According to CNN, the FBI rejected a recent request from the White House to publicly discredit recent reports about alleged communications between Donald Trump associates and Russians during the 2016 presidential election.
White House officials had reportedly sought out the FBI and additional agencies to say that the reports were untrue. Certain procedures limit communication between the White House and the FBI while investigations are pending.
A law enforcement official told CNN that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had discussions about the matter. A White House official contended that it was McCabe who initially reached out to Priebus to say that the reports had been overstated.
The revelation comes days after White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said during a weekend television interview that senior intelligence officials assured him that there not significant contacts between Trump advisors and Russian agents.
Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that the Times story “was total baloney.”
But CNN reported Thursday, citing “multiple U.S. officials briefed on the matter,” that the FBI declined to publicly corroborate Priebus despite a rare request from the White House to do so.