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FBI under pressure for details on Trump’s ‘Russia links’

world Updated: Nov 01, 2016 22:19 IST
HT Correspondent 
US elections 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters at Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan, on October 31. (AFP)

The Hillary Clinton campaign has accused FBI director James Comey of “jaw-dropping” double standards in its handling of the email controversy regarding the nominee and Russian-backed hacking of Democratic party entities and individuals.

The FBI has also come under pressure to reveal details of its investigations into allegations of links between the Kremlin and Donald Trump, as alleged by a former Western intelligence officer, and his past and current advisers.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters on Monday that Comey had displayed double standards in advising restraint in naming Russia in connection with the hackings by citing the elections, while not using the same yardstick for the fresh lot of emails.

“It is impossible to view this as anything less than a blatant double standard,” Mook said, implying Comey should have held off on informing Congress of the new emails so close to the polls, as he reportedly had for the hacking.

The FBI was also being asked to reveal details about links between Trump and the Kremlin, which, according to the former spook, had been “cultivating” the billionaire on President Vladimir Putin’s orders in order to divide the Western alliance.

“Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance,” the intelligence officer has said in a memo to the FBI, according to Mother Jones news-site, which had accessed it.

The memo went on to allege Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals”.

There were also reports that the FBI was investigating alleged links between Russia and Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chair, who dismissed it as a “smear campaign”.