United States officials raise alarm about 2018, 2020 election security


Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, revealed Wednesday that they are in the process of responding to Mueller's counter-proposal for a potential interview with the president.

That sounded to numerous president's critics like an official order to a member of his Cabinet to stop Mueller's work - or Trump would find someone willing to.

Donald Trump and his political and legal teams are mounting an extraordinary escalation of his attacks against the special counsel's investigation, an apparent sign of increased worry among his allies that Robert Mueller's findings could potentially be deeply damaging to the President.

Each time Trump communicates his desire to impede, end or decapitate (by firing Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein), he gives prosecutors one more piece of evidence to fit into the portrait they are painting of a besieged president trying to avoid embarrassing disclosures.

Is the tweet suggesting Attorney General Jeff Sessions shut down the Mueller investigation, in itself, obstruction of justice?

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has drawn the ire of Trump amid the investigation, said the United States should "never accept" Trump's demand for Sessions to end the probe.

The White House denied that Trump was actually directing his attorney general to end the "ridiculous" investigation.

"The president is not obstructing, he's fighting back", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. She insisted the president's tweets are an "opinion" - but not an order.

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There is nothing new about the president's frustration, agitation and anger at the special counsel investigation. Trump, who has offered multiple reasons via Twitter for choosing to fire Comey, told NBC News past year that Mueller's Russian Federation investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Moscow drove his decision to oust Comey.

Trump could bring the investigation to a halt if he wants to, Giuliani said. He adds, "Shockingly, the act called for is an illegal one, since Sessions [is] forbidden under federal ethics law from doing what Trump wants". But Trump, flustered by the probe, is reportedly pushing his team to keep negotiating under the belief he can clear himself of wrongdoing in an interview.

"I've said all along I see no evidence of collusion".

Slamming Trump, Bharara said even if it is "on the basis of a non-recusal by Mueller no less".

US intelligence officials are anxious Russian Federation and perhaps other foreign actors look to interfere in November's elections, just as Moscow did in 2016, members of President Donald Trump's national security team said Thursday.

But Democrats on Wednesday blasted the president's statement as an example of obstruction of justice.

Republicans who are eying tough midterm elections in November just wish the President would keep his attention on what they believe is a credible story they have to tell on the economy.

The quiet exchange of proposals between the two sides stands in sharp contrast to a series of broadsides that Trump and his aides have launched at Mueller and his investigation. The timing is interesting too - his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has just gone on trial, accused of failing to declare the extent of his business connections with pro-Moscow Ukrainian politicians. "At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!" he tweeted then. "Where is the Russian Collusion?"