Russia probe: Bannon says White House told him not to talk

WASHINGTON: United States President Donald Trump's former adviser Steve Bannon on Tuesday refused to answer questions from a congressional committee probing the Trump campaign's links to Russia, saying he was under orders from the White House not to.

Mr Bannon was quizzed voluntarily behind closed doors by the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, the first time he has testified in the investigation into whether Mr Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in its bid to influence the 2016 US elections.

It was unlikely to be Mr Bannon's last such testimony. The New York Times and the Washington Post reported late on Tuesday that Mr Bannon has been subpoenaed by Mr Robert Mueller, the Justice Department special counsel investigating the issue.

That made him the first person from Mr Trump's inner circle to receive a grand jury subpoena from Mr Mueller in the probe.

Mr Bannon refused to answer a number of questions from the committee, citing "executive privilege" allowing the president to keep information from the public. - AFP