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Russia-Trump campaign collusion an 'open' issue, says US Senate panel chief

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner D-Va. left joined by Chairman Richard Burr R-N.C. updates reporters on the status of their inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections at the Capitol in Washington W

Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said that "the issue of collusion is still open" regarding the committee's ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

"The committee has hit a wall", Mr Burr said, adding that both he and Mr Warner made personal efforts to reach Mr Steele, but he had not accepted their invitations.

Burr said that the "subject matter of the ads seemed to be to create chaos in every group they could possibly find in America", noting that the ads show that the Russians "were indiscriminate" in who they were helping.

However, the Senate Judiciary Committee - which is also conducting its own Russian Federation probe - was able to interview the man who hired Mr Steele to compile the report, Glenn Simpson, behind closed doors.

"We've got to make our facts as it relates to Russia's involvement in our election public prior to the primaries getting started in 2018", he said.

The comments came as the pair updated reporters on the probe into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Republican committee chairman Richard Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner have scheduled a news conference to disclose the conclusions they have reached and plans to prevent Russian meddling in future US elections, according to sources familiar with their plans.

He was joined by committee chairman, Sen.

Burr also said the committee does not have any initial findings on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation. Burr said the committee "cannot decide the credibility" of the dossier without understanding who paid for it and its sources. "Who were your sources?"

"We need to be on guard", Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., added.

The dossier accuses the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia, and it asserts that Russian intelligence agencies have information about Trump's participation in sexual escapades in Moscow, something Trump has denied.

"Now again, this is not something that we have closed, but we have exhausted every person we can talk to get information that is pertinent to us relative to the Russian Federation investigation", he told a room of reporters.

In a series of memos, Comey documented several conversations with Trump in which the president asked him to end his bureau's investigation of then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Twitter will also appear in front of the committees on Thursday. "And we're not in a position to come to any type of finding".

The senate intelligence leaders revealed that during the course of their investigations, they conducted over 100 interviews, reviewed 100,000 documents and have gone through over 4,000 transcripts.

"The Russian intelligence service is determined and clever, and I recommend that every campaign and every election official take this very seriously", Burr said.

The committee has lately been focusing on the role social media companies like Facebook and Twitter played in the dissemination of false or misleading ads and stories planted or otherwise backed by Russian operatives. CNN reported Wednesday that some of the ads specifically targeted MI and Wisconsin, two states that were critical to President Donald Trump's victory.