White House: FBI Officials Told Priebus Trump-Russia Stories Were BS

|
February 24, 2017 11:46 a.m.

Following reports that White House Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to dispute a story saying aides to President Donald Trump were in contact with Russian officials before the election, senior administration officials insisted that FBI officials came to Priebus to say the reporting was inaccurate.

The officials told reporters that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe brought up to Priebus during a one-on-one meeting on Feb. 15 that a New York Times story on the subject was “bullshit,” according to a White House pool report.

CNN reported on Thursday that the FBI had refused a request from Priebus to publicly push back on the Times’ report about Trump aides being in communication with Russian officials. Both CNN and the Associated Press reported that discussion about the Times’ story originated with a conversation between McCabe and Priebus.

The senior administration officials said Friday that after learning about the FBI’s views on the Times report, Priebus asked McCabe, “What can we do about this?” McCabe told Priebus that he’d get back to him, prompting Preibus to let McCabe know he was getting “crushed” by the Times story, per the pool report.

The officials said McCabe later called Priebus and told him, “We’d love to help but we can’t get into the position of making statements on every story.” But when Priebus asked McCabe if he could cite senior intelligence officials who said the report was false, McCabe replied “yes,” according to the pool report.

FBI Director James Comey himself later called Priebus to reaffirm that the story was inaccurate, but the agency could not make a statement, the officials told reporters.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Friday also railed against CNN, which first reported that a White House official had asked the FBI to publicly counter the New York Times’ reporting, according to the pool report.

Newsletters
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.
Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: