Officials say that a major inquiry by US intelligence agencies, headed by the FBI, is continuing to seek evidence that associates of President Donald Trump may have ties with Russian officials, and are suing a cache of intercepted Russian communications to do so.

 

Reports do not make it clear if this is directly related to the election investigations, but name Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, as one of the targets of the inquiry, because of his significant past business ties to Ukraine and Russia.

 

Manafort insisted that the investigation amounted to a “Democrat Party dirty trick,” insisting he’s never had contact with any officials of the Russian government, and that his only knowledge of the hacking of the DNC is “what I have read in the papers.”

 

Officials also suggested Roger Stone and Carter Page were targets of the investigation. Stone insisted he’s never even been to Russia, while Page accused his political enemies of “pulling a page out of the Watergate playbook.”

 

The revelation of this investigation is likely to add further tension to the relationship between the newly inaugurated Trump and the US intelligence community, which has been deeply investigating him and his team throughout the campaign, something Trump has alleged to be politically motivated.