NYT: Trump requested top Republicans end Senate Russia probe

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

This summer, President Trump asked the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and other senior Republicans in the Senate multiple times to bring to a close the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, several lawmakers and aides told The New York Times.

"It was something along the lines of, 'I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible,'" Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the intelligence committee chairman, told the Times. He said he told Trump "when we have exhausted everybody we need to talk to, we will finish." Trump also approached several other Republicans over the summer, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), asking them to push Burr to finish the inquiry. One person who spoke with McConnell told the Times that Trump made it clear McConnell wasn't doing enough to get Burr to shut down the inquiry, and others said Burr told a few fellow senators Trump told him it was time to "move on" from Russia.

Several Republican senators and aides were concerned about Trump's "forceful" and clear requests to urge Burr to end the inquiry, including one senator who told the Times he was "alarmed." A White House official said Trump made several of his calls without senior staff present, and he would often start out talking about one thing before making his request. Burr downplayed the phone calls, telling the Times that Trump has "never been in government" and doesn't know what is proper, adding that other members of the committee who were approached by Trump "promptly" shared the discussions they had with him.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.