FBI still investigating computer link between Trump Organization, Russian bank: report

FBI still investigating computer link between Trump Organization, Russian bank: report
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The FBI is still investigating whether there was a computer server connection between a Russian bank and the Trump Organization, CNN reported Thursday.

While the first reports of a server connection were dismissed in November, the FBI continues to investigate for possible links, according to the network.

The FBI's counterintelligence team is reportedly handling the investigation, which is also currently examining whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

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The server in question came under scrutiny last summer after internet data from a computer server owned by the Moscow-based Alfa Bank searched for the contact information of a computer server owned by the Trump Organization.

Their internet searches exceeded other companies, with Alfa Bank alone accounting for 80 percent of the Trump server look-ups, according to CNN, which reported that FBI investigators found the server connection "odd."

In a statement, a Trump Organization spokesperson downplayed the connection and said it found no instances of "two-way email communication" with the bank. It said the links stem from traffic "lookups," not email traffic. 

The statement noted that a third-party firm called Cendyn, which had been hired to perform email marketing, owned and managed the server that contacted AlfaBank and had investigated the communications. According to the statement, Cendyn's investigation found another client of Cendyn not related to the Trump Organization had used one of Cendyn's tools to send communications to the bank. 

It's unclear how consequential it would be if such a connection were found. CNN reported that there are no specific allegations of wrongdoing.

The server issue was recently mentioned in a Breitbart article that inspired President Trump to claim on Twitter that his phone was tapped during the election by the Obama administration, according to a White House official cited by CNN.

CNN reported no Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant was issued for the computer server in question.

The FBI declined to comment for the CNN report, and the White House did not respond to a request for comment. 

The New York Times and Slate first reported the irregular server activity.