March 4, 2019 / 7:04 PM / 3 months ago

House panels seek details on Trump communications with Russia's Putin

FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump are seen during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three U.S. House of Representatives committees asked the White House and State Department on Monday for details on President Donald Trump’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking to interview translators and other staff involved in their conversations.

The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Government Oversight committees said in a statement they wrote to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking documents and interviews on Trump’s communications with Putin.

The letters to Pompeo and Mulvaney were part of a widening investigation by the Democratic-controlled House looking at whether the Republican president or those around him abused power or obstructed justice.

“According to media reports, President Trump, on multiple occasions, appears to have taken steps to conceal details of his communications with President Putin from other administration officials, Congress and the American people,” the chairmen of the three committees said in their letter to Mulvaney.

The letter asked the White House to make available for interview by the committees any translators, interpreters, linguists or other staff members who listened to conversations between Putin and Trump, either via telephone or in person.

The committee chairmen specifically asked to interview any staff who were at Trump’s meetings with Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017, and their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Jonathan Oatis

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