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Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 2:54PM

The Latest: Putin dismisses US claims about Trump, election

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the investigation into possible ties between his campaign and the Russian government (all times local):

8:25 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is dismissing as "a load of nonsense" the idea that Russia has damaging information on President Donald Trump.

In an interview with Megyn Kelly of NBC News, the Russian leader denies having any relationship with Trump.

In response to questions about damaging information, Putin asks Kelly, "Have you all lost your senses over there?"

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia meddled in the presidential election. Trump himself has been dogged by questions about any business dealings with Russia as well as reports of a damaging Russian dossier.

Putin again denied any Russian involvement in the U.S. presidential election and any knowledge of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign. A special counsel appointed by the Justice Department as well as congressional committees are investigating.

___

1:40 p.m.

Lawmakers should get the chance to hear from fired FBI Director James Comey — and President Donald Trump "is better served by getting all this information out."

That's the view of Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate intelligence committee. That committee is expected to listen to Comey's testimony about the investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling last year and Comey's private conversations with the president.

Blunt says "let's find out what happened and bring this to a conclusion."

The Missouri Republican tells "Fox News Sunday" that "at some point, we'll hear the president's side. But I frankly think we need to hear Mr. Comey's side and find out what other questions we need to ask."

___

1:30 p.m.

A member of the Senate intelligence committee says "we've seen no smoking gun at this point" regarding collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

But Sen. Mark Warner tells CNN's "State of the Union" that "there's a lot of smoke."

The Virginia Democrat and other committee members are set to hear from fired FBI Director James Comey at a hearing Thursday.

Comey probably will be asked about conversations he had with Trump concerning Russian election meddling and the FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

___

9:50 a.m.

Two administration officials say President Donald Trump is leaning against invoking executive privilege to try to block fired FBI Director James Comey from testifying about their private conversations.

The officials say there's been no final decision and the matter remains under discussion. Trump's known to change his mind on major issues. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

Comey is to testify Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee. He'll probably be asked about conversations with Trump about Russian election meddling and the FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump could argue that discussions with Comey pertained to national security and had an expectation of privacy. Some legal experts say Trump likely undermined those arguments because he's discussed the conversations in tweets and interviews.

—AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace

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