CNN released another explosive accusation, citing U.S. officials, saying that they have obtained information that suggests Trump campaign associates were coordinating with Russian authorities on hacked information that damaged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the election.
"CNN has learned new details of the FBI investigation into potential links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government," Anderson Cooper reported.
"Well, Anderson," Pamela Brown said, "the FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, U.S. officials told us. FBI Director James Comey made his bombshell announcement, as you'll recall, Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump's campaign's ties to Russia.
"So the FBI is now reviewing that information," she continued, "which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records as well as accounts of in-person meetings, according to the officials we've spoken with. And 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 this investigation is ongoing.
"The FBI would not comment," she concluded, "nor would the White House, though Trump officials have denied there is any evidence of collusion."
"If you'll recall," CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez said, "in addition to Comey saying that the investigation includes looking at connections of Trump associates, he also explained what it means that the investigation is actually being done."
"The standard is," Comey explained during his congressional testimony, "I think there are a couple different at play, a credible allegation of wrongdoing or a reasonable basis to believe that an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power."
"One law enforcement official," Perez continued, "said that the information in hand suggests, people connected to the campaign were in contact and appeared that they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready. But other U.S. officials who we spoke to said that it was premature to draw that inference from the information that they gathered so far. Since, at this point, it's largely circumstantial."
"The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion actually took place," he explained, "but the information suggesting collusion is now a large part of the focus of his investigation according to the officials that we talked to."
— CNN (@CNN) March 23, 2017
The coordination under investigation includes the stolen emails handed over to WikiLeaks from campaign manager John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
The Trump campaign has roundly denied such allegations, and said that the leaks are false, made up by the media, and also released by malicious partisan members of the "deep state" of bureaucrats clandestinely organized to undermine the presidency.