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James Clapper Said He ‘Never Saw Direct Empirical Evidence’ of Trump-Russia Collusion in FBI Interview

James Clapper Said He ‘Never Saw Direct Empirical Evidence’ of Trump-Russia Collusion in FBI InterviewFormer director of national intelligence James Clapper in 2018 said that he hadn't seen evidence that the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 general election.Clapper was responding to a query from then-representative Tom Rooney, a Florida Republican, during an interview before the House Intelligence Committee. The transcript of the interview was released on Thursday."I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting [or] conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election," Clapper said."That's not to say that there weren't concerns about the evidence we were seeing, anecdotal evidence…[redacted]," Clapper added. "But I do not recall any instance when I had direct evidence of the content of these meetings. It's just the frequency and prevalence of them was of concern."Rooney then asked Clapper, "At what time is collusion collusion, and at what time is it just people that may have an affiliation with the campaign meeting or talking with… the Russian ambassador or somebody that's of Russian origin, and when should that be taken as something that rises to the level of an Intelligence Community concern?""I really can't answer it other than the sort of visceral reaction to why all these meetings with the Russians," Clapper responded. Clapper admitted that it would be "legitimate" for incoming Trump administration officials to meet with representatives of Russia, "but I think there is a line…between that and violating the principle that in this country we traditionally have one President and one administration at a time."The interview was part of a set of 53 transcripts of interviews held by the House Intelligence Committee as part of the Russia investigation. Current committee chairman Adam Schiff had called for the release of the transcripts in 2018.However, after 43 transcripts had been reviewed and redacted by intelligence agencies as of June 2019, Schiff refused to relase the completed transcripts to the public. Current acting DNI head Richard Grenell informed Schiff on Wednesday that all the transcripts were ready for publication.

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China says there has never been a cover-up on coronavirus outbreak

China says there has never been a cover-up on coronavirus outbreakChinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday there has never been a cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak in China and the government does not allow any cover-ups. Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing that the revision of the case toll in Wuhan, where the epidemic first emerged in late 2019, was the result of a statistical verification to ensure accuracy and that revision is a common international practice. Wuhan’s health authority earlier on Thursday revised up its cumulative death toll by 50% to 3,869 to rectify what it called incorrect reporting, delays and omissions.

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Iran will never ask U.S. for coronavirus help: official

Iran will never ask U.S. for coronavirus help: officialIran will never ask the United States for help in the fight against the new coronavirus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected offers from Washington of humanitarian assistance for Iran, the Middle Eastern country so far worst-affected by the coronavirus, with 3,739 deaths and 60,500 people infected according to the latest figures on Monday.

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