Trump says only crime is leaks ‘against us’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the probe into allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election (all times local):

9:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says that while he has the power to grant pardons, the only crime so far has been leaks against his administration.

Trump tweeted Saturday: “While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS.”

The Washington Post recently reported that Trump has inquired about his authority to pardon aides, relatives or even himself in connection with the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has long criticized leaks about the investigation and has urged authorities to prosecute leakers.

Next week, Trump’s eldest son, his son-in-law and White House adviser, and a former campaign chairman are to appear before Senate committees investigating Russian meddling.

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6:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is complaining about a Washington Post report that the Russian ambassador to the U.S. said he discussed election-related issues with U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions when the men met during the 2016 presidential race.

Trump tweeted on Saturday morning: “A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey’s, must stop!”

The Post on Friday cited anonymous U.S. officials who described U.S. intelligence intercepts of Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s descriptions of his meetings with Sessions, who was a Trump foreign policy adviser and now serves as attorney general.

The Department of Justice says Sessions stands by his previous assertion he never had conversations with Russian officials about any type of interference with the election.

____

3:15 a.m.

Congressional lawmakers say President Donald Trump’s eldest son and his former campaign chairman won’t testify publicly next week as part of the Russia election meddling investigation.

Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort are discussing undergoing a private interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The committee’s chairman, Chuck Grassley, and its top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, also say they are negotiating with Trump Jr. and Manafort about possibly turning over documents.

Both men face questions about attending a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 that was described to Trump Jr. in emails as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign.

Trump Jr. was told the lawyer had damaging information that could be used against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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