Barack Obama's former Russian adviser has said he met with "zero Russians" during the 2008 transition, as more reports emerged of contact between the Trump campaign team and Vladimir Putin.
It was reported on Monday that a secret meeting had been arranged between major Trump campaign donor Erik Prince and a Russian close to Mr Putin in January.
The rendezvous was part of an apparent attempt to establish a back channel of communication between Moscow and then-President-elect Donald Trump, The Washington Post reported.
Responding to the report on Twitter, former US Ambassador to Moscow Michael Mc Faul said: "This story just gets weirder and weirder. During Obama transition in 2008 (I was his Russia advisor back then) we met with zero Russians. Zero."
This story just gets weirder and weirder. During Obama transition in 2008 (I was his Russia advisor back then ) we met with 0 Russians. 0 https://t.co/qRkkVR80rB— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) April 3, 2017
The FBI in March disclosed that the Trump administration was under investigation for its potential ties to Russia. Separate investigations have been launched by the House of Representatives and the Senate into the influence of Russian hacking on the US presidential election.
Mr Trump has vigorously denied that he or his associates were in contact with Russia during the election and over the weekend lambasted the media for its continued focus on the Russia story.
“When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story?” he said, in reference to a news presenter he has previously attacked.