Trump was asked repeatedly if his campaign was in contact with Russia. He wouldn’t answer.

Trump spent more than 3 minutes dodging a yes-or-no question.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

This week, two media organizations reported that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russian officials.

CNN, citing “multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials,” reported that “High-level advisers close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence.”

The New York Times, citing “four current and former American officials,” reported that “members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials.”

Trump has derided both reports as “fake news.”

In a press conference this afternoon, Trump was asked directly if he “could say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contact with the Russians during the campaign.”

Trump’s response lasted 3 minutes and 34 seconds, but he never answered the question.

Pressed again, Trump would only say, “Well, I had nothing to do with it. I have nothing to do with Russia.” This leaves open the possibility that his staff and advisers were in contact with Russia, which is what CNN and the New York Times reported.

Any contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, particularly Russian intelligence, would be significant because U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concluded that Russia was attempting to tilt the presidential election to Trump.

A Russian diplomat says that Russian officials were in touch with top Trump advisers during the campaign. Vice President Mike Pence said there was no contact between campaign staff and Russia.