigation into alleged interference by Russia in the 2016 election (all times local):
Several hundred protesters greeted House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes (NOO’-nehs) on a visit to his home state of California.
Nunes spoke Friday to the Ag Lenders Society at a private gathering in Fresno. He did not speak to protesters or media and was ushered in and out of the building.
Nunes has been accused of being too close to President Donald Trump’s administration while his committee is conducting an investigation into the Trump presidential campaign’s possible contacts with Russia.
About 300 people protested on the sidewalk outside the event, which was closed to media.
One sign read, “Congressman Nunes, we need a guard dog not a lap dog.”
Another said, “Get out of bed with Trump.”
A man shouted through a megaphone, “Come out and play, Nunes, you coward.”
The House intelligence committee’s top Democrat says materials he viewed at the White House Friday were “precisely the same” as the information provided to his Republican counterpart last week.
Rep. Adam Schiff says the White House has not explained why the materials were shared with only one member of the committee, chairman Devin Nunes.
Last week, Nunes said he had seen new information from an unnamed source that raised troubling questions about the dissemination of Trump associates’ communications. He did not disclose at the time that he viewed those materials at the White House.
On Thursday, the White House invited Schiff to see the material. The invitation came only after news reports that White House officials helped Nunes access the secret reports.
The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee says it’s too early to consider an immunity deal for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser.
Rep. Adam Schiff says that Michael Flynn even discussing possible immunity in exchange for protection from prosecution is a “grave and momentous” step because of the seniority of his former position.
Schiff says the House intelligence committee is interested in hearing Flynn’s story, but there would have to be coordination with the Senate intelligence committee and the Justice Department on the terms.
The House and Senate intelligence committees and the FBI are investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. The probe includes scrutiny of Flynn’s ties with Russia.
The chief spokesman for President Vladimir Putin says relations between the United States and Russia are at a very low ebb, perhaps exceeding Cold War-era hostility between Washington and Moscow.
Dmitry Peskov tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” that reports of Russian meddling in America’s election amount to “fake news.” Asked by anchor George Stephanopoulos if there is a “new Cold War,” Peskov replied, “Well, maybe even worse.” He said much of the current chill was caused by the Obama administration’s decision to expel Russian diplomats and confiscate property because of alleged hacking against American political institutions.
Peskov also said Friday that Russian officials aren’t worried about what might emerge from any congressional testimony under immunity by ousted U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying there is “no evidence at all” of any improprieties.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says it’s important for congressional investigators to get an idea of what information Michael Flynn has before considering whether to grant him immunity.
Pelosi tells NBC’s “Today Show”: “We don’t want people to take an immunity bath at the Congress so that the Justice Department cannot make the case they may want to make against him.”
Pelosi claims she’s not thinking yet about whether Flynn’s testimony could tie President Donald Trump to the Moscow government, and its alleged attempts to influence voters last year.
She says, “I really don’t want to think that it’s about Flynn to get the president. This is about Flynn and Flynn.”
President Donald Trump says his former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, is right to ask for immunity in exchange for talking about Russia.
Trump tweeted early Friday: “Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”
Flynn’s attorney said Thursday that the retired general is in discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees on receiving immunity from “unfair prosecution” in exchange for answering questions.
Flynn was fired from his job as Trump’s national security adviser after it was disclosed that he misled the vice president about a conversation he had shortly after the election with the Russian ambassador.
Flynn’s ties to Russia have been scrutinized by the FBI and are under investigation.
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