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The president-elect and his transition team still have not fully answered the question:
“Mr. President-elect, can you stand here today, once and for all and say that no one connected to you or your campaign had any contact with Russia leading up to or during the presidential campaign?”
Cecilia Vega of ABC News asked the question at Donald Trump’s news conference on Jan. 11. He ducked it, choosing to answer a different question instead. He issued a short denial while entering an elevator later, but it left plenty of room for uncertainty.
Now there is all the more reason to want an answer. My colleagues in The Times newsroom reported yesterday that the F.B.I., along with the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department, are investigating possible links between Trump associates and Russian officials.
There is no public evidence of any such links, and no one should assume that the existence of an investigation implies a scandal. Yet there are a whole lot of mysteries, including Russia’s known attempts to help elect Trump and Trump’s strange affinity for Vladimir Putin.
The Trump team’s refusal to give a fulsome answer adds to the mystery. The statement yesterday from Hope Hicks, a Trump spokeswoman, was hardly a beacon of clarity: “We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation.”
The country needs a better answer from the man who in a few hours will be the president of the United States.