CNN: FBI Has Information That Suggests Trump Associates May Have Coordinated with Russians
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 23, 2017
CNN is reporting tonight that the FBI has information suggesting that associates of President Trump “may have coordinated” with Russians to release damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
According to a report from Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, and Shimon Prokupecz, anonymous U.S. officials said that the FBI is reviewing the following information as part of the investigation disclosed by James Comey this week:
The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.
And including the last part above, there are several caveats and qualifiers in CNN’s report:
One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests “people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready.” But other U.S. officials who spoke to CNN say it’s premature to draw that inference from the information gathered so far since it’s largely circumstantial.
The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place, but the information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the investigation, the officials said.
Sources also said, according to the report, that one of the “obstacles” here is that “communications between Trump’s associates and Russians have ceased in recent months.”
This report comes hours after House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes publicly spoke about “incidental collection” of Trump team communications by intel agencies. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, criticized Nunes for his actions and said on MSNBC earlier that “there is evidence that is not circumstantial” on the Russia investigation.
Sean Spicer said during Monday’s press briefing––following significant remarks from Comey––that people are continuing to “look for something that doesn’t exist” and that “investigating it and having proof of it are two separate things.”
[image via screengrab]
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