Britain's Farage 'person of interest in FBI probe'

LONDON • Britain's Mr Nigel Farage, a leading Brexit campaigner, is a "person of interest" in the United States investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Mr Donald Trump's presidential campaign, the Guardian reported, citing unidentified sources.

The British newspaper said yesterday that Mr Farage had not been accused of wrongdoing and was not a suspect or target of the US investigation.

But it said the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) had "raised the interest" of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Mr Farage told the Daily Mail: "I don't believe it, I have no connections. I have never been to Russia. I have never had any business dealings with Russia."

When asked about the Guardian report, a Ukip spokesman said it was absurd. "To my knowledge, the only serious Russian politician that Nigel has spent time with is Garry Kasparov," the spokesman said, referring to the chess grandmaster.

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo has accused Mr Assange's Wikileaks of seeking to interfere in the US election, when it distributed material hacked from Democratic National Committee computers during the 2016 campaign.

Mr Pompeo said Russia's GRU military intelligence service had used Wikileaks to distribute the material and concluded that Russia stole the emails and took other actions to tilt the election in favour of Mr Trump, a Republican, over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Mr Farage, who has campaigned for decades for Britain to leave the European Union, was a vocal backer of Mr Trump.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'Britain's Farage 'person of interest in FBI probe''. Print Edition | Subscribe