U.S. intelligence officials had information last year to suggest that Russian officials discussed the potential to "exert influence over" then-candidate Donald Trump through key advisors, The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing "three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence."
The talks surrounded then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign advisor Michael Flynn, who would become President Trump's first national security advisor, according to the newspaper. Both men had at least "indirect ties to Russian officials," the Times reported.
The newspaper notes that it is not clear whether Russian officials "actually tried to directly influence" Manafort or Flynn. Trump and top campaign advisors have denied any collusion with Russia.
The FBI and congressional committees are currently investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The probe includes any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
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