The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock
down media reports about communications between Donald Trump’s
associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016
presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter
White House officials had sought the help of the bureau and other
agencies investigating the Russia matter to say that the reports
were wrong and that there had been no contacts, the officials
said. The reports of the contacts were first published by The New
York Times and CNN on February 14.
The direct communications between the White House and the FBI were
unusual because of decade-old restrictions on such contacts. Such
a request from the White House is a violation of procedures that
limit communications with the FBI on pending investigations.
Something outrageous comes out of the Trump Kakistocracy every single day, but we should never tire of calling it out. This story is outrageous. It’s a baldfaced attempt to subvert the rule of law.
The discussions between the White House and the bureau began with
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and White House Chief of Staff
Reince Priebus on the sidelines of a separate White House meeting
the day after the stories were published, according to a U.S. law
The White House initially disputed that account, saying that
McCabe called Priebus early that morning and said The New York
Times story vastly overstates what the FBI knows about the
contacts. But a White House official later corrected their version
of events to confirm what the law enforcement official described.
The same White House official said that Priebus later reached out
again to McCabe and to FBI Director James Comey asking for the FBI
to at least talk to reporters on background to dispute the
stories. A law enforcement official says McCabe didn’t discuss
aspects of the case but wouldn’t say exactly what McCabe told
I would love to know who the White House official is who sold Priebus out here. Whoever it is is trying to get Priebus to resign or be fired. (And if the allegations are true, he should be fired, if not prosecuted for obstruction of justice.)
★ Thursday, 23 February 2017