World Bulletin / News Desk
The FBI rejected a White House request to dispel reports that suggested members of President Donald Trump's presidential campaign were in touch with Russian officials, according to a report that has irked the executive mansion on Friday.
The contacts were first reported Feb. 14 by the New York Times and CNN.
One day later, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked top FBI officials, including Director James Comey, to look into whether the agency could issue statements that denied the reports' veracity, but was told by Comey and Assistant Director Andrew McCabe that was not possible, according to senior administration officials.
During a one-on-one meeting, McCabe used strong language to dismiss the report, according to the officials, but later maintained that the FBI could not make a public statement on the matter.
"We'd love to help but we can't get into the position of making statements on every story," McCabe told Priebus during a telephone call, the officials said.
One official said his impression was that there was not any sort of investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged contacts with Russia but he would not completely rule it out.
CNN reported Thursday the FBI rejected Priebus' request and said such a request would have violated firewalls between the executive mansion and the bureau on ongoing investigations meant to preserve integrity.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer "vociferously condemned" CNN's report as "inaccurate".
The FBI has not issued any public statement on the matter and is unlikely to do so.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Şubat 2017, 18:56