The sources noted that Trump's own admission that he fired Comey in May 2017 over his refusal to end the investigation into his campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation was one of the motivations for the probe into the president's personal ties to Moscow. Not only do we know that Mueller knows Manafort was talking with - and sharing polling data with - Konstantin Kilimnik - while he was the head of Trump's campaign, we also now know that Mueller has talked to the pollster from whom Manafort may well have taken those numbers that he shared with Kilimnik.
Counter-intelligence investigators were reportedly considering whether Trump's actions constituted a national security threat, an extraordinary line of inquiry against a sitting United States president. She also disputed that Trump had ever been soft on Russian Federation.
Mr. Trump submitted his written answers to Mr. Mueller in November after months of negotiation between his legal team and the special counsel team. Investigators have examined key episodes such as Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his fury over the recusal from the investigation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. American intelligence agencies and Mueller have said Russian Federation was the source of hacked material released by WikiLeaks during the campaign that was damaging to Hillary Clinton's presidential effort.
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian Federation engaged in a campaign of hacking and propaganda to sway voters during the 2016 election, largely aimed at bolstering Trump's chances at the presidency. But the evidence so far shows a broad range of Trump associates had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period, and several lied about the communication.
For one, also this week, the USA attorney for the Southern District here in NY indicted Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner in Trump Tower in June 2016 to discuss acquiring dirt on Hillary Clinton. However, it is not known if he is still looking into the investigation against Trump.
It added the criminal portion related to Trump's firing of Comey.
The Mueller investigation is set to continue to cast a cloud over the White House: a judge has given an extension to the secret grand jury empanelled in the probe, extending its original 18-month mandate.