FBI probing possible links between Russia, Trump associates
The heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency, James Comey and Mike Rogers, testified for hours in front of the House Intelligence Committee Monday, answering questions for the first time about Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and President Trump's unsubstantiated allegations of wiretapping against his predecessor.
Sen. Tom Cotton on Sunday previewed an upcoming House hearing on Russia's meddling in the USA election, saying FBI Director James Comey's testimony Monday would address "unsubstantiated allegations" of dealings between Moscow and President Donald Trump's campaign.
Monday's hearing was also expected to address a second explosive issue: Trump's unsubstantiated accusations that the Obama administration wiretapped his phone at Trump Tower in NY during the campaign.
Comey was on the hill for a House Intelligence Committee hearing on the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration's ties to Russian Federation when he found himself in the unique position of testifying about a Trump tweet about testimony that included testimony about a Trump tweet.
FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers are testifying on the issue Monday morning on Capitol Hill.
"The reason I don't like the Patriots is they represent sustained excellence", he said.
Whether or not Congressional committees find evidence of surveillance of the Trump campaign or of Russian influence they are determined to track down the source of newspaper reports of undisclosed contact between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Mr Kislyak, described by United States intelligence sources as a spy recruiter.
A White House official told CNN as the hearing was ongoing that "nothing has changed" based on revelations from Comey's testimony.
Mr. Comey has never publicly rejected Mr. Trump's wiretapping claim or publicly acknowledged that it has any kind of investigation under way of contacts between the Kremlin and Mr. Trump's associates.
He stated that a Republican was being investigated, but somehow omerta kicked in whenever he was asked about, say, the Clinton Foundation, or what he told Obama, or anything else involving any of the usual sleazy Democrats.
Mr. Stone nevertheless said it is "certainly possible" that Trump Tower was under surveillance.
"At the request of congressional leaders, we have taken the extraordinary step in coordination with the Department of Justice of briefing this Congress' leaders", Comey said, adding that he could not elaborate on most details of the case. That way, the country can "inoculate itself" and begin to seek ways to defend against future interference from Russian Federation or other governments in USA elections, he said.
Mr Comey said: "With respect to the President's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets".
Trump's allegation had also triggered a diplomatic row with Britain recently, as Trump and aides cited a discredited report by an American television network that Obama asked a British intelligence agency to tap him.
Thus, Trump began the ninth week of his presidency facing heightened legal questions about his campaign and political questions about his credibility.
Comey: "I haven't been following anybody on Twitter while I've been sitting here".
Trump took to Twitter before the hearing began, accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates' contact with Russian Federation during the election.
"I hope we can put an end to this wild goose chase", Schiff said.
People on the Trump team could have been caught in government surveillance without being the targets of that effort if they spoke with people, like Russian officials, who were the target of surveillance.
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