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Report: Officials from President Barack Obama’s administration Worked to Protect Russia Hacking Intelligence

The report says information came from multiple U.S. allies, including Britain and the Netherlands, describing meetings between Russian officials and Trump associates that took place in European cities

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. Spicer discussed President Donald Trump's travel ban and other topics. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) VOA

The New York Times is reporting that some officials from President Barack Obama’s administration made efforts to make information about possible links between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials easier for future investigators to find.

The Times based its story on accounts from more than a half-dozen current and former officials, some of whom said they “were speaking to draw attention to the material and ensure proper investigation by Congress,” the newspaper said.

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The report says information came from multiple U.S. allies, including Britain and the Netherlands, describing meetings between Russian officials and Trump associates that took place in European cities. It also cites U.S. intelligence agency intercepts of Russian officials discussing contacts with Trump associates.

Trump rejected an earlier Times report that said U.S. authorities had information about repeated contacts between people associated with the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence officials.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said there is nothing to the new report.

“The only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration have sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election,” the Times quoted Spicer as saying.

An intelligence review ordered by Obama concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the November U.S. presidential election with the goal of helping Trump’s chances of winning.

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The Times said the late days of the Obama administration featured officials working to process raw intelligence information into reports that were kept at a low level of classification to ensure more people could see them, and to pass along reports and sensitive information to members of Congress.

The newspaper said that according to former senior administration officials, Obama himself was not involved in the effort.(VOA)

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Trump Accuses Social Media Platforms of Favoring his Opponents

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment. Alphabet's Google, which owns YouTube, did not immediately comment.

donald trump
FILE - A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused social media platforms Facebook, YouTube and Twitter of favoring his Democratic opponents over him and his fellow Republicans.

“But fear not, we will win anyway, just like we did before! #MAGA,” he said in a tweet. MAGA refers to Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment. Alphabet’s Google, which owns YouTube, did not immediately comment.

The president and other conservatives have repeatedly complained that these big tech platforms treat them unfairly.

Trump has previously accused Twitter of restricting the visibility of prominent U.S. Republicans, without any providing evidence, and the avid social media user has promised to investigate the company’s practices.

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FILE – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Trump and other conservatives say Twitter targets fellow Republicans with a practice dubbed “shadow banning,” limiting the visibility of a Twitter user, including in the platform’s auto-populated dropdown search box.

Representative Devin Nunes of California has sued Twitter over the alleged practice, according to court documents.

ALSO READ: Despite All The Efforts, Political Campaign Spends on Social Media Remain A Mystery

Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey has said that algorithms have been changed to fix that issue.

The Justice Department held a meeting last fall between federal officials and state attorneys general to discuss allegations that conservative ideas are suppressed online, but so far no concrete action has been taken as a result. (VOA)