In the wake of a bombshell report alleging US president Donald Trump asked former FBI director James Comey to stop investigating former national security advisor Michael Flynn, Republicans are falling over themselves to avoid publicly commenting on the controversy.

For its part, the White House has put out a vigorous denial of the story, which they said “is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation.” Perhaps tellingly, however, that denial is anonymous:

The White House statement saying Trump never interfered in the FBI Flynn investigation is anonymously sourced. No one put their name on it. https://t.co/XMdNU3DYj8

— Liam Stack (@liamstack) May 16, 2017

Meanwhile, typically pro-Trump TV Fox News said they couldn’t find any Trump backers willing to go on the record, either.

.@FoxNews reporting on the air now that they can't get a Republican member on the air right now to defend Trump

— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) May 16, 2017

In fact, while GOP lawmakers were avoiding phone calls from Fox News, some seemed busy taking ones that may not have existed.

Lot of members of Congress suddenly getting phone calls when they pass reporters in the way to votes right now

— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) May 16, 2017

Will Hurd is mad at me for following him during his fake phone conversation

— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) May 16, 2017

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan suddenly had little to say.

I attempted to ask @SpeakerRyan about the New York Times story in the Capitol. He tapped me on the arm and said hi, and kept walking.

— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 16, 2017

Everyone has a limit, and it appears some Congressmen have finally reached theirs.

I just asked @DarrellIssa abt the Comey news and he flicked me off — literally gave me the middle finger — and kept walking. Said nothing

— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) May 16, 2017

(Issa has denied this account.)

@rachaelmbade I respect @rachaelmbade and worked with her for years. I know she must have seen or heard something to believe this happened, but it didn't

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) May 16, 2017

We asked the White House for an on-the-record comment by email. We’ll let you know if they get back to us.

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