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Warner sees 'credible components' in report that foreign governments offered to aid Trump campaign

Warner sees 'credible components' in report that foreign governments offered to aid Trump campaign
© Greg Nash

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.) said on Sunday that there are credible parts of a recent report saying foreign governments besides Russia offered to help President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE's campaign in 2016. 

Warner said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that The New York Times report contained "credible components" detailing attempts from governments, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, offering to help the Trump campaign. 

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"Some of this information is new to us but we're going to continue our investigation," Warner, who serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said.

"But what is remarkable to me is that the president somehow seems not to understand that when a foreign nation tries to interfere in our elections, that's wrong. That's illegal," he added.

Warner's comments come after the Times reported that the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue Election Countdown: Florida Senate fight resumes after hurricane | Cruz softens ObamaCare attacks | GOP worries Trump will lose suburban women | Latest Senate polls | Rep. Dave Brat gets Trump's 'total endorsement' | Dem candidates raise record B MORE, met with an emissary from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, George Nader, who said the countries wanted Trump to win the election. 

The Times also reported that Trump Jr. took a meeting with Israeli social media specialist Joel Zamel. 

The publication reported that private security contractor Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, arranged the August meeting. He declined to comment for the report.

A lawyer for Trump Jr., Alan Futerfas, told the Times in a statement that “prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. recalls a meeting with Erik Prince, George Nader and another individual who may be Joel Zamel. They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing strategy. He was not interested and that was the end of it.”

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE is reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel as a part of the ongoing probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling.

Trump hit back against the Times report on Sunday, saying it was “long & boring story indicating that the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World!”

— This report was updated at 12:18 p.m.