The FBI refused the White House’s request to publicly deny media reports that President Trump’s campaign members communicated with Russian officials during the 2016 election.

Top officials in the Trump administration had asked the FBI and other intelligence agencies to denounce reports that were published in mid-February, though those White House advisers denied some details about the logistics of that meeting.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus were said to have talked about it while the director was at the White House last week.

A White House official said McCabe called Priebus to tell him the press reports were an overstatement. Priebus then asked McCabe and FBI Director James Comey to brief reporters on background with this new information, according to a CNN report on Thursday evening.

If the White House had taken the lead and contacted the FBI, it might have been a breach of restrictions that limit communications between the two parties during investigations.

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