CNN broke a story that tells a damning story of the Trump Administration making direct contact with the FBI in an attempt to squash the widely-circulating stories about Russia.
CNN explains, “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.”
In other words, the White House contacted the FBI to speak specifically about Russia. When they did this, they broke the law.
The FBI response was an emphatic: NO. “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 tell CNN.”
Now we get on to the part of every Trump Administration story that lets you know who lied, and what they lied about. According to CNN, the FBI Deputy Director of the time, Andrew McCabe, met with Reince Priebus, Trump’s short-lived chief-of-staff, about the Russia stories at an aside during another, unrelated meeting at the White House. The White House said this scenario was a lie, and posited that McCabe called Priebus that morning. Later, a White House official confirmed and verified that CNN’s description of events was, in fact, accurate.
CNN went on to discuss the situation:
The Trump administration’s efforts to press Comey run contrary to Justice Department procedure memos issued in 2007 and 2009 that limit direct communications on pending investigations between the White House and the FBI.
“Initial communications between the [Justice] 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, the Principal Deputy Counsel to the President, the President, or the Vice President from the side of the White House,” reads the 2009 memo.
The memos say the communication should only happen when it is important for the President’s duties and where appropriate from a law enforcement perspective.
A Department of Justice spokesman said Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing the memos and that “the Department is following the guidelines in its communications with the White House.”
Watch the story here: