REPORT: FBI Probing Russian Intel Contacts With Trump Campaign Officials
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REPORT: FBI Probing Russian Intel Contacts With Trump Campaign Officials

Win by the leak … live with the leak? Democrats still blame the FBI for its very public investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail system for her loss to Donald Trump in the presidential campaign, claiming that the constant leaks damaged her standing while leading to no prosecutable charges. The shoe may well and truly be on the other foot now, according to the New York Times report from last night about an FBI investigation into alleged contacts between Russian intelligence and Trump’s campaign:

Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

That sounds pretty bad — but so far, at least, the investigation hasn’t found much other than the contacts:

If Trump campaign officials cooperated with Russian intelligence contacts, that’s obviously a very big deal. However, as the Times points out fairly close to the top of the story, the FBI hasn’t found any evidence to suggest it, or that the contacts related to the election at all as opposed to other intelligence gathering or potential grooming. If these officials simply had unknowing contact with Russian intelligence agents, that’s amateurish and careless, but not actionable. Having this probe’s details leak out like this looks at least as careless, and potentially the start of a whispering campaign against the Trump administration from the FBI. Given the leaks that went in the other direction in 2015-16, though, it’s going to be difficult for the Trump White House and Republicans to gripe about it.

That won’t stop them from trying, though:

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