Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, expressed frustration with the Russia investigation and appeared to brush off a CNN report Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller is exploring financial records related to the President and his associates’ ties to Russia.
“These types of endeavors end up being fishing expeditions,” Conway told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.”
Conway defended the President by recounting Trump’s past remarks claiming he had no financial ties to Russia.
“He has no financial dealings with Russia whatsoever,” Conway said. “He said the Miss Universe pageant, which is an annual event, happened to make its way to Russia eight or nine years ago. He was there for that, … his sons have also repeated that the business has no financial dealings with Russia.”
On reports that Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in the Russia investigation, Conway slammed the news as “unfortunate.”
“Grand jury proceedings are supposed to remain private,” she said.
Conway cited remarks from Ty Cobb, special counsel to the President, who said he was unaware that Mueller had started using a new grand jury.
“Anything that accelerates the process is agreed to by us, and at the White House, and we’ll continue to fully comply,” Conway added.
Conway also expressed her frustration with the investigation, saying it’s “not about Russian interference.”
“I think people are just talking about an investigation that exists, but looking for collusion and conclusions that don’t exist,” Conway said.
The increased financial focus hasn’t gone unnoticed by Trump, who warned Mueller, via an interview with the New York Times, that his financial dealings were a red line that investigators shouldn’t cross. But the order establishing the special counsel makes clear Mueller is authorized to investigate any matters that “arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
In response to CNN reporting of investigators widening the focus on possible financial crimes, the President’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, said, the “President’s outside counsel has not received any requests for documentation or information about this. Any inquiry from the special counsel that goes beyond the mandate specified in the appointment we would object to.”
Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Shimon Prokupecz contributed to this report.