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Key U.S. Senate Republican says acting Attorney General comfortable with Russia probe

Reuters logo Reuters 11/15/2018
a man wearing a suit and tie: Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker speaks at the Annual Veterans Appreciation Day Ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington © Reuters/YURI GRIPAS Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker speaks at the Annual Veterans Appreciation Day Ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Thursday that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who now oversees a probe of whether President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia, told him he had no concerns about Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation.

"He's seen nothing out of bounds or no concerns at all about Mr. Mueller," Graham, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters in comments confirmed by his spokesman.

Graham, after a meeting with Whitaker, said he was confident there would be no interference in the investigation and said he said he saw no need for Whitaker to recuse himself as Democrats have demanded, the spokesman confirmed.

Lindsey Graham wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) waits for U.S. President Donald Trump to enter the room to speak about the "First Step Act" in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. © Reuters/LEAH MILLIS Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) waits for U.S. President Donald Trump to enter the room to speak about the "First Step Act" in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S.

Whitaker, a Trump loyalist and a former U.S. attorney for the southern district of Iowa, had criticized the Mueller probe as too far-reaching before he was appointed by Trump last week to run the Justice Department.

Trump has denied that his 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia and calls the Mueller probe a witch hunt.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump by undermining Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Russia has denied any meddling in the election.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; writing by Tim Ahmann; editing by Eric Beech and Dan Grebler)

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