The investigation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who was appointed special counsel earlier this week to look into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, had identified a current White House official as a person of interest, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Unnamed sources told the newspaper the person identified is a senior White House adviser who is close to President Donald Trump. They also stressed the investigation was also focused on people who previously held influence with Trump but were no longer part of his administration.
The FBI probe specifically is seeking to determine whether Trump associates had contact with Russian operatives, any possible business dealings, and whether those dealings in any way influenced hacking and publishing Democratic National Committee emails between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta during the 2016 presidential election, the article explained.
Just because the investigation may include current White House officials, sources told the newspaper that did not indicate criminal charges were near or would result from the probe. Current administration officials who have said they had contact with Russian officials include Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, and Cabinet members Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
While the FBI declined to comment on the story, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said, "I can't confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of investigations or targets of investigations."
White House press secretary Sean Spicer reiterated previous comments by the president, saying, "As the president has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity."
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