Former Trump aide calls Russia probe ‘comically fake’

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee investigating Moscow’s interference in last year’s election has asked several of President Donald Trump’s associates to turn over information about possible contacts with Russian officials or businessmen. Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page responded on Friday, calling the congressional probe a “comically fake inquiry” but pledging to cooperate.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Republican strategist Roger Stone and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are also among those the Senate intelligence committee has asked for information and documents related to its investigation.

Both the Senate and House intelligence panels along with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. FBI Director James Comey has said that the FBI probe is exploring the nature of any links between individuals associated with Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between Russia’s efforts and the Trump campaign.

The Senate committee would not disclose which individuals it is targeting, but in an email to The Associated Press, Stone said he intended to comply with the committee’s requests.

“I am eager, indeed anxious, to testify in full public session, have requested no immunity and am ready to go,” Stone wrote. He also said that he “rejects” the claim that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Guccifer 2.0, the unnamed hacker that has taken credit for breaking into the Democratic National Committee servers, are Russian assets. He said the U.S. government has offered no proof to support that assessment.

Stone communicated through Twitter direct messages with Guccifer 2.0. Stone has said that he was unaware at the time that U.S. officials believed the hacker had ties to Russia.

The letters the committee sent to Stone and Page, which were shared with the AP on Friday, were virtually identical. The…

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