Mueller targets the White House, another Russian threat looms, and Trump flips on FISA: The latest in the Russia probe


FILE PHOTO - Then FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. on February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo
Robert
Mueller.

Thomson
Reuters


This week brought more drama and a slew of revelations in the
Russia investigation. President Donald Trump set lawmakers
scrambling when he blasted out an early-morning tweet about a
controversial surveillance law that he said was used to “so badly
surveil and abuse” the Trump campaign along with the “discredited
and phony Dossier.”

That dossier, an explosive collection of memos alleging ties
between Trump and Russia, also took center stage when Democratic
Sen. Dianne Feinstein unilaterally released the testimony of a
key figure in the Russia probe.

It also looks like special counsel Robert Mueller may be gearing
up to go after his biggest target yet. 

Here’s more on what you may have missed: 

  • Mueller sets his sights on 1600
    Pennsylvania Avenue
    :
    Trump’s personal defense
    lawyers are in talks with the special counsel about how to
    approach a possible interview request for the president.
    Business Insider also
    learned
    that Trump’s legal team is leaning on a 1994
    independent counsel investigation into a Clinton administration
    official as a roadmap to limit the scope of Mueller’s
    questioning in the event of an interview.
  • Trump refuses to commit to
    sitting down with Mueller
    :
    In an apparent
    departure from his remarks last year — during which he said he
    would be “100%” open to testifying under oath in the Russia
    investigation — Trump told reporters that he would “see what
    happens” if he’s asked to submit to an interview. He added that
    because there was “no collusion,” it would
    be “unlikely that you’d even have an
    interview.”
  • Trump’s FISA
    flip-flop
    :
    The president sent lawmakers into a
    frenzy when he criticized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
    Act just hours after the White House released a statement
    voicing its strong support for it. In a tweet, Trump accused
    the previous administration of using FISA to spy on his
    campaign during the election. He later amended his position,
    reportedly after House Speaker Paul Ryan spent half an hour
    explaining the difference between domestic and foreign
    surveillance to him.
  • The former spy who compiled the
    Steele dossier thought Trump was being
    blackmailed
    :
     Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of
    opposition research firm Fusion GPS, said in his testimony to
    the Senate Judiciary Committee that the former MI6 officer who
    put together the Trump-Russia dossier, Christopher Steele, went
    to the FBI last year because he was concerned that what he had
    learned about Trump’s alleged Russia ties “represented a
    national security threat.”  

  • Trump ramps up his attacks on
    the Russia investigation


    : After Sen. Feinstein
    released the Fusion GPS interview transcript, Trump lashed out
    at her and said in a tweet that “

    Russia & the world is laughing at the
    stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take
    control!” He also said during an interview with The Wall Street
    Journal that there was “no crime” and “no
    obstruction
    .” 

  • FBI deputy director Andrew
    McCabe urged staff to “hang in there” after Comey’s
    firing


    : McCabe, who became
    acting director after Comey’s dismissal, added in a
    memo: 

    “As men and
    women of the FBI, we are at our best when times are tough.
    Please stay focused on the mission, keep doing great work, be
    good to each other and we will get through this
    together.”

     

  • Russian hackers target the US
    senate
    :
    The hackers who breached the Democratic
    National Committee servers during the 2016 election are now
    laying the groundwork to infiltrate the Senate, a cybersecurity
    firm said. Researchers at the firm said that while the phishing
    emails sent out are not advanced, they could be “the
    starting point of further attacks that include stealing
    sensitive data from email inboxes.”
     

Natasha Bertrand and Sonam Sheth contributed to this
report. 

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