Senate intelligence panel to probe possible US campaign contacts with Russia before election

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Senators Mark Warner D-Virginia and Richard Burr R-North Carolina talk before a hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC January 10, 2017. (Photo: TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Intelligence Committee will examine possible contacts between Russia and the people associated with U.S. political campaigns as part of a broader investigation into Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In a statement Friday, Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, a Republican, and Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat, say “the committee will follow the intelligence where it leads.”

U.S. intelligence has said Russia meddled in the presidential election to help Donald Trump win.

Earlier this week, Trump speculated that U.S. intelligence agencies might have leaked details about a classified briefing with him that included unsubstantiated allegations that Russia had collected compromising information about him.

The bulk of the committee work will be done behind closed doors, although the senators say they will hold open hearings when possible.