So much for the idea of independent investigations:

The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House.

Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, U.S. officials said.

The calls were orchestrated by the White House after unsuccessful attempts by the administration to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.

The big news today seems to be the White House having shut out several major news organizations from a press gaggle, while allowing in right wing extremist organizations. But the real story behind the story is that the organizations shut out all have been reporting on Trump’s Russia ties.

The Trump team wants this story to go away. They’re scared. And this week’s earlier big story that Sean Spicer Reince Priebus unsuccessfully sought the FBI’s help to refute the stories about those Russia ties seems to be just the tip of this latest iceberg. The Trump team sought help from top officials at other intel agencies, and apparently got it. The Trump team sought help from members of Congress, and got it. Which demands further investigation, particularly as it calls into question the ability of those agencies or the Republican majority Congress to investigate Trump’s Russia ties. Who were these officials? Did these White House efforts constitute obstruction of justice?

These efforts speak for themselves. The Trump team wants the Russia stories to go away. Which is why, more than ever, everyone should be focused on them.