Donald Trump's key levers were with Russian Federation

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The source said the intercepted communications suggested to United States intelligence that Russians believed "they had the ability to influence the administration through the derogatory information".

Some anonymous "sources" claiming the Russians said they had "derogatory information" on Trump, but those same sources adding that Moscow could've been lying and CNN itself being forced to admit it couldn't verify the allegations?

They also said the Russians had financial information they hoped to use against the campaign.

"The Russians could be overstating their belief to influence", a source told CNN.

"Sources declined to say specifically which aides were being discussed". There appears to be no limit to which the President's political opponents will go to perpetuate this false narrative, including illegally leaking classified material.

Now this could of course be disinformation, created to be intercepted, but when you pair this with the very real influence that the Russians had over Michael Flynn and potentially other members of the Trump team, you end up with a picture that looks pretty damning.

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CNN had previously reported the Russians had bragged about relations with Trump campaign aides during the campaign, include his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

But the White House blasted the new CNN report saying it was false.

The report could also increase calls for Trump to release his tax returns, given that the intercepted communications discussed possible financial ties.

On Friday, a report by The Washington Post indicated that Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in December that Kushner wanted to set up a "secret and secure communications channel" between Trump's transition team and the Kremlin. The report states that calls like this made the Russians' intentions to meddle clear to USA intelligence even if the truth of the Trump claim was unclear.

Trump's Tuesday attack on the US news media, a near constant during his campaign and the first four months of his presidency, was his second in three days.

But Trump has been dismissive of the investigations, even as his own Justice Department appointed a special counsel to probe whether his campaign aides colluded illegally with Russian Federation, and several congressional panels have embarked on their own fact finding.

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