One of President Trump’s closest and most inscrutable aides, Hope Hicks, was warned by the FBI that Russian operatives were making repeated attempts at contacting her during the presidential transition, the New York Times reported Friday.
In the weeks after Trump was elected, Hicks received a series of emails from Russian government addresses, which “alarmed” FBI officials enough to give her a “defensive briefing,” alerting her that the senders were not who they said they were.
The Times notes that there is “no evidence that Hicks did anything improper.”
Hicks, 29, met at least twice with FBI officials in the Situation Room for the briefings, which went far beyond the normal security warnings given to White House employees, the Times reports. Another unnamed person “close to the president” was also reportedly briefed on the same issue.
The content of the emails is unknown, but the news indicates the Kremlin tried to access multiple members of the Trump administration after the 2016 election — efforts that paid off with at least one former aide, George Papadopoulos, who pled guilty in October to lying about his contact with Russians.
Hicks has previously denied having any contact with Russians during the campaign, telling the Associated Press in November 2016 that, “There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”