Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

All eyes on Federal Bureau of Investigation chief as Russian Federation, wiretap claims swirl

All eyes on Federal Bureau of Investigation chief as Russian Federation, wiretap claims swirl

The U.S. intelligence community has already concluded Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential race - in which computer emails from the Democratic National Committee and related to the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton were stolen and made public. "But there never was", Nunes (R-Calif.) told "Fox News Sunday". But no credible evidence has emerged to support those claims, and the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said last week that they have seen nothing that supports the allegation.

Schiff, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," said he expected FBI Director James B. Comey to testify clearly at the hearing that there is no factual basis for Trump's wiretapping claims.

The committee leadership - and the president - remain concerned with leaks.

Nunes says the committee still had not received information it requested from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency about whether information collected on US persons was mishandled and leaked to the public.

"If you take the president literally, it didn't happen", Nunes told the Fox on Sunday show. He made the claim two days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had met with Russia's US ambassador last fall, said he would remove himself from any investigation of Russian interference in the election.

He promised to try to get to the bottom of whether Russians tried to help the Trump campaign and whether Trump associates or anyone else was involved.

Though Trump and top aides have sought to recast the president's charge to mean he was surveilled in the broader sense - not necessarily wiretapped - they have stood by the claim and expressed confidence that evidence will emerge. Comey said Moscow had always been opposed to Trump's election rival, former secretary of state Clinton. "You're stuck with me for about another six and a half years", he said. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose phone was once tapped by USA intelligence, did not take kindly to Trump's quip that they had something in common Friday.

"I think that was a fairly easy judgment for the (intelligence) community", he said.

But even as intelligence officials publicly answer lawmakers' questions, political jockeying is casting a cloud over efforts to probe how deep the counterintelligence investigation involving the president's inner circle really goes. "The American people have a right to know, and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether this circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more".

"At the outset of the investigation, there was circumstantial evidence of collusion".

Mr Trump's unproven allegations against his predecessor have left him increasingly isolated, with fellow Republican as well as Democratic lawmakers saying they've seen nothing from intelligence agencies to support his claim.

Trump should apologize to Britain and the American people for making the false wiretapping claims, Hurd said on ABC's "This Week". I was the dude in the back alleys at 4 in the morning collecting intelligence to protect our homeland.

Nunes repeated on Fox News that he did not believe any such wiretapping took place.

"We do know that the I.R.S., for example, targeted citizens" groups who spoke out in defense of the Constitution, who spoke out against Obama, ' he said.

"If we don't roll back Iran's gains throughout the region, we're not going to have stability, and we're not going to defend USA interests to the degree that we should", Cotton said.

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