Tags: Donald Trump | Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | investigation | leon panetta | collusion

Leon Panetta: Mueller Will 'Follow the Money' on Russia

CNN's "The Situation Room"

By    |   Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 07:24 PM

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said Thursday that Russia special counsel Robert Mueller is going to "follow the money" as "part and parcel of that investigation" into possible Trump campaign ties to Moscow.

"I can't understand how the president would assume that somehow his finances could be separated from an investigation into this whole Russian issue," Panetta, who served in the Obama and Clinton administrations, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. "The money is part and parcel of that investigation.

"Bob Mueller is going to follow the money, in terms of whether or not it leads to a possibility of collusion as a result of that or possible blackmail.

"There are all kinds of ways this is tied to the larger investigation," Panetta said.

Citing "sources" Thursday, CNN reported Mueller's probe is now focusing on financial ties by Trump associates to Moscow.

FBI investigators are reviewing financial records related to the Trump Organization, as well as to the president, his associates, and his family members — including Donald Trump Jr.

In response, Jay Sekulow, member of President Trump's outside counsel, told CNN: "President's outside counsel has not received any requests for documentation or information about this.

"Any inquiry from the special counsel that goes beyond the mandate specified in the appointment we would object to," he said.

President Trump has repeatedly slammed the Moscow probe as a "witch hunt."

In an interview with The New York Times last month, Trump warned Mueller investigating his family's finances crossed a red line.

But Panetta told Blitzer on Thursday that "the president would have a difficult time justifying that somehow a red line has been crossed."

"That red line, frankly, was crossed a long time ago, because the reality is that there are a lot of financial issues involved," he added. "It is legitimate for Bob Mueller to look at all of that."

Regarding a report in The Washington Post that President Trump pressed Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to end his public opposition to building a wall on the U.S. border, Panetta slammed the leak of a transcript of the January telephone call.

"I'm very concerned about leaks like that because those conversations should be able to occur between the president and those leaders," he said.

"He ought to be able to have some room to make the kind of comments that he needs to make without it splashing all over the news.

"I would be very concerned that those kinds of leaks are taking place in this administration."

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Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said Thursday that Russia special counsel Robert Mueller is going to "follow the money" as "part and parcel of that investigation" into possible Trump campaign ties to Moscow.
investigation, leon panetta, collusion, robert mueller
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2017-24-03
Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 07:24 PM
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