The White House communicated with Home Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes and Senate Intelligence Chairman Sen. Richard Burr about rebutting reports that Trump associates had contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.
The Washington Post very first reported on Friday that the White Home turned to senior members of the intelligence neighborhood and Congress to rebut the news reports right after the FBI declined to do so publicly.
The White Residence maintains that there had been no improper communications and that the FBI came to them to discredit an earlier New York Instances report on contacts in between Trump associates and Russian officials. The White House then asked the FBI if they could aid shoot down the story publicly but the bureau declined.
White Residence Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that, similarly, a congressman reached out to the White Residence to refute the New York Occasions report.
"A congressman who also had the same data also reached or to us not the other way around," Sanders said. "The bigger story right here is not that they called us, but that the New York Instances story was false."
The White Residence acknowledged that in addition to communicating with Nunes, the administration also reached out to Burr.
Burr has yet to respond to an ABC News request for comment, but a spokesman for Nunes maintains that the congressman did nothing wrong in communicating with the White Residence on refuting the news reports.
"Chairman Nunes did nothing at all inappropriate," Nunes spokesman Jack Langer mentioned in a statement. "He produced inquiries into the allegations published by the New York Occasions and could not obtain evidence to help them. So he told that to a number of reporters, and then a White House aide asked if he would speak to one particular extra. So he spoke to that reporter as properly, telling that individual the very same point he told the other reporters."
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he has "grave concerns" about what role the White Property played in looking for assistance from members of Congress and the intelligence community to rebut the story.
"I have named [CIA Director Mike Pompeo] and Chairman Burr to express my grave concerns about what this means for the independence of this investigation and a bipartisan commitment to comply with the facts, and to reinforce that I will not accept any method that is undermined by political interference," Warner said in a statement.
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