Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Comey says FBI investigating Russian Federation interference

Comey says FBI investigating Russian Federation interference

Comey said he had been authorized by the Justice Department to confirm the wide-ranging probe's existence.

The FBI director said he has no information that would back up the president's tweets as he testified alongside National Security Agency head Michael Rogers before the House Intelligence Committee Monday. "We have no information that supports them".

The top two lawmakers on the committee said Sunday that documents the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation delivered late last week offered no evidence that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower, the president's New York City headquarters.

Schiff related alleged links between people close to Trump and Russian Federation, including his former campaign aide Paul Manafort, using the President's words during the campaign and publicly available information contained in a dossier drawn up by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, large portions of which have yet to be corroborated by CNN.

"What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians?"

FBI Director James Comey said during a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee today that there is an ongoing investigation into possible "coordination" between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

"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 added.

"The stakes are nothing lesss than the future of liberal democracy, " Schiff said. During German Chancellor Angela Merkel's first visit to the Trump White House, Trump mentioned the Obama administration's monitoring of Merkel's cellphone, claiming that he and the German leader have that in common. Asked about the flap, Trump said: "That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox, and so you shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox. OK?"

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is speaking at the opening of the committee's first public hearing on Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

The committee hearing comes a little more than two weeks after Trump leveled his accusations against Obama in an early Saturday morning tweetstorm. One tweet said: "Terrible!"

He added, "There was no FISA warrant that I'm aware of to tap Trump Tower" - a reference to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a federal law that governs the issuance of search warrants in USA intelligence gathering. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

Trump also tweeted that the "real story" is the leaking of classified information.

Trump also referred to statements by former spymaster James Clapper - the Director of the National Intelligence - that the Trump campaign had no collusion with the Russians. Comey was harshly criticized by Republicans for the public announcement in July that he was not recommending criminal charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of State. "However, it's still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates".

"Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower?"

He said the investigation includes the nature of any links between individuals associated with Mr Trump's campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any co-ordination between Russian efforts and the campaign.

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