Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

FBI Rejects Request

The Federal Bureau of Investigation rejected a White House request to publicly discredit media reports about communications between Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Although, Donald Trump’s aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during the campaign, White House officials sought the help of the FBI and other agencies investigating the media reports.  They wanted the FBI to announce that the reports first published by The New York Times and CNN on 2/14/17 were wrong and that there had been no contacts.

Direct communications between the White House and the FBI are unusual because of decade-old restrictions on such contacts.  The White House request was a violation of procedures that limit communications with the FBI on pending investigations.

Regarding the CNN's characterization of the request, White House press secretary Sean Spicer complained: "We didn't try to knock the story down.  We asked them to tell the truth."  The FBI has declined to comment.

According to a law enforcement official, the discussions between the White House and the bureau began with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus were on the sidelines of a separate White House meeting the day after the stories were published.

The White House initially disputed that account, saying that McCabe called Priebus early that morning and said The New York Times story vastly overstates what the FBI knows about the contacts.  However, a White House official later corrected their version of events to confirm what the law enforcement official described.

According to sources, FBI Director James Comey rejected the request for the FBI to comment on the stories, because the alleged communications between Trump associates and Russians known to US intelligence are the subject of an ongoing investigation.


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