The White House denied a report Thursday that said President Trump lobbied senior Republican senators to conclude the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
“The White House has been cooperative with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s inquiry and the President at no point has attempted to apply undue influence on committee members,” White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement.
Earlier in the evening, the New York Times reported that lawmakers and aides said Trump urged several senior Senate Republicans this summer to wrap up the Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe.
Trump reportedly requested Republicans, including Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., complete the investigation quickly.
“It was something along the lines of, ‘I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible,’” Mr. Burr said, according to the New York Times.
Burr said he told Trump, “When we have exhausted everybody we need to talk to, we will finish.”
Trump reportedly griped to McConnell that he wasn’t doing enough to conclude the investigation. Additionally, Trump asked Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., to “wrap up this investigation,” as they were flying on Air Force One.
The request Trump reportedly made of these Republicans is similar to what former FBI Director James Comey said Trump asked of him, according to his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June. Comey said Trump had requested he “let go” of investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
According to Shah, Trump “at no point has attempted to apply undue influence on committee members.’’ He claimed “there is no evidence of collusion and these investigations must come to a fair and appropriate completion.’’
On multiple occasions, Trump has refuted allegations that collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin occurred and claimed Democrats have used the allegations as a reason Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election.
Multiple House and Senate committees are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, along with Robert Mueller’s special counsel team.