Lawyers for US President Donald Trump have said that a review of the last 10 years of tax returns shows he did gain income from any Russian sources – with only a few exceptions. However, they refused to release the returns.

The Associated Press reported that they were unable to verify the lawyers' statements independently without the release of said tax returns.

The lawyers said that the returns reflect "no income of any type from Russian sources" apart from a few expections, including a Miss Universe pageant that was held in Moscow and the $95m sale of a mansion to a Russian billionaire in 2008.

The letter came in response to a call from Republican senator Lindsey Graham for information on any ties Trump may have to Russia – Graham is chair of the committee investigating Russian interference in the last US election.

The letter only spoke about tax returns from the last 10 years, not further back.

Allegations of Trump's links to Russia and the Trump team's ties to Russian officials came to the forefront again this week after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey – just days after he reportedly asked the Deputy Attorney General for further funds to resource the bureau's investigation into Russian election interference.

In his letter dismissing Comey, Trump mentioned that the ex-FBI chief had told him three times that he was not under investigation, something which one Republican congressman called "bizarre" and which Comey's replacement would not confirm.

Later reports said that Trump had invited Comey to a private dinner where he asked for the director's "loyalty" three times, with Comey only offering his "honesty". In an early morning tweet, the president then alluded to "tapes" of conversations between the two that may turn up "if he starts leaking to the press".

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