WASHINGTON — The FBI probe into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign team and Russia has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, according to the Washington Post, a major development that draws the investigation ever closer to the President himself.
People familiar with the matter tell the Post that it’s a senior adviser who is close to the President, though they declined to identify who it is.
The latest bombshell comes at the end of a horrific two-week stretch for Trump that began with his firing FBI Director James Comey, and as it appears the investigation is picking up steam in a significant way. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s company recently received subpoenas looking into his business practices, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s decision to name former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the case eased lawmakers’ worries that Trump firing Comey could derail the investigation.
Flynn was forced to resign in February after it became public that he’d lied to administration officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador during the transition, 18 days after Trump was made aware of that fact. He’s also facing heat for failing to register as a foreign lobbyist for Turkey, which Trump’s team was reportedly aware of before he was named national security adviser, and for a paid speech he gave to a Russian propaganda outlet in Moscow that he didn’t disclose, where he met Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the investigation after it came out that he’d met with Russia’s ambassador before the election, then lied under oath during his confirmation hearing and said he hadn’t had any contact with the Russians.
Former top Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort is also facing investigations into his Russia ties. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has also acknowledged contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition, and omitted contacts with foreign leaders on a national security questionnaire.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s statement on the matter: “As the President has said before — a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity.”