Connect with us

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters with Vice President Mike Pence (R) and U.S. Senators' John Barrasso (R-WY) and John Thune (R-SD) after Trump addressed a closed Senate Republican policy lunch while a partial government shutdown enters its 19th day on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 9, 2019.

Jim Young | Reuters

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters with Vice President Mike Pence (R) and U.S. Senators’ John Barrasso (R-WY) and John Thune (R-SD) after Trump addressed a closed Senate Republican policy lunch while a partial government shutdown enters its 19th day on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 9, 2019.

Federal investigators became alarmed by President Donald Trump’s behavior in the immediate aftermath of his firing in 2017 of former FBI director James Comey, and opened a probe into whether the president had been secretly working with Russia, The New York Times reported late Friday.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the investigation, the publication said that counterintelligence officials weighed whether Trump’s actions were undermining national security, and whether he was either working at the behest of Moscow, or was somehow influenced by the Kremlin. Trump has repeatedly denied that he colluded with Russia, while even Comey has stated publicly that Trump himself was not a focus of the FBI’s probe into his campaign’s ties to Moscow.

Yet allegations that Trump was somehow compromised by Russia were first broached by the controversial Steele dossier, a raw intelligence document interspersed with lurid and largely uncorroborated accusations against the president that was assembled by a former British spy.

The Times reported on Friday that agents and senior FBI officials had their suspicions aroused about Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 election, but refrained from opening an investigation into him because of how sensitive the undertaking would be. However, sources told the publication that on two occasions, Trump tied Comey’s dismissal to the Russia probe, which led to a counterintelligence track being added to the original Russia inquiry.

In theory, Comey’s axing would constitute obstruction, because of the impact it would have had on the FBI’s ability to learn about Moscow’s meddling, and whether U.S. citizens were involved.

According to The Times report, it’s unclear if Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence probe as he pursues a wide ranging investigation into whether campaign officials, or Candidate Trump himself, knew of Russia’s efforts to influence the election. Still, the investigation into whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey was lumped in with the counterintelligence inquiry, according to former law enforcement officials who spoke with the Times.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer and the former mayor of New York City, dismissed the counterintelligence effort. “The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing,” Giuliani told The Times on Friday, but added that he had no insight into that particular track of the investigation.

A spokesperson for the FBI did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The Times’ full report can be found on its website.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Shares in Asia set to slip despite Wall Street surge overnight



Stocks in Asia were set to slip at the open despite an overnight surge on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting a gain of more than 200 points.

Source link

Continue Reading


EU will offer Brexit delay, but length depends on UK parliament



The European Union will grant Britain an extension to its Brexit negotiating period, but the length of the delay will depend on whether Prime Minister Theresa May is able to win a vote in parliament on an exit agreement next week, draft summit conclusions said.

The updated conclusions for an EU leaders’ summit, which have yet to be finalised, said the bloc would grant an extension to May 22 if May is able to get the existing Brexit divorce deal approved by the British parliament.

If she is unable to do so, Britain would only be give a Brexit delay until April 12. At this point the country would face a disorderly Brexit, or could ask for another extension if it agreed to hold European Parliament elections on its soil on May 23-26.

“The European Council agrees to an extension until 22 May 2019, provided the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons next week,” said the updated draft of the EU leaders’ agreement on Brexit, which was seen by Reuters.

“If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the House of Commons next week, the European Council agrees to an extension until 12 April 2019 and expects the United Kingdom to indicate a way forward at the latest by this date.”

Source link

Continue Reading


Apple rallies as investors anticipate streaming service announcement



Apple’s stock is on a tear this week as it releases a string of products in the lead-up to its highly anticipated event on Monday.

The stock had its biggest rally Thursday since January, closing up 3.7 percent at $195.09 per share for its ninth positive day in the past 10 trading days.

Apple fell just short of taking back the title of the world’s largest public company from Microsoft. Still, Apple is once again approaching $1 trillion in market value, adding about $33 billion to its market capitalization Thursday, bringing it to $919.9 billion.

While Apple has put the spotlight on its hardware this week, announcing new iPads, iMacs and AirPods three days in a row (with a fourth product possibly coming Friday), the focus of Monday’s event is expected to be on a new streaming video service. Teasing the event with the slogan, “It’s show time,” Apple is expected to introduce a new streaming TV service that will give iPhone and iPad users access to free original content and subscription channels such as Starz and CBS All Access, CNBC previously reported.

Investors are already seeing a big upside to Apple’s expected venture into streaming. Needham upgraded the stock on Thursday and raised its price target from $180 to $225.

In a note to investors, Needham analysts wrote that if users adopt Apple’s streaming service, it “should lower churn and drive higher lifetime value.” It could even attract new customers to its products and services, they wrote.

Citigroup also raised its price target on the stock from $170 to $220 on Thursday, even though analysts said in a note they don’t anticipate the launch of Apple’s streaming service “to be a big catalyst for the stock.” They noted, rather, that the streaming is meant to drive recurring revenue for the company, in continuation of its services strategy.

Wedbush raised its price target from $200 to $215 Thursday, saying, “Monday’s announcement is just the tip of the iceberg for [Apple CEO Tim] Cook’s broader streaming content strategy to take hold and in our opinion adds a significant potential catalyst to the Apple services growth story for years to come.” The analysts hedged slightly, noting that Apple “is definitely playing from behind the eight ball in this content arms race with Netflix, Disney, Hulu, and AT&T/Time Warner all going after this next consumer frontier.”

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal, is a co-owner of Hulu.

— CNBC’s
Michael Sheetz
contributed to this report.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Watch: Apple announces new AirPods with wireless charging and voice control

Source link

Continue Reading