Members of former President Barack Obama's staff worked hard to preserve any and all evidence of Russian involvement in the last presidential election as well as Russian meetings with members of President Donald Trump's staff.
According to The New York Times, in the waning days of the Obama administration's power, staff members spread evidence of Russian interference across different government agencies.
Its aim was to ensure that a trail of intelligence existed for future official probes and investigations that could not be compromised by the incoming administration.
In late February, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York commented: "There is real concern that some in the administration may try to cover up its ties to Russia by deleting emails, texts and other records that could shine a light on these connections. These records are likely to be the subject of executive branch as well as congressional investigations and must be preserved."
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Contrary to usual intelligence communication procedures, two versions of the assessments on the Russian question were distributed by Obama officials, one for the public to learn about and a second classified version, a former intelligence official said, Fox News reports.
The latter was a given a low classification status, so that they would be accessed by more government employees and a few European allies.
Although hard evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump campaign staffers has yet to emerge, a number of American ally countries, such as the U.K. and the Netherlands, have sourced detailed information about encounters between representatives of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, said three former American officials who chose to remain anonymous.
The report also verified that American intelligence agencies had intercepted official Russian reports that discussed contacts with Trump staffers.
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Aides to Obama stated he did not direct efforts to preserve American intelligence on the issue.
According to Salon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said The New York Times report only confirms Obama was aiming to undermine Trump and his administration.
"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," Spicer said. "There continues to be no there, there."
It was learned that newly-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had actually met with the Russian ambassador despite having made claims otherwise, The Washington Post reports.
The FBI is presently investigating the former Alabama senator as well as any possible Russian contacts with Trump campaign members.