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House panel is said to plan meeting with Trump campaign foreign policy adviser in Russia probe

Billy House, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- Walid Phares, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, is set to be questioned in private Friday by the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian election interference, according to officials familiar with the panel's plans.

Phares worked in Trump's campaign alongside advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, "both of whom had multiple contacts with Russian officials and their surrogates that they reported back to the campaign," said Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a letter to Phares last month.

Papadopoulos is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in last year's presidential election, and interactions with Trump associates. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to lying to investigators.

According to one of Mueller's court filings, at least two high-level Trump campaign supervisors, and other officials, were aware of Papadopoulos' contacts and communications with the Russians.

The officials didn't say what questions lawmakers want to ask Phares, now a Fox News analyst. But Feinstein's Nov. 27 letter to Phares shows why the House panel is likely interested. She wrote that he reportedly was among Trump campaign aides who met with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Republican National Convention in 2016, along with J.D. Gordon, the director of the Trump campaign's national security advisory committee, and Page.

"Given your role on the campaign, your meetings with Russian officials, and knowledge of the actions of others, we believe that you have information that would assist the committee in its investigation related to the 2016 presidential election," Feinstein wrote.

 

Her letter went on to request all of his communications involving Page, Gordon, Papadopoulos, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, or other campaign advisers concerning Russia, Ukraine, U.S. sanctions or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Along with advising Trump's campaign last year, Phares had served as Mitt Romney's senior national security adviser during his 2012 presidential campaign.

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