The FBI reportedly warned then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the months before the election that Russia and other foreign adversaries would probably try to infiltrate his presidential campaign. Multiple government officials told NBC News that senior FBI officials briefed both Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about the threats, which it said are commonly offered to major party nominees for the White House. The briefings, the officials told NBC, are used to alert candidates and their teams about such threats. They are generally given around the point at which candidates begin receiving classified information, and campaigns are told to alert any suspicious activity to authorities.
A White House official downplayed the news, saying there was nothing unusual about the briefings.
“That the Republican and Democrat nominee for President received a standardized briefing on counter-intelligence is hardly a news story,” White House spokesman Raj Shah told NBC. “That NBC News hears about the contents of this classified conversation due to an inappropriate leak is a news story.”
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in last year’s presidential election with the goal of hurting Clinton’s campaign and helping Trump’s.