Alexander Downer interviewed by FBI over Russian meddling

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On Thursday the New York Times reported that within hours of the FBI opening its investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation in the summer of 2016, it had flown two agents to London to meet Downer for a highly secretive interview, after Australian officials cleared the meeting.

During that night, two years ago, Mr Trump's foreign policy adviser told Mr Downer Russia had dirt on his likely Democrat presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.

Trump was referring to a National Review report published last week alleging that Obama-led agencies used their surveillance powers to monitor the Trump campaign.

Donald Trump's relations with Australia were tested when he took office past year over a refugee swap deal and the FBI's investigation into his 2016 campaign has the potential to cause a new diplomatic rift.

'Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation in the summer of 2016, the FBI dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark, ' the newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The previously secret assignment began with an August 2016 Federal Bureau of Investigation interview of the Australian ambassador about his meeting with Papadopoulos to evaluate evidence a campaign adviser knew about Russian meddling.

Trump has often spoken against the investigation, calling it a "witch hunt" and even suggesting there will be legal action taken against Mueller and his team. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.

The FBI, in an attempt to prevent leaks, kept details about what would later evolve into special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation from Justice Department political appointees. For those reading, well acquainted with the Stones" back-catalogue, would've picked up on the fact that "Crossfire Hurricane" is indeed a reference to the 1969 classic "Jumpin' Jack Flash'.

The bombshell revelation is buried deep inside a story about the early days of "Hurricane Crossfire", the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.