White House officials scrambled in the final days of the Obama administration to spread information across the government about Russian meddling in the election — and possible contacts between Trump associates and Russians, The New York Times reported.
The effort was to thwart any future meddling, and to leave a "clear trail of intelligence for government investigators," the Times reported.
According to the Times, the information included that from American allies, including the British and the Dutch, describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia's president Vladimir Putin – and Trump associates, the Times reported, citing three unnamed former American officials.
Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates, the Times reported.
According to the Times, some people in the Obama White House worried the intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands.
The Times reported the push by intelligence agencies aimed to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low level of classification to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies.
"This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American intelligence analysts to share information," the Times reported.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer responded, "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."
"There continues to be no there, there."
The FBI is conducting an investigation into Russia meddling in the election, and separately, the House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting their own probes.
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