By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — The White House chief of staff has denied that advisers to President Donald Trump were in contact with Russian intelligence during the election campaign.
Reince Priebus also said in an interview February 19 on NBC TV that he had been assured from “the top levels of the intelligence community” that reports of those alleged contacts were false.
Priebus’s comments were the latest efforts by the Trump administration to push back against reports that several Trump advisers had spoken with Russian officials during last year’s campaign.
Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned last week after reports said he had discussed U.S. sanctions imposed against Russia with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
The White House has said Flynn did nothing illegal, but was asked to resign because he misled Vice President Mike Pence.
U.S. intelligence has asserted that Russia engaged computer hacking and propaganda effort to manipulate the presidential election that was won by Trump.
The FBI has multiple investigations open into the alleged campaign, and four separate Senate committees are also looking into it.