Trump Fails Again As FBI Denies His Request To Downplay Russian Connections

That request made it to director James Comey.

The FBI rejected a recent request by the White House to dispute media reports that Trump campaign officials had regular contacts with Russian intelligence officials before the election, CNN has reported.

According to a White House official, the request only came about after the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicated the reports may not be correct.

The official who is not authorized to comment publicly said the White House sought to specifically refute reports earlier this month in The New York Times claiming that Trump associates had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence officials during the course of the past year. You'll recall that CNN and the New York Times first reported on this just over a week ago.

Quoting U.S. officials briefed on the matter, CNN reported the White House had asked for the denial of reports of the alleged contacts first published by the New York Times and CNN on February 14 in violation of procedures regarding pending federal investigations.

CNN's report was based on multiple unnamed US officials briefed on the matter.

Comey rejected the request for the FBI to comment on the stories, according to sources, because the alleged communications between Trump associates and Russians known to USA intelligence are the subject of an ongoing investigation.

According to Thursday's report, White House chief-of-staff Reince Priebus discussed the report a day after it was published with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on the sidelines of another White House meeting.

USA intelligence officials have concluded Russian Federation attempted to influence the US presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails and turning them over to WikiLeaks for publication.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said Attorney General Jeff Sessions is examining the memos and "the Department is following the guidelines in its communications with the White House".

McCabe apparently told Spicer that the reports were overstated, an unnamed White House official told CNN. In an interview with the newspaper, Manafort denied knowingly talking to Russian intelligence officials on behalf of the Trump campaign. We have now all kinds of people looking into this.

  • Larry Hoffman