'Collusion is not a crime'

Trump urges Mueller to admit conflict of interest in pending investigation

Donald Trump says collusion 'is not a crime,' insists his campaign did not collude with Russia

President Donald Trump stepped up his onslaught on federal Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian Federation and the 2016 US election on Tuesday, saying that his campaign did not collude with Moscow but that collusion is not a crime anyway.

The president - along with allies in conservative media - has launched a long PR campaign against the Mueller probe, which he claims is biased and pursuing erroneous claims of collusion between his campaign team and Moscow.

"I can't tell you whether he would pardon him or not", Giuliani told CNN "New Day" co-anchor Alisyn Camerota, adding, "I can't take away from the President, nor would I, the discretion to pardon anyone".

In the CNN interview, Giuliani sharply attacked Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, for taping conversations with clients, including one in which the future president discussed a hush money payment to former Playboy magazine model Karen McDougal shortly before the 2016 election to buy her silence about the alleged affair she says she had with Trump more than a decade ago.

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Mueller is investigating whether Trump campaign officials worked with Moscow to try to sway the 2016 US presidential election, something commonly referred to as collusion by the media and public officials.

The President has repeatedly denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

In April, former FBI Director James Comey acknowledged collusion "is not actually a thing that exists under the federal laws of the United States". It is illegal, however, to conspire to violate laws, including ones barring foreign participation in elections. Trump tweeted Sunday. "The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC".

Sessions cited his role as a senior adviser to Trump's presidential campaign and appointed Deputy Attorney-General, Rod Rosenstein, to oversee the investigation.

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The tweets came just over a week after the Justice Department released documents related to secret surveillance warrants obtained on Carter Page, a former adviser to Trump's campaign, the Hill magazine reported.

The message marked the first time Mr Trump publicly elaborated on prior vague claims of conflicts of interest. The New York Times reported in January that the President claimed a dispute over membership fees had prompted Mueller to leave a Trump golf club in Washington in 2011 when he was Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

'Because he has the conflict, not the president, ' said Giuliani. Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

Giuliani, speaking to CNN on Monday, said he "wouldn't pardon him if he did that to me". "I'm sure they are in bad faith about an interview at this point". I have a good idea. Giuliani and Sekulow-according to Giuliani-had to "go to [alleged participants'] lawyers, and they had to go back to their notes, because nowadays no one wants to be inaccurate"-a rather ironic statement". But that doesn't change the potential legal fallout stemming from the Russian Federation investigation, which could touch on laws against computer hacking, election fraud and conspiracy against the United States.

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Asked whether the conflict was over the golf club dispute, Giuliani replied, "I'm not going to go any further".

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