President Trump pressed the Australian prime minister to assist Attorney General William Barr in obtaining information about the Russia probe’s origins in a recent phone call, The New York Times reported on Monday.
The revelation comes as Trump faces an impeachment inquiry for allegedly pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
The White House restricted access to the transcript of the call to a small group of presidential aides, one of the officials said, according to the Times.
The unusual decision is strikingly similar to the handling of a July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that is at the heart of a House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into Trump, the Times said.
According to the Times, the president sought out Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s help upon request from Barr.
The Hill reports:
Australian officials told the FBI that the Russian government and Trump campaign had been in communication about releasing information about Hillary Clinton, which provoked an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The Australian government passed along the tip once George Papadopoulos – Trump’s campaign foreign policy adviser – told an Australian official about Russia having access to damaging information on Clinton and “thousands” of her emails.
Trump is requesting Australia examine their tips to the FBI to see if they were sent for partisan or corrupt reasons, the Times reported.
Trump’s conversation with Morrison occurred weeks following the controversial call with Zelensky, according to the Times.