The chair of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee has rejected calls to open an investigation into President Trump's alleged ties with Russia. Devin Nunes said he would not take part in a "witch hunt".
The Republican congressman described the the prevailing mood in US politics as "almost like McCarthyism revisited" as he refused to add his committee to the growing list that are investigating the new administration.
Referring to the allegations against Trump, Nunes told reporters at the California Republican Party's spring convention in Sacramento: "At this point, there's nothing there."
He added: "Once we begin to look at all the evidence, and if we find any American that had any contact with Russian agents or anybody affiliated with the Russian government, then we'll be glad to, at that point, you know, subpoena those people before the House and let the legislative branch do its oversight and then we would recommend it over to, you know, the appropriate people," he said, according to Politico.
"But at this point ... we can't go on a witch hunt against the American people, any American people who have not had any contact, just because they appeared in a news story... This is almost like McCarthyism revisited."
At present the Senate's Intelligence Committee and Judiciary Committee, along with the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee are all pursuing investigations into the President's team's alleged contact with the Russian state.
Michael Flynn, Trump's initial national security adviser, was forced to resign after making false statements about discussions between himself and Russian representatives. Contrary to his early denials, Flynn did in fact discuss US sanctions against Russia with Moscow's ambassador to the US.
On 14 February the New York Times reported that US intelligence had evidence that members of Trump's campaign team had repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials in the 12-months preceding the November 2016 US election.
Trump vehemently and repeatedly denies that he or his staff have had inappropriate contact with Russian officials and intelligence figures.