‘STORY’S COMPLETE GARBAGE’ Priebus: US intel officials say Trump did not conspire with Russia
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday that top U.S. intelligence officials have told him that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign did not collude with Russia — attempting to end widespread new reports about potentially compromising, illegal talks with the former Cold War enemy.
“I can assure you, the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that [the allegation] is not only grossly overstated, but also wrong,” Priebus told “Fox News Sunday.” “They have made it very clear that the story is complete garbage.”
However, his statement is unlikely to end the controversy, amid bipartisan calls on Capitol Hill to hold investigative hearings.
New stories about a potential Trump-Russia connection began to surface during the 2016 campaign when Trump lauded Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forceful governing style.
And they appeared to reach a peak following reports that retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, before he officially became Trump’s national security adviser, spoke with a Russian official about U.S. sanctions, which led last week to Flynn’s forced resignation.
In a freewheeling press conference Thursday, the president repeatedly said he had no knowledge of campaign officials talking to Russian officials.
Priebus attempted Sunday to close the matter, but declined to name his contacts within the