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Trump urged Whitaker to put ally on payments probe: NYT

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Trump urged Whitaker to put ally on payments probe: NYT

Trump urged Whitaker to put ally on payments probe: NYT

A New York Times report cites U.S. officials who say President Donald Trump asked his acting attorney general to put a Trump-allied prosecutor in charge of a federal probe into the president's role in hush payments to women during his 2016 campaign.

Ryan Brooks reports.

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Trump urged Whitaker to put ally on payments probe: NYT

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: VIDEO AND SCRIPT WERE RESENT CORRECTING PRONUNICATION OF MICHAEL WHITAKER TO MATTHEW WHITAKER A new report says U.S. President Donald Trump asked if his acting attorney general could intervene in an investigation tied to Trump himself.

That's according to a New York Times report citing several U.S. officials on Tuesday (February 19).

It said Trump asked Matthew Whitaker if he could put a prosecutor loyal to Trump in charge of a probe into the president's one-time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The investigation centered on hush money payments to women - that Cohen made- during Trump's 2016 campaign.

Those women had threatened to go public with accounts of sexual affairs they said they had with Trump.

However the loyal attorney and Trump appointee, Geoffrey Berman, had already recused himself.

Trump denied the New York Times report.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) REPORTER SAYING: "Did you ask acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker to change the leadership of the investigation into your former personal attorney Michael Cohen?" (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT, DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "No, not at all.

I don't know who gave you that, that's more fake news." The Times report says Whitaker denied Trump's request- because Berman had been recused.

However, if the account is true, that request could be used as more evidence Trump tried to sway investigations against him - or his associates.

Democrats have accused Trump of 'obstruction of justice' or intentionally trying to prevent an investigation.

The special counsel, Robert Mueller- is probing whether the Trump campaign worked with Russia to win the election.

He's also believed to be investigating whether obstruction occurred.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and calls the Russia probe a 'witch hunt.'




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