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    Sen. Mark Warner

    US Senator Reportedly Wrote to Tycoon’s Lobbyist to Contact Trump Dossier Author

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US Senator Mark Warner communicated in 2017 with a lobbyist, who has worked for a Russian businessman, on the possibility of meeting with former UK spy Christopher Steele, an author of a high-profile dossier about alleged ties of US President Donald Trump with Russia, Fox News reported on Friday.

    The media outlet released the text messages between Warner, who is leading a congressional investigation into alleged Trump’s ties with Russia, and lobbyist Adam Waldman, who has represented interests of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska in 2009 and 2010.

    The text messages covering the period from February to May 2017 showed that Warner intended to have a direct and private contact with Steele.

    Steele insisted through Waldman that a bipartisan letter from the Senate Intelligence Committee should be written, asking him to testify before the congressmen in their probe into alleged Russian collusion, before the meeting could be arranged.

    READ MORE: Trump's Lawyers Advise President Refrain From Russia Probe Interview — Reports

    Warner, in turn, said that he would "rather not have a paper trail" of his communication with the former UK spy if no agreements between them are reached.

    In the course of their contacts, Warner and Waldman also allegedly discussed the possibility of arranging a meeting between the US senator and Deripaska, who had sued former Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort over a failed business deal in January.

    An aide to Senator Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that Burr was aware of Warner’s contact with Steele's representative. The aide added, however, that Burr was likely unaware of the content of the text messages.

    The authenticity of the text messages was confirmed to Fox News by a Warner’s aide. The messages were disclosed to the Senate Intelligence Committee, holding the Russia probe, by Waldman in September.

    Trump reacted to the report by saying "all [is] tied into Crooked Hillary [Clinton]."

    In 2017 the US Congress launched four separate probes into the alleged Russian meddling during the election, including the investigations run by the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees and the House’s Intelligence and Oversight panels.

    Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations of collusion, while US President Donald Trump described the investigation as the "single greatest witch hunt" in US history.


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