While the specifics are murky, on Tuesday, a new report indicated that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Russian officials discussed having "derogatory" information about Donald Trump and his aides.

CNN has not been able to verify the allegations about the derogatory information in the dossier, but current and former U.S. officials say some of the Russia-to-Russia conversations in the dossier have been corroborated. The New York Times also reported that Russian officials identified Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, as another person they could use to influence Trump.

Tuesday's report follows reports that Russian officials claimed in intercepted conversations that Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner, who is Trump's son-in-law, sought to establish a covert communications back channel with Russia. It is also unclear whether the Russians were exaggerating their leverage. Dubke's departure comes as aides say Trump has grown increasingly frustrated by allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and revelations of possible ties between his campaign and Moscow.

But the sources warned that the Russian officials' claims "could have been exaggerated or even made up" as part of a ploy to sow disinformation during the election, CNN reported. Flynn's former business associates received subpoenas in May. "The reality is, a review of the President's income from the last 10 years showed he had virtually no financial ties at all".

USA intelligence has intercepted Russian communications that indicate their belief that members of Trump's inner circle have been financially compromised. "All this does is play into the hands of our adversaries and put our country at risk", the statement said.

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Sources told the news network that Russian officials were heard boasting of the close relationship they had developed with Flynn, who would eventually be chosen by Trump to serve as his national security adviser - but who was sacked from the post only weeks into the new administration's term.

But US counterintelligence investigators were already looking into the Russian claims during the summer of 2016, before the public became aware of similar claims in a dossier created for political opponents of Trump by a former British spy.

The FBI declined to comment for this story. All of those communications are now in the hands of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, so at some point it will likely be confirmed.

On Sunday, in a dig at President Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a campaign rally: "The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over".


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