The FBI shot down a recent request from the White House to publicly blast media reports about the alleged communications between President Trump’s associates and the Russians during the 2016 campaign, a report says.
Multiple US officials who’ve been briefed on the matter told CNN that White House officials had been asking the bureau to say the stories were wrong, and that there had been no contacts between the two parties whatsoever — but they refused.
The communications between the Trump administration and the FBI are said to be a direct violation of government procedures, which bar contact during ongoing investigations.
A White House official told CNN on Thursday night that the request was only made after the FBI approached the Trump administration and indicated that they did not believe the media reports to be true.
The contact reportedly started at a White House meeting on Feb. 15, the day after the reports were published by the New York Times and CNN saying Trump’s associates had been conversing with the Russians throughout the campaign.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus discussed the matter on the sidelines, a law enforcement official said.
After being denied, Priebus reached out again to McCabe and FBI Director James Comey — asking if the FBI would at the very least talk to reporters on background and dispute the allegations, according to CNN.
But Comey reportedly rejected this request, as well.
In their story earlier this month, CNN reported that there had been constant communication between Trump associates and advisers, and Russian officials.
The congressional investigations into the alleged contacts are reportedly still continuing.
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