On Tuesday, the chairman of the House intelligence committee refused to step away from its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, as fresh political allegations brought new cries of protest from Democrats.
Asked if he should recuse himself, committee chairman Devin Nunes responded, "Why would I?" Later in the day, the White House vehemently denied a report that it had sought to hobble the testimony of a former acting attorney general before Nunes cancelled the hearing where she was to speak.
President Donald Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer lashed out at reporters, claiming they're seeing conspiracies where none exist.
If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection.
The embattled House committee is conducting one of three probes into the election campaign, its aftermath and potential contacts between Trump officials and Russians. The Senate intelligence committee is doing its own investigation, and since late July the FBI has been conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russia's meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
Nunes' decision to cancel Tuesday's hearing was the latest in a series of actions that Democrats contend demonstrate that his loyalty to Trump is greater than his commitment to leading an independent investigation.
The former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, along with former CIA Director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper, had agreed to testify publicly before the House intelligence committee.
The cancelled hearing would have been the first opportunity for the public to hear former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates' account of her role in the firing of Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
(With inputs from AP.)
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