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President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, center, attends a news conference for President Donald Trump, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Reince Priebus said reports that Trump aides talked to Russia are 'complete garbage'


White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus insisted reports that President Trump's aides had contact with Russia during the campaign were "complete garbage."

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Priebus said intelligence officials had debunked the reports, particularly a story published in last week's New York Times

Priebus said intelligence officials called the story "complete garbage" or worse.

He said that "top-level people" had made that assessment.

Trump's ties to Russia have come under intense scrutiny, heightened by the political scandal surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn resigned after reports were published that he had discussed sanctions against Russia with Russian officials and did not inform Vice President Mike Pence

Trump offered Flynn's job to retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, who declined

Trump has repeatedly bashed "leakers" who are sending information to the press.

Priebus appeared on Fox News Friday morning and condemned the reports then, calling them "grossly overstated and inaccurate."

During Trump's combative press conference on Thursday, he said Priebus was "putting out fires" because the press kept publishing "phony" stories. 

On "Meet the Press," Priebus wouldn't say if he'd reviewed transcripts of Flynn's calls.

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