Trump Administration Sought to Enlist Intelligence Officials, Key Lawmakers to Counter Russia Stories

Greg Miller and Adam Entous – The Washington Post:

The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House.

Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, U.S. officials said.

The calls were orchestrated by the White House after unsuccessful attempts by the administration to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.

The effort also involved senior lawmakers with access to classified intelligence about Russia, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees.

The very officials who receive regular intelligence briefings from FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and who would figure greatly in any impartial (hah!) investigation of wrong-doing by the executive office of the president of the United States have been laying cover for Mr. Trump’s people.

The gun is beginning to smoke.

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