Collusion with Trump over Russia inquiry ‘did not happen’, says Raab
Patrick Wintour, 02 October 2019
No member of the British government, including the prime minister, would ever collude with Donald Trump to try to discredit the work of intelligence agencies uncovering Russian interference in the 2016 US election, the UK foreign secretary said.
Dominic Raab told the Commons that “any such collusion is entirely unacceptable, would never happen, and did not happen”.
The foreign secretary refused to say at prime minister’s questions whether Boris Johnson, or his predecessor, Theresa May, had spoken to the US president about any request to cooperate with the inquiry he had ordered into how the US intelligence agencies handled claims that Russia colluded with the Trump presidential campaign in 2016.
The collusion claim led to the lengthy report by Robert Mueller, which showed that Russia was attempting to swing the presidential election in favour of Trump but did not say whether there had been collusion between Russia and Trump.
Raab was asked whether, as reported in the Times, Trump had personally contacted Johnson to ask him to cooperate with the US inquiry.
The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw implied that the purpose of any Trump request might be “to undermine or smear British intelligence services, as well as damage cooperation with their US colleagues”.
Raab, deputising for Johnson at prime minister’s questions, said: “Neither the prime minister or, as then, the foreign secretary, would collude in the way that he described. That is entirely unacceptable and would never happen and did not happen.”
It is noticeable that the British government has been less willing than either the Australian or Italian governments to give details of help given to Trump’s inquiry into the role of the US intelligence services.
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