Friday, 24 February 2017

FBI Turns Down The Request Of White House To Deny The Story Of Russia Contacts

Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus

The FBI refused a a white house request to comment on news media reports of contact during the 2016 presidential campaign between people associated with President Trump and Russians known to U.S. intelligence, UNN reported , citing unnamed U.S. officials.

White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus asked the FBI and other agencies investigating Russia's election activities to publicly dispute reports from The New York Times and CNN earlier this month of contacts between Trump associates and Russian intelligence officials, according to CNN's report.

FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe told Priebus that the Times story " vastly overstates what the FBI KNOWS about the contacts," according to CNN. "The White House official said that Priebus later reached out again to McCabe and to FBO Director James Comet asking for the FBI to at least talk to reporters on background to dispute the stories."

Comet refused the request on the grounds that the alleged contacts were part of an ongoing investigation.
Communications with the FBI about pending investigations violates Justice Department directives from 2007 and 2009. In a May 2009 memo, then attorney general Eric Holder outlined procedures to protect the Justice Department from "political influence."

"Initial communications between the Department and the White House concerning pending or contemplated criminal investigations or cases will involve only the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General, from the side of the Department, and the Counsel to the President. Principal Deputy Counsel to the President, the President or the Vice President, from the side of the White House," the memo reads.
Despite the rebuffed request, the White House vehemently denied the reports regarding the investigation.

Trump called it "fake news" during last week's news conference to introduce his new Labour Secretary nominee.
Priebus appeared on several television news shows to dispute the reports.

"I mean we've spent days talking about a story that says that our campaign had constant contacts with Russian spies, " Priebus said on NBC's Meet the press on Sunday. "And I can tell you, I've talked to the top level s of the intelligence community. And they've assured me that New York Times story was grossly overstated, and inaccurate and totally wrong."

Usatoday

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