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Trump denies collusion after major revelations in Russia probe

Saturday, December 08, 2018

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WASHINGTON,United States(AFP) — US President Donald Trump on Saturday again denied that his presidential campaign colluded with Russian operatives, but made no comment on claims that he directly organised hush payments to ward off a possible sex scandal during his White House run.

Trump took to Twitter, his favourite means of communication, to address the multiple court filings that dropped on Friday in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's sweeping investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over US$30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!" the president said.

But while the filings did not appear to reveal evidence of collusion, they did offer a wealth of new information about what Mueller's team is looking into.

Federal prosecutors directly implicated Trump in efforts to buy the silence of two women who claimed they had had affairs with him, saying he directed his then-attorney Michael Cohen to offer them hush money.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law in connection with the payments.

They also said that Cohen was in contact with a Russian national as far back as November 2015 — months before Trump formally won the presidential nomination — who offered "synergy on a government level."

And prosecutors accused Trump's onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort of multiple "lies" to investigators: about his contacts with administration officials even after striking a plea deal; about a debt payment he made; and about his interaction with a suspected Russian intelligence officer.

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