The Latest: Paul Ryan defends Special Counsel Robert Mueller

The Latest: Paul Ryan defends Special Counsel Robert Mueller
The Latest: Paul Ryan defends Special Counsel Robert Mueller

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Russia investigations (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, isn’t a biased partisan.

Ryan’s comments in a radio interview in Milwaukee come as President Donald Trump repeatedly has dismissed Mueller’s investigation as a political witch hunt.

On the “Jay Weber Show,” Ryan was asked why more Republicans aren’t defending Trump in light of the Mueller investigation.

Ryan says the facts uncovered through the Mueller and congressional investigations will “vindicate themselves.” And he says there’s no question that Mueller is a Republican, noting that he was first appointed FBI director under Republican President George W. Bush in 2001.

Ryan says, “I don’t think many people are saying Bob Mueller is a biased partisan. He’s anything but.”


9:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law has arrived for questioning by Senate investigators probing Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign.

Jared Kushner is speaking in a closed session Monday to staff on the Senate intelligence committee. Earlier, he released an 11-page statement detailing four contacts with Russians during Trump’s campaign and transition.

Kushner in those prepared remarks says he “did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government.”

Kushner is to meet with lawmakers on the House intelligence committee Tuesday.


9:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is calling the top Democrat on the House intelligence panel “sleazy” for conducting what he says is a “biased” Russia investigation.

The president tweeted Monday that “Sleazy Adam Schiff, the totally biased Congressman looking into ‘Russia,’ spends all of his time on television pushing the Dem loss excuse!”

Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt” spearheaded by Democrats because of the Republican victory in 2016.

California Rep. Schiff has been an outspoken advocate of hearing testimony from Trump associates on their contacts with Russian officials during last year’s election.


9 a.m.

President Donald Trump is questioning why those investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion by members of his campaign aren’t digging into Hillary Clinton’s “crimes & Russia relations.”

In doing so, the president took his latest swipe at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, including him in the list of people who he says should be investigating Clinton’s potential Russia links.

Trump tweeted Monday, “So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?”

Sessions recused himself from the investigation earlier this year after it was revealed that he had met with a top Russian diplomat last year.

Trump condemned Sessions’ recusal in a New York Times interview last week, saying he never should have taken the job as attorney general.


7:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law says he received a “random email” during the presidential campaign from someone claiming to have Trump’s tax returns and demanding ransom to keep the information secret.

Jared Kushner says he interpreted the email as a hoax. Kushner says the email came from a person going by the name “Guccifer400.” The name is an apparent reference to Guccifer 2.0, an anonymous hacker who has claimed responsibility for breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems.

Kushner says the emailer demanded payment in Bitcoin, an online currency. Kushner says he showed the email to a Secret Service agent, who told him to ignore it. Kushner disclosed the details of the email ahead of a closed-door interview Monday with a Senate committee investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.


6:33 a.m.

The son-in-law of President Donald Trump is blaming his assistant for filing a version of his security clearance questionnaire that left off any contacts with foreign governments.

Jared Kushner says the assistant accidentally filed the questionnaire while it was still being prepared. He says the initial form left off all foreign contacts, not just ones with Russians. Kushner says he eventually disclosed more than 100 contacts with people from more than 20 countries. Kushner says that list includes the King of Jordan, the prime minister of Israel and a high-ranking Mexican government official.

Kushner is disclosing the information about his foreign contacts just hours before he speaks behind closed doors with a Senate committee investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion with Trump associates.


6:06 a.m.

The son-in-law of President Donald Trump says a June 2016 meeting with a Russian-American lawyer was such a “waste of time” that he asked his assistant to call him out of the gathering.

That’s according to a statement Jared Kushner is providing to congressional committees this week.

Emails released this month show Donald Trump Jr. accepted the meeting at Trump Tower with the idea that he would receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton. But Kushner says he hadn’t seen those emails until recently shown them by his lawyers.

Kushner says in his statement that Trump Jr. invited him to the meeting. He says he arrived late and heard the lawyer discussing the issue of adoptions. He says he texted his assistant to call him out of the meeting.


6:00 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law says that he only had four contacts with Russians during the campaign and presidential transition and that none of them were improper.

Jared Kusher also says he never colluded with any foreign government during the presidential campaign. He also is denying that Russians finance any of his business in the private sector.

Kushner is disclosing the information in an 11-page statement provided to The Associated Press. The release of the statement comes just hours before he is to be interviewed by a Senate committee investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion by Trump associates.

The interview with the Senate intelligence committee is behind closed doors.


3:20 a.m.

Congressional investigators probing Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election will have their first opportunity this week to hear from someone in President Donald Trump’s innermost circle: son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Kushner, who is a senior adviser to the president and is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, will talk to staff on the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday behind closed doors. On Tuesday, he’ll talk privately to members of the House Intelligence Committee.

Both panels are investigating Russian interference and possible connections to Trump’s campaign. Kushner has attracted attention for a December meeting with a leading Russian diplomat. He oversaw digital strategy for the campaign, and some lawmakers have said they want more answers about whether Russian social media “trolls” were connected to Trump’s election efforts.

FILE – In this June 21, 2017 file photo, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian meddling in the election and possible connection to the Trump campaign, at the Capitol in Washington. President Donald Trump’s legal team is evaluating potential conflicts of interest among members of Mueller’s investigative team, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The revelations come as Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election meddling appears likely to include some of the Trump family’s business ties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington., Monday, July 24, 2017, to meet behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the investigation into possible collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
FILE – In this June 22, 2017, file photo, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens during the “American Leadership in Emerging Technology” event with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)