During the Obama administration's 11th hour, several White House officials, wanting to prevent future meddling in elections by Russia and leave a trail for intelligence agencies and government investigators, spread information about possible contacts between Russia and associates of Donald Trump, The New York Times reports.
Three former American officials told the Times several American allies, including Britain, shared information with the U.S. about meetings in Europe between Russian officials and associates of Trump, and intelligence agencies also intercepted communications from inside the Kremlin discussing contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. Obama aides, worried by disparaging statements then-President-elect Trump made about the intelligence community, moved quickly to preserve the intel and share it with as many people inside government as possible; the officials say they were never instructed to do so by Obama.
Trump maintains that his campaign was never in any contact with Russian officials, and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the Times "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." Read more about the staffers' quest to get this information out at The New York Times.