Former Trump campaign adviser denies encouraging aide on Russian Federation dealings

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is once again under scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding his candor about Russia and the Trump campaign amid revelations that he rejected a suggestion to convene a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump past year.

Clovis wrote the president just as Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., released a letter to him asking about his role as co-chairman of Trump's presidential campaign and the campaign's contacts with Russian Federation.

Questions had been raised about his qualifications to serve as the Agriculture Department's chief scientist.

In a letter to the president Wednesday, Clovis explained that he did not think he could get a fair consideration from the Senate, which was slated to hold a hearing on his appointment on November 9.

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The second indictment concerned former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who admitted to making a false statement to FBI investigators who asked about his contacts with foreigners claiming to have high-level Russian connections.

"The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day", he wrote.

Russia's Foreign Minister has insisted that allegations of Kremlin meddling in the United States presidential election are "fantasy". After the news of the indictments broke, The Washington Post and CNN reported that Trump was seething in the White House about the news.

Though he refused to say whether he discussed with Trump Comey's involvement in the Russian Federation investigation, he did say that the president had asked him and Rosenstein for their recommendations about what to do with Comey. Clovis, a former Iowa talk radio host and political science professor, has a bachelor's degree in political science, a master's degree in business administration and a doctorate in public administration, according the Post. In March 2016, Trump called Papadopoulos an "excellent guy" during an interview with The Washington Post's editorial board. He pleaded guilty to lying to authorities on October 5 and has since been cooperating with investigators, according to officials.

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Asked Monday if Trump was "still comfortable" with Clovis serving in the administration, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded, "I'm not aware of any change that would be necessary". Stephanopoulos presses Sekulow on the Papadopoulos allocution, which details his contacts with Russians overseas during his time in the campaign, and his efforts to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin.

But CNN is told Papadopoulos attended another campaign policy meeting, though Trump was not in attendance.

An attorney for Clovis confirmed his role in the communications to ABC News, adding that he has not spoken to Papadopoulos since the 2016 election and any trip he would have taken would not have been authorized by the campaign and would have been done on his own personal time and money.

A separate former campaign official said the national security team was assembled "to demonstrate that then-candidate Trump was becoming more informed on foreign affairs issues".

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