The Washington Post has published a “blind item” White House report — where not only its sources but the subject of the article is anonymous.
Using “people familiar with the matter” as sources, the Post’s Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky report that the investigation into the Trump campaign and its connections to Russia “has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching the highest levels of government.”
The person is a senior White House adviser “close to the president,” but the unnamed sources would not identify that official, the Post reported.
“The sources emphasized that investigators remain keenly interested in people who previously wielded influence in the Trump campaign and administration but are no longer part of it, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort,” the Post reported.
However, the story says, “people familiar with the investigation said the intensifying effort does not mean criminal charges are near, or that any such charges will result.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer emphasized the lack of evidence of collusion in a statement responding to the Post’s story.
“As the President has stated before – a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity,” the statement said.
The Post published this story as President Donald Trump is on his way to Saudi Arabia on the first leg of multiple state visits, his first trip abroad since he took office.
Earlier this week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to serve as special counsel and lead the investigation going forward.