Democrats sue Trump, Russia over election hacking

The Democratic Party is suing Russia, President Donald Trump's campaign and WikiLeaks, charging that they conspired to disrupt the 2016 US Presidential election, a court filing shows.

The party alleges in the federal lawsuit in Manhattan that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and tilt the election to Mr Trump by hacking Democratic Party computers.

The lawsuit also names Donald Trump Jr, Trump associate Roger Stone and Mr Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner as defendants.

The lawsuit filed on Friday alleges that Mr Trump's campaign "gleefully welcomed Russia's help" in the 2016 election.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Mr Trump has repeatedly denied his campaign colluded with Russia. Russia has denied meddling in the election.

The Republican National Committee, the Trump campaign, Trump campaign manager Michael Glassner, WikiLeaks, Stone and lawyers for Donald Trump Jr, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Manafort associate Rick Gates and former campaign aide George Papadopoulous also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit, should it go forward, seems likely to help keep the spotlight on the issue of Russian election interference and possible collusion by the Trump campaign. Both are being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Through the process of legal discovery, lawyers for the Democratic Party could force the defendants to produce documents bearing on the collusion issue.

Trump 'glad' to see Putin in the White House

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to the US during a phone call and says he'll be glad to see him in the White House, RIA Novosti reports, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The news agency quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying Mr Trump returned to the subject of an invitation a couple of times during a call last month and that Russia was now expecting Mr Trump to formalise the invitation.

"We proceed from the fact that the US President in a telephone conversation...made such an invitation, said he would be glad to see [Putin] in the White House, would then be glad to meet on a reciprocal visit," said Mr Lavrov, according to a transcript of an interview with RIA on the foreign ministry website.

"He returned to this topic a couple of times, so we let our American colleagues know that we do not want to impose, but we also do not want to be impolite, and that considering that President Trump made this proposal, we proceed from the position that he will make it concrete."

Rolling out a welcome for Mr Putin in the White House could anger Mr Trump's domestic critics, who accuse Russia of hostile acts against Western countries, including the United States.

"I would simply turn your attention to the fact that Donald Trump after this phone conversation has said several times in both tweets and in words that it is necessary to resolve issues with Russia, we want to have good relations with Russia, this is better than not having good relations, and that only a fool thinks otherwise," Mr Lavrov said. "We also hear this."

Mr Trump and Mr Putin spoke by phone on March 20.

Reuters