No evidence - surprise! - that Obama tapped Trump

20 March, 2017, 23:17 | Author: Valerie Burke

Speaking to a House intelligence committee Monday, both Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers said that there was no evidence that Russian hackers interfered with the counting of votes in swing states that Trump narrowly won, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Mr Sessions has removed himself from the Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry after being accused by Democrats of lying under oath when he testified at a January confirmation hearing that he had "no communications with the Russians" before it emerged that he had met Moscow's ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak during the campaign.

"Because it is an open, ongoing investigation and is classified, I can not say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining", Comey said.

Comey warned that Russian Federation would attempt to influence the next USA presidential election in 2020 and perhaps the congressional elections next year.

Comey and Rogers are not expected to reveal much in public about the probes, which include information that is classified Top Secret and also separated into different compartments, each of which requires a separate clearance.

The intelligence community publicly shared its assessment in January that the Russian government hacked Democratic entities and operatives and released damning information with the goal of helping Trump win the election. Comey and Rogers deflected many questions about specific parts of the probe or surveillance activities, saying they could not publicly discuss sensitive information. During Monday's hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivered a lengthy statement detailing a timeline of events linking Trump campaign officials including disgraced former national security adviser Mike Flynn and former campaign manager Paul Manafort to Russian government officials. Comey also said he was unaware of any evidence supporting Trump's allegations that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign.

Devin Nunes, head of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, made the remark on Fox News. He added that "we do not yet know" if Russian Federation had any help from American citizens, including Trump associates, as it allegedly waged the influence campaign.

Republicans on the committee used their questions mostly to press Rogers and Comey about leaks of potentially classified information and surveillance of USA citizens.

Both Rogers and Comey said they are concerned about leaks of potentially classified information. However, Comey said he could not make an assurance that leaks will be investigated.

Trump blamed Democrats on Monday for stirring concerns about Russian Federation, but top Republican lawmakers John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, among others, have publicly said they want to find out more about Russia's role in the election.

Despite a rising number of officials who say there is no evidence, Trump and aides have not backed down from the Obama wiretapping claim. Nunes told Fox News that he saw no information to show collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

"I hope that we can put an end to this wild goose chase because what the president said was just patently false", Schiff said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. It's the first time Comey and Rogers will testify publicly since Trump took office. The Obama administration brought those sanctions in response to the alleged meddling. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigations into Trump-Russia ties after, he, too, had misled the White House and public about his meetings with Russian officials.

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