White House scoffs at CNN report on alleged Russian collusion

White House press secretary Sean Spicer mocked CNN on Thursday over its report that key figures in President Trump’s campaign may have coordinated with Russian operatives to release damaging information about former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSamantha Power's Herculean task: Turning a screw with a rubber screwdriver Beau Biden Foundation to deny lobbyist donations, make major donors public Whoopi Goldberg wears 'my vice president' shirt day after inauguration MORE and influence the outcome of the 2016 campaign. 

Spicer recalled an incident in which former CNN analyst Donna Brazile was revealed by WikiLeaks to have provided a question to Clinton’s campaign ahead of a town hall event with presidential rival Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance Woman who made Sanders's mittens says she's sold out MORE (I-Vt.) when she was the vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“[CNN] reported that anonymous U.S. officials told them that information indicates that associates of the campaign and suspected operatives coordinated, which they admit is not conclusive of anything,” Spicer said. “The last line said the FBI cannot conclude that collusion took place. I think there's probably more evidence that CNN colluded with the Clinton campaign to get her debate questions than the Trump campaign gave any kind of collusion.” 


The FBI is investigating potential links between some members of Trump’s campaign and Russian officials as part of its investigation into foreign meddling in the 2016 election.

Citing anonymous U.S. officials, CNN reported late Wednesday that the FBI is reviewing “human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings” between the Russians and some in Trump’s orbit during the campaign.

“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,” CNN reported

“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,’ ” CNN said. “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.” 

Spicer on Thursday dismissed the report as reckless speculation.

“It is filled with a bunch of subjective terms about this person may have done this, possibly could have done that,” he said. “At the end of the story, way to the very bottom, it says the FBI cannot yet prove that collusion.”