(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama administration spread evidence on President Trump and Russia during transition: report

Before Trump took office, his predecessor did whatever it took to preserve info on Russian interference


Taylor Link
March 2, 2017 6:36PM (UTC)

When former President Barack Obama's second term was coming to an end, his administration was hustling to protect any and all evidence relating to then President-elect Donald Trump and Russia. According to a new report from The New York Times, the Obama administration spread information about Russian interference across the government. The goal of this, according to The Times, was to ensure that there was a trail of intelligence for future investigations.

Although evidence proving collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign have not surfaced, American allies such as Britain and the Netherlands have provided detailed information about rendezvous in Europe involving associates of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to three former American officials who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity.

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This was not the only bombshell from The Times' report. American intelligence agencies have also intercepted Russian communiqués that discussed contacts with Trump associates.

The Obama administration, distrustful of Trump and the majority party in power, found it necessary to do whatever it took to keep the intelligence trail alive. Former Obama aides told The Times that none of these efforts were directed by the former president.

Current White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that this report only confirms that Obama was trying to undermine his successor.

"The only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration have sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election," Spicer said. "There continues to be no there, there."

Last night, The Washington Post reported that Jeff Sessions, the recently confirmed attorney general, had met with the Russian ambassador despite his claims otherwise. The FBI is currently investigating Russia's contacts with the Trump campaign, according to The Times. Sessions is a subject of that investigation.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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