May 23, 2017 / 7:09 PM / 4 months ago

White House says no evidence of Trump team collusion with Russians

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump stops to give a thumbs up as he departs the White House to embark on a trip to the Middle East and Europe, in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House, responding to hearings on Capitol Hill about contacts between officials in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, said on Tuesday there was no evidence of collusion between Trump’s team and Moscow.

Testifying before a House panel, former CIA director John Brennan said he was aware of contacts between Russian officials and people involved in the Trump campaign and grew concerned that Moscow had sought to lure Americans down “a treasonous path.”

Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, was questioned in separate testimony before a Senate panel over a report in the Washington Post that Trump asked Coats to help him knock down the notion there was evidence of collusion.

Coats sidestepped the question but said he has made clear to Trump’s administration that “any political shaping” of intelligence would be inappropriate.

In a statement to reporters, a White House official said the hearings showed “there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump campaign collusion.”

Trump, who is in Rome on his first overseas trip as president, has been embroiled in controversy since his firing earlier this month of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey amid the agency’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh

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