Russia probe reportedly reaches top White House official

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The “senior White House adviser” is “close to Trump.”

From left, Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, policy adviser Stephen Miller, and chief strategist Steve Bannon watches as President Donald Trump signs an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact agreed to under the Obama administration, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Washington Post reports that the accelerating investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russian officials “has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest.”

The focus coincides with “overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas.”

The revelation comes just one day after Trump repeated that he did not collude with Russian officials but, in a rhetorical shift, spoke “for himself.”

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In January, Trump said, “I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.” He repeated that exact line in a press conference in February.

In a statement responding to the Washington Post report, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said “a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity.”

The Washington Post describes the person of interest as a “senior White House adviser.” Only two White House staff staffers have that title — policy chief Stephen Miller and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Another top aide close to Trump, Steve Bannon, has the title “Senior Counselor.”

According to the New York Times, Trump told top Russia officials in the Oval Office that he fired FBI chief James Comey because “I faced great pressure because of Russia.” Now that Comey has been fired, Trump reportedly said, “That’s taken off.”

Russia probe reportedly reaches top White House official was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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