The Latest: WH adviser asked FBI to refute Russia story

AP News
Posted: Feb 23, 2017 10:43 PM
The Latest: WH adviser asked FBI to refute Russia story

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

10:40 p.m.

A White House official says chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to help dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election.

The official says Priebus' request came after the FBI told the White House it believed a New York Times report describing Trump advisers' contacts with Russia was not accurate. As of Thursday, the FBI had not stated that position publicly.

Priebus' discussion with the FBI's deputy director sparked outrage among some Democrats, who said he was violating policies intended to limit communications between the law enforcement agency and the White House on pending investigations.

The White House official was not authorized to disclose the matter publicly and insisted on anonymity.

— By Julie Pace


4:15 p.m.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is suggesting the Trump administration may crack down on states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

Spicer says during a press briefing Thursday that the issue rests with the Justice Department. But he says, "I do believe that you'll see greater enforcement of it."

He adds that it's "something that the Department of Justice I think will be further looking into."

President Donald Trump said as a candidate that he supports medical marijuana. But Spicer says there's a big difference between that and the recreational use of the drug.

The Justice Department has several options available, including filing lawsuits on the grounds that state laws regulating pot are unconstitutional because they are pre-empted by federal law.


3:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump's address to Congress next week will be titled "The Renewal of the American Spirit."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says Trump will speak on a number of topics, including defense, border security and taking care of the nation's veterans.

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Spicer also says the president will discuss his plans for improving the nation's economy. Many of those themes were a central focus of Trump's campaign speeches.

House Speaker Paul Ryan last month invited the president to speak before Congress on Tuesday.


3:00 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he will bring the "full force and weight" of the U.S. government to combat an "epidemic" of human trafficking.

The president is meeting at the White House with senior advisers and representatives of organizations that deal with trafficking. His daughter, Ivanka Trump, is among those in attendance.

Trump calls human trafficking a problem that is "not talked about enough." He says he will order the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to take a hard look at the resources they are devoting to addressing the issue.