Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

'No evidence' Trump's team colluded with Russia - US intel. committee chief

'No evidence' Trump's team colluded with Russia - US intel. committee chief

Comey during his testimony confirmed that the FBI is investigating Moscow's interference in the 2016 presidential election, including any possible coordination between members of President Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the United States congressional committee on intelligence, said on Sunday: "Everything I have up to this morning - no evidence of collusion".

Ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., also stressed in his statement that he has seen no evidence to back the accusation, calling it "slanderous".

NBC's special report began with Today co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie as Lauer brought in Justice correspondent Pete Williams, praising Schiff's opening statement "laying out a very meticulous, detail-oriented case".

The head of the FBI publicly challenged U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, denying the Republican's claim that former president Barack Obama wiretapped his 2016 election campaign and confirming his agency had launched a criminal investigation into any collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

In follow-up tweets, the president claimed Democrats "made up and pushed the Russian story" to explain Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's loss in the presidential election, and called on Congress and the USA intelligence community to look into classified-information leaks.

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.

Monday's hearing, one of several by congressional panels probing allegations of Russian meddling, could allow for the greatest public accounting to date of investigations that have shadowed the Trump administration in its first two months.

At least two other Trump tweets appeared to misrepresent the answers that Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers gave to members of Congress. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

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

WASHINGTON ― The FBI director confirmed the existence of an investigation into possible ties between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian government officials. Trump aides would later say that Trump was joking.

A number of Republicans have expressed skepticism about Trump's tweets on Obama.

For more than two weeks, Trump has refused to back down on his wiretapping allegation, even as a string of officials, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and the top Republican and Democratic lawmakers on both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, have said there is no evidence to support the president's March 4 claims he made in a series of Twitter comments.

During a Friday news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel - whose phones had been tapped by the Obama administration - Trump told his guest: "As far as wiretapping, I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps".

"Our inability to predict the Putin regime's plans and intentions", said Nunes, "is the biggest intelligence failure since 9/11". The British government objected and the Trump administration pledged not to use the claim again.

"I know speculating is part of human nature, but it really isn't fair to draw conclusions simply because I say that I can't comment", Comey said.

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