In an at times testy exchange with New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was pressed on what he knows about then-businessman Donald Trump's interests in Russia and whether he has a "compromising relationship" with the U.S. rival.

Udall, a Democrat and brother of former Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (D), told Pompeo that his boss, President Trump, has "quite the record of... business relations with Russia."

Udall said public records show money from former Soviet states and Russia itself are reportedly tied to Trump properties in SoHo, N.Y., as well as Panama and Toronto.

He said Trump tried for decades to build a skyscraper in Moscow and referenced a Nevada presidential campaign event in which the Republican candidate answered a question by saying he believes he will get along well with Putin and sees little need for increased sanctions.

"Many Americans are concerned of the unthinkable," Udall said, adding some may view Trump as "extremely sympathetic to the very Russian government that attacked... our democracy."

Pompeo repeatedly rebuffed Udall's claims, and denied that Trump has a "compromising relationship" with Russia.

"I'm going to stay out of this political circus," Pompeo said to Udall, adding that he and the senator apparently sparred on this same topic in a previous hearing.


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Pompeo said it is ironic that Udall is making such statements about Trump and Russia in the wake of a "massive defense buildup that threatens Putin's regime."

Pompeo remarked that he would need a "truck" to deliver documentation of all of the ways the Trump administration has taken actions detrimental to the Russian Federation.

Udall said Trump has taken the uncharacteristic step of refusing to release tax returns, which he said will shed light on whether Trump has questionable relations with Russian oligarchs and other figures germane to the discussion he was having with Pompeo.

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