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Trump: ‘I haven’t called Russia in 10 years’

President Donald Trump speaks to a meeting of the National Governors Association, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, at the White House in Washington. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
President Donald Trump speaks to a meeting of the National Governors Association, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, at the White House in Washington. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
By Brian Bennett Tribune News Service

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump rejected calls for an independent investigation of his ties to Russia, telling a group of business leaders Monday that he hasn’t called Russia in a decade.

At the start of a White House meeting with health care executives, a reporter asked Trump whether a special prosecutor should be assigned to investigate allegations of Russian meddling during the election.

In response, Trump mouthed the word “no” to the executives. As reporters were led out of the room, Trump said: “I haven’t called Russia in 10 years.”

Democratic lawmakers have ramped up their calls for additional investigations into allegations that Trump allies had been in contact with Russian officials during the election and inappropriately discussed U.S. sanctions against the Moscow regime during the transition.

White House officials have denied reports that Trump associates were frequently in touch with senior Russian intelligence officials during the election.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last year that Russian leader Vladimir Putin had authorized an operation to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and tilt the 2016 election in Trump’s favor.

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