White House aides told to preserve materials in Russian Federation probe

US Senator Dan Coats speaking to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York

President-elect Trump denied his campaign had contacts with the Russian government, accusing the U.S. intelligence agencies as well as the Obama administration of hyping the story about his Russian ties to sabotage his administration. "There continues to be no there, there", Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said.

After all, the White House was reportedly surprised to hear of Sessions' meetings from the media, and they can't afford any more stumbles right now (because Trump recently "repaired" his image with a teleprompted speech).

A congressional investigation of Russian interference in last year's presidential election will also look at whether classified information gathered by USA spy agencies was leaked to the public. The Senate Intelligence Committee also made a similar request to the White House and agencies. The officials, who spoke to the Times anonymously because they were divulging classified information, said they were coming forward in order to bring attention to the need for further Congressional investigation into the matter. Congress doesn't declare "executive privilege" on behalf of the executive branch.

A former intelligence official confirmed to Fox News that the Obama administration's goal was to "keep the Russian issue alive" and ensure evidence of Moscow's reported election interference was widely disseminated.

The House Intelligence Committee set the scope of its own investigation into Russia's interference on Monday. Between Nunes's role on the transition and now his threats to the press?

Trump to speak about military plans at USS Gerald R. Ford
The president stated before an audience of sailors that his budget proposal to invest $54 billion into defense spending. Ford carrier, which has been under construction since 2009, is expected to be commissioned this summer.

The Politico piece quoted the senior official from the Obama White House saying, "It seems pretty clear that [former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn] was not a rogue here".

The Trump team's public accounting of Flynn's conversations with the ambassador have changed multiple times.

The FBI interviewed Flynn about the contacts days after the inauguration.

The most significant of the claims - that Mr Trump's new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, met twice with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election - was first reported in the Washington Post. He replied: "I'm not aware of any of those activities", adding "I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians".

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