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Trump: Everyone agrees the president has 'complete power to pardon'

President Trump asserted his “complete power to pardon” in a tweet Saturday morning after reports emerged this week that he was discussing his ability to pardon people in the ongoing investigation into ties between his campaign and Russia.

“While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted.

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The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump’s lawyers are looking into the president’s authority to grant pardons in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has also reportedly talked to his advisers about his ability to pardon his aides, family members and even himself in the investigation, according to The Post.

One adviser who spoke to the newspaper said the president’s inquiries were merely made out of curiosity.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,' ” the adviser said.

The White House on Friday would not rule out the possibility that Trump would issue pardons in the investigation.

“The president maintains pardon powers like any president would,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, but added that “there are no announcements” about pardons at this time. 

The report drew harsh criticism from Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism Is there a difference between good and bad online election targeting? Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel MORE (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He warned Trump that pardoning anyone involved in the investigation would be “crossing a fundamental line.”

The possibility that the president is considering pardons at this early stage in these ongoing investigations is extremely disturbing," he said. "Pardoning any individuals who may have been involved would be crossing a fundamental line."

Trump maintains that the scandals engulfing his administration, largely related to alleged Russian collusion, are part of a baseless smear campaign by his enemies and the news media.