'New info' in Obama-Trump spy probe not changing any minds

20 March, 2017, 07:10 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • Rep. Schiff Defends Committee Examining Russia-Trump Connections

The US House intelligence committee says it has seen no evidence to show former president Barack Obama tapped President Donald Trump's phones during last year's election.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) explained Sunday on "Fox News Sunday" that based on all of the evidence his committee has so far investigated, he can not conclude that there was any collusion whatsoever between Trump's campaign and the Russians.

"We have a lot of surveillance activities in this country,"' said Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, speaking on Fox News Sunday. "The information we got on Friday continues to lead us in that direction".

House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the heads of both the House and Senate intelligence committees all have said they have seen no evidence of wiretapping. But Schiff, the panel's top Democrat, said there was enough "circumstantial evidence" that he still had questions.

But Mr Trump, who rarely admits he's wrong, has been unmoved, leaving his advisers in the untenable position of defending the president without any credible evidence.

Part of the issue here is that Trump seems to use the term "wiretap" in a generic sense when referring to any type of surveillance, while the Committee, the DOJ, and members of the intelligence community use a much more exact definition.

So when Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Trump's short-lived national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is found to have talked with a Russian ambassador - and in Flynn's case accepted more than $33,000 from the television station RT, which us intelligence has called the "Kremlin's principal worldwide propaganda outlet" - congressional officials think it requires investigation.

It will be Comey's first public discussion of the explosive charges that Trump leveled in a series of tweets early on a Saturday morning two weeks ago accusing President Barack Obama of wiretapping or conducting surveillance past year on Trump and his campaign.

Don't expect big bombshells or deeply classified information to emerge from Monday's long-awaited House Intelligence panel hearing into Russian interference in the US presidential election - and other related possible spying.

The stakes are high for Comey, who has engendered mistrust after going public with comments about Hillary Clinton's email server during the election; Obama, who has denied Trump's claims and wants his name cleared; and Trump, whose credibility is on the line.

FBI Director James Comey will be back on the hot seat Monday when he testifies to Congress about Russian attempts to disrupt the last years us presidential election. And that's what I wish he would explain to us on the Intelligence Committee and to the American people.

"Were there physical wiretaps of Trump Tower?" But I do think it's important that we look at the broader context here. Collins is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which gives her access to classified intelligence operations.

She answered yes and said she hopes that he's successful.

Democrats are expected to push for evidence of any connection between Trump campaign associates and Moscow - and demand to know whether Comey is investigating those reported links.

The opposition from both poles of the Republican party has put House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Trump administration in a hard position. "And he needs to put an end to this".

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