Background briefing by senior administration officials:
Major pushback on FBI-White House story. The 'tick-tock' starts with 7:30a meeting at WH 2/15 on unrelated intel issue conducted by Reince Priebus. FBI assistant director Andrew McCabe for 5 mins after meeting. At the one on one, McCabe said 'I want you to know story in NYT (in FBI investigating contacts between Trump campaign people and Russian intel) is BS.' (Some question whether he said bullshit or simply BS although officials best recollection is 'bullshit.') Preibus asked 'what can we do about this?' McCabe demurs and says he'll get back to Preibus. Preibus' can concern is he's 'getting crushed' on the story. 'What an I supposed to do?'
Later on, McCabe calls back and tells Preibus theFBI can't say anything. 'We'd love to help but we can't get into the position of making statements on every story.'
Preibus asked if he could cite 'senior intelligence officials' as saying there's nothing to the NYT story. McCabe says yes. Later on, FBI Director James Comey himself calls Preibus and reiterated much the same thing -- story BS but can't put out statement.
In Q&A, official was asked whether there was an investigation going on of any sort regarding Trump campaign and Russia. Official said his impression was 'no,' but couldn't say for sure.
On the record, spokesman Sean Spicer vociferously condemned CNN for inaccurate reporting.