RUSSIA INVESTIGATION - Identity of Papadopoulos contacts confirmed

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Sam Clovis, a former Trump campaign national co-chairman and chief policy adviser, wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump dated Thursday that he does "not want to be a distraction or a negative influence".

A lawyer for Clovis, who is now a senior White House adviser to the Agriculture Department, did not respond to a request for comment.

"He's an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy", Trump said. "And if you have a political campaign that is intentionally meeting with a foreign power, that is something we all need to be very, very concerned about", said Ryan, of Howland, D-13th, during a Tuesday meeting with reporters at his Warren congressional office. An Instagram picture on Trump's account shows Sessions attended the meeting at which Papadopoulos made the suggestion.

Yet, in a reflection of the extent to which the Russian Federation investigation and his own role as a Trump campaign ally have dominated public attention, Sessions first appeared months ago before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own probe of election meddling.

Papadopoulos said he received the information in April 2016 that Russians had "dirt" on Clinton and thousands of emails - about three months before the WikiLeaks organization began releasing troves of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, according to the court filing. But the official described Papadopoulos as an adviser who was in contact with the campaign staff via email and not a familiar face around Trump Tower.

"The emerging information about his role in the Trump campaign's interactions with Russian Federation raises serious concerns".

Following Monday's revelation that his campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his contact with Kremlin-linked Russians, President Trump tried to distance himself from Papadopoulos, saying, "Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar".

Sessions replied: "I'm not aware of any of those activities".

"I'm not under investigation, as you know", Trump told the Times, which he has dubbed "failing" and "fake" before, but has done several interviews with.

The White House first learned one of its senior staffers met with the grand jury hearing the case presented by the special counsel into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 election not from the staffer but from media reports, sources with knowledge of the investigation tell ABC News.

"I don't think anybody should be spiking the football on this", he said.

The position for which Clovis was nominated has traditionally been held by individuals with advanced degrees in science or medicine.

During a March 31, 2016, foreign policy meeting with Trump and other campaign foreign policy advisers, Papadopoulos introduced himself to the group and stated "he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin", according a factual statement signed by Papadopoulos in connection with his guilty plea.

Sekulow says: "The president has not indicated to me or to anyone else that I work with that he has any intent on terminating Robert Mueller".

Senator Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who's chairman of the committee, said he needs to look at the issue before commenting. The email said Russian Federation was eager to meet with the candidate and have been reaching out.

The Justice Department did not comment.

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