Administration

Trump received FBI warning that Russians would try to infiltrate campaign: report

The FBI reportedly warned then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the months before the election that Russia and other foreign adversaries would probably try to infiltrate his presidential campaign.

Multiple government officials told NBC News that senior FBI officials briefed both Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about the threats, which it said are commonly offered to major party nominees for the White House.

The briefings, the officials told NBC, are used to alert candidates and their teams about such threats. They are generally given around the point at which candidates begin receiving classified information, and campaigns are told to alert any suspicious activity to authorities.

A White House official downplayed the news, saying there was nothing unusual about the briefings. 

{mosads}”That the Republican and Democrat nominee for President received a standardized briefing on counter-intelligence is hardly a news story,” White House spokesman Raj Shah told NBC. “That NBC News hears about the contents of this classified conversation due to an inappropriate leak is a news story.”

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in last year’s presidential election with the goal of hurting Clinton’s campaign and helping Trump’s.

That has led to numerous congressional probes of the election, and an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller that was kickstarted by Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey in May.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Four people have been indicted so far in Mueller’s probe, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who both pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their contacts with Russians.

The first briefing by the FBI for Trump officials took place in August 2016, according to NBC. That was about two months after a Russian lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower prompted by an email promising damaging information about Clinton. Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, sat in on the meeting.

Manafort has also been indicted in the Mueller probe. 

Other campaign contacts with Russia or Russia-linked groups occurred after the reported briefing, including Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter exchange with WikiLeaks and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions’s (R-Ala.) meeting with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, though it is unclear if any of the Trump officials thought there was anything suspicious about the contacts.

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Hillary Clinton Jared Kushner Jeff Sessions Paul Manafort

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video