Cohen willing to testify that Trump approved 2016 meeting with Russians – New York Post

President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is willing to testify to Special Council Robert Mueller that Trump was aware of an infamous June 2016 meeting with Russian operatives at Trump Tower before it happened, a source close to Cohen told The Post on Thursday.

The source said that Cohen claims Trump knew and approved of the meeting where Russians offered “dirt” on then-candidate Hillary Clinton — despite Trump’s repeated denials that he was aware it took place.

Cohen was present when Trump was informed by his son, Donald Trump Jr., that the offer had been made, the source said.

President Trump claimed he “didn’t know anything about the meeting” because “nobody told me” about it. (Read more)

Intel report: Putin directly ordered effort to influence election – CNN

Washington (CNN)The US intelligence community concluded in a declassified report released Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an “influence campaign” aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

The campaign — which consisted of hacking Democratic groups and individuals, including Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and releasing that information via third-party websites, including WikiLeaks — amounted to what the intelligence report called “a significant escalation” in longtime Russian efforts to undermine “the US-led liberal democratic order.”

The report was the first official, full and public accounting by the US intelligence community of its assessment of Russian cyberhacking activities during the 2016 campaign and the motivations behind that hacking. (Read more)