In Brief

Nigel Farage is a 'person of interest' in FBI's Trump-Russia investigation

Former Ukip leader has branded the claims 'complete baloney'

Nigel Farage is reportedly a "person of interest" in the FBI's investigation into Donald Trump's links with Russia after turning up "over and over again" in its enquiries.

The Guardian reports that the former Ukip leader has come under the scope of the investigation due to his links with Trump's presidential campaign and also WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

"He's right in the middle of these relationships," a source told the newspaper. "He turns up over and over again. There's a lot of attention being paid to him."

Last year Farage was one of the first foreign politicians to visit Trump after his election. He was photographed standing beside the new President-Elect in front of a golden elevator in Trump Tower.

Trump subsequently said that "many people" wanted to see the former Ukip leader become the UK's ambassador, a suggestion dismissed by Downing Street.

In March, Farage visited Assange for "journalistic reasons", he said. He told German newspaper Die Zeit that he had "never received a penny from Russia".

Farage's spokesman told The Guardian he had neither been to Russia nor worked with its officials – but did not answer questions on whether Farage was aware of the FBI's investigation or had hired a lawyer in connection with it.

Farage told the Telegraph the claims were "complete baloney".

"I have never been to Russia. I have never had any business dealings in Russia. Much of the world I have but I never did Russian business even when I was in commodities.

"I have no Russian links or connections of any kind at all. The idea that I can be a 'person of interest' is frankly laughable."

The Brexiteer hasn't been accused of wrongdoing and isn't a suspect, The Guardian says.

Still, being classified as someone of interest means the FBI think Farage could have relevant information. He could therefore come under their scrutiny.

The news is the latest revelation in the FBI's investigation into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian state actors to affect the result of the US election.

Trump, who has called the inquiry "fake news", has been dogged by rumours virtually since the day he took office. A drip feed of leaks to the US media has revealed potentially damaging connections between people close to the US President and Putin, including Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In May, the beleaguered President fired FBI director James Comey, who was leading the investigation.

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