Comey: FBI investigating possible links, coordination between Trump associates, Russia

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 20, 2017

Representatives Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Adam Schiff, the panel's top Democrat, have called FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to testify as part of their committee's probe into allegations that Russian Federation meddled in USA elections. Trump has also deflected attention to the release of information, saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation should focus on investigating that.

Nunes also denied an unsubstantiated claim from Trump that there had been a wiretap on his Trump Tower in NY but said it was possible other surveillance was used against the Republican.

Comey said that "no president could" unilaterally order a wiretap on any individual and pointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process. The account says it is managed by Trump's social media manager, Dan Scavino.

Nunes said Monday's hearing would also look into the possibly illegal leaking of national security information since Trump's election in November.

"I will tell you this, Russia: If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing", Trump, the then-Republican nominee, said at a news conference in Florida.

Rep. Jim Himes asked Comey and Rogers about the White House, to which, Comey replied that it would be hard to comment without seeing the tweets, but Himes, a Connecticut Democrat, pressed.

"It certainly wasn't our intention to say that today, because we don't have any information on that subject".

Comey responded, it's not "something that we looked at" as part of Intelligence Community review into Russian Federation cyberattacks, disputing the White House.

FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers testified before the House Intelligence Committee in a rare public hearing amid its ongoing investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the contest.

"So you have no intelligence that suggests, or evidence that suggests, any votes were changed", Nunes asks.

"I have nothing generated by the national security industry, sir", Rogers says.

"As you know, our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations, especially those investigations that involve classified matters", Comey said Monday.

The panel's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, told NBC's Meet The Press that Trump's wiretapping claims are "patently false, and the wrecking ball it created now has banged into" USA allies, including Germany and Great Britain in recent days.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday derided any suggestion that his campaign colluded with Russian interests to help him win the White House, saying it was an excuse "made up" by Democrats for losing the election.

Mr Comey was the latest government official to reject Trump's claims, made without any evidence, that Obama had wiretapped his NY skyscraper during the campaign.

"I have no information that supports those tweets. The Department has no information that supports those tweets". DNI Clapper "right" to say no evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and Trump Campaign. "Obama's Central Intelligence Agency director said so".

The wiretap accusation also triggered the diplomatic row with another ally, as Trump and aides cited a report by Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano that Obama asked a British intelligence agency to tap Trump. "We take them at their word".

In his opening statement, committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., reiterated his previous public statement that he has seen no evidence Trump Tower was wiretapped.

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