Trump may have been responding to a CNN report from Thursday evening, which detailed how the Federal Bureau of Investigation rejected a White House request to publicly shoot down stories about alleged communications between Russian operatives and the president's inner circle.

Earlier this month, the president accused the intelligence community of leaking information to publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, singling out the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mr Priebus' discussion with FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe sparked outrage among some Democrats, who said the chief of staff was violating policies meant to limit communications between the law enforcement agency and the White House on pending investigations.

FBI director James Comey reportedly refused to comply with the request because of the agency's ongoing investigation into Trump's associates and their potentially illegal links to the Kremlin. According to procedural memos from 2007 and 2009, contacts should be limited to the attorney general and deputy attorney general on the Justice Department side, and the president, vice president, counsel to the president or the principal deputy counsel on the White House side.

Democratic lawmakers, joined by a growing number of Republicans, have called for a Congressional investigation into charges that Russian Federation intervened in the US election, and many are asking for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a major supporter of Trump during the campaign, to recuse himself from the probe.

Still, Mr Trump and his advisers have denied having had contacts with Russian officials during the election.

"Why would anybody at the White House be allowed to talk to the FBI, or vice versa, if they're in the middle of an investigation?"

Last week, Mr Trump said "nobody that I know of" spoke with Russian intelligence agents during the campaign.


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