An inquiry from a prominent Republican rival of U.S. President Donald Trump about whether Trump had business dealings with Russia has prompted a response from the White House.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham , who chairs a Senate judiciary subcommittee that is investigating suspected Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, raised questions about Trump's business interests in Russia at a hearing and in a television interview on May 9.
"I'm not a prosecutor. But if you ask me if I want to know if there are any Trump business ties to Russia that are inappropriate, the answer would be 'yes'," said Graham, who vied with Trump for the Republican presidential nomination last year.
Graham's inquiry prompted Trump to direct a law firm to send Graham a certified letter stating that "he has no business in Russia; he has no connections to Russia," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.
Graham later told CNN it would be helpful to see Trump's tax returns to determine whether the president has business ties to Russia. But he told the network that it was too soon to say whether he would subpoena those records.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters