Hillary Clinton’s election campaign manager has criticised the FBI following reports that the security organisation was aware of potential links between the Trump administration and Russian officials while it was investigating Ms Clinton’s use of a private email server.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Robby Mook, who headed up Ms Clinton’s election campaign, wrote: “I'd like the FBI to explain why they sent a letter about Clinton but not this,” along with a New York Times article about the Trump administration’s “repeated contacts” with Russian intelligence.
Mr Mook was referring to a letter presented by FBI director James Comey prior to the election, which stated that new material was being studied in an investigation of Ms Clinton’s use of a private internet server for her emails — a move the Clinton campaign team claim cost her crucial votes.
By contrast, Mr Mook points out in his tweet, the Republican Mr Comey said nothing at the time about the newly emerged allegations of Mr Trump's Russian links, which were also being investigated.
Shortly after posting the tweet, Mr Mook posted another one questioning Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, over whether the allegations would be heard in Congress, asking: "Will you protect USA or GOP (Republican Party)?”
“Mr. Chaffetz, if Trump staff dialog with Russia while Russia hacks Dems doesn't get a Congress hearing, what does? Will you protect USA or GOP?” the tweet read.
Ms Clinton’s campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, followed a similar line but went further to describe the situation as a “collosal scandal". He wrote: “Everything we suspected during the campaign is proving true. This is a colossal scandal."
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that American law enforcement and intelligence agencies found “repeated contacts” between Mr Trump’s campaign staff and associates and senior Russian intelligence operatives in the year leading up to the election — actions prominent Democrats have since said could amount to treason.
The communications were reportedly intercepted at the same time evidence of Russian involvement in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack was discovered, although officials said they found no evidence of the Trump team “colluding” with Russia on efforts to influence the result.
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
1/10 Trump and abortion
Protesters flood Independence Avenue during the Women's March
2/10 Trump and abortion
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House
3/10 Trump and 'Obamacare'
Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. The Republican-led US Senate has launched their much-anticipated effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act by passing a budget blueprint which would allow them to begin rolling back the health care reforms
4/10 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York. US President Donald Trump signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines, but said the projects would be subject to renegotiation
5/10 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline
US actress and political activist Jane Fonda attends a rally with opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York
6/10 Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC
7/10 Trump and the Mexico wall
People protest against US President Donald Trump's inauguration next to a fake wall with a Mexican national flag and a dummy representing him in Mexico City
8/10 Trump and the media
White House spokesman Sean Spicer arrives to speak at the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington DC
9/10 Trump and the media
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions during the daily press briefing
10/10 Trump and the Mexico wall
A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border
The claims surfaced following Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security advisor, after it emerged that in separate phone calls he had discussed sanctions with a Russian diplomat before Mr Trump took office, and indicated the relationship between the two countries would improve under a new administration.
Mr Flynn had originally denied discussing sanctions, but when it emerged that US intelligence officials had been monitoring the call to the Russian Ambassador to Washington, he had to reverse course.
The Russian government has meanwhile dismissed allegations that the country’s intelligence officials were in repeated contact with Mr Trump’s team ahead of the US election.
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