By AMANDA PRATS
In an exclusive story, CNN reported that the White House asked the FBI to deny news media reports regarding communications between Donald Trump’s advisers and Russia.
The stories discussed were reports by The New York Times and CNN that there was “constant communication between high-level advisers to then-candidate Trump, Russian officials and other Russians known to U.S. intelligence” before the election.
According to the White House official who informed the story, the request from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus came after the FBI told the White House that it did not believe The New York Times’ reporting was accurate. The FBI has not commented publicly on the story and has not backed this position.
These requests were reportedly made despite restrictions that are meant to limit communication between the White House and the FBI regarding pending investigations, according to CNN’s Evan Perez, one of the journalists who investigated the story. Perez explained on “Erin Burnett OutFront” that these restrictions date back to 2007 and 2009, when the Justice Department issued memos limiting such communications.
In what has become a common practice of Trump’s administration, the White House issued a denial of the reports. Priebus called the New York Times story “complete garbage,” going on “Fox News Sunday” to say, “That story is not only inaccurate, but it’s grossly overstated and it was wrong. And there’s nothing to it.”
Despite these efforts to discredit the reporting of The New York Times and CNN, the investigation into the possible communications between Russian officials and the Trump campaign is ongoing.