White House officials tried to enlist senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations about their coverage of the Trump teams contacts with Russian operatives, a Washington Post exclusive reports states.
“The White House on Friday acknowledged those interactions with the FBI but did not disclose that it then turned to other officials who agreed to do what the FBI would not — participate in White House-arranged calls with news organizations, including The Washington Post.”
In addition, the White House also apparently reached out to Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif), to challenge reporters on their stories. Nunes admitted he had spoken to reporters challenging their stories, and Burr also acknowledge he had conversations concerning news coverage of Russian-related articles. Burr attempted, the Washington Post reports, to dispute articles with CNN and the New York Times, both of whom were blacked out of a White House briefing Friday.
“I’ve had those conversations,” Burr said, and regarded the contacts as appropriate. “I felt I had something to share that didn’t breach my responsibilities to the committee in an ongoing investigation,” Burr said.
Both Burr and Nunes are chairmen on the Senate and House intelligence committees, respectively.
“Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement Friday evening saying that if the White House ‘contrived to have intelligence officials contradict unfavorable news reports, this represents a new and even more grave threat to the independence of the intelligence community.,’” The Washington Post stated.