WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Post is reporting that a current senior White House adviser is under scrutiny as part of an investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The newspaper is citing unidentified people familiar with the investigation. The adviser under scrutiny is not named, but described as someone close to Trump.
The Post says the revelation comes as the investigation appears to be entering a more open and active phase, with investigators conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas.
Current administration officials who have acknowledged contacts with Russian officials include Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The New York Times is reporting that President Trump told Russian diplomats that firing the “nut job” FBI director had relieved “great pressure” on him.
The newspaper cites the White House’s official written account of the Oval Office meeting. It says one official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.
Friday’s report quotes Trump calling ousted FBI Director James Comey “crazy” and “a real nut job.” It says the president then told Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador that he “faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Trump met with the Russians on May 10, the day after he fired Comey.
The president did not announce his pick for FBI director before leaving Friday on his first foreign trip. President Donald Trump has been narrowing a short list and interviewing candidates to replace FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired on May 9.
Trump boarded Air Force One Friday without making any comment about the future leadership of the law enforcement agency.
Trump had said Thursday he was “very close” to naming a replacement and that former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman was among his top choices.
The president departed Friday afternoon on a four-country, nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe.
He’d previously said he might announce his nominee before he left.