FBI director: Agency probing links between Russia, Trump associates

Cheryl Sanders
March 20, 2017

Trump recently made news on social media for accusing former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign.

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE - Committee Democrats tried to force the committee to ask the Department of Justice to produce records of its investigation into whether Trump or his campaign had ties to Russian Federation, but panel Republicans blocked the effort.

The Intelligence Committee hearing has also delivered an official, if guarded, acknowledgement by the FBI that it is in the midst of a thorough investigation into Russian involvement in last year's United States election, including any coordination by members of the Trump campaign team.

Senator Mark Warner, the committee's Democratic vice chairman, said he had "grave concerns" about the independence of the committee's probe after the report that Burr had helped the White House dispute the stories.

Last week, during a visit to the Oval Office by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Trump had joked that "at least we have something in common" - a reference to Edward Snowden's intelligence leaks in 2013, which revealed U.S. eavesdropping on the German leader's phone in 2010. The intelligence community has already concluded that the Kremlin - through a hack of the Democratic National Committee and an influence campaign - worked to get Trump elected.

Nunes also said Monday that there is "no evidence to date that officials from any campaign conspired with Russian agents".

Comey also confirmed there is an active investigation looking into alleged Russian interference in the United States election.

"The stakes are nothing lesss than the future of liberal democracy, " Schiff said.

We learned how far the White House has gone to isolate itself by persevering in those claims and refusing to apologise to the United Kingdom for the GCHQ allegation. The British government objected and the Trump administration pledged not to use the claim again.

"The Democrats have been very much backing this idea that's come out of the Central Intelligence Agency that there is this incredibly close linkage between the Trump camp and the Kremlin", Machon told RT.

The president says the allegations are "fake news" that were made up by political rivals as an excuse for losing the presidential election.

Democrats listed those Russian connections and others as they painted Trump as a candidate who adopted pro-Russia views and courted Russian interests. In his opening statement, Rogers said Monday that the NSA stands by its earlier report on Russian meddling and its level of confidence in the findings has not changed.

It will be interesting to see if anything new comes from today's hearing. One tweet said: "Terrible!"

Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory.

Comey was the latest government official to reject Trump's claims, made without any evidence, that Obama had wiretapped his NY skyscraper during the campaign. Trump said the "real story" is the leaking of classified information, adding, "Must find leaker now!" Gowdy asked. He was referring specifically to leaked information regarding a phone call between Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, and the ambassador to Russian Federation during the transition. "We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the USA presidential election", the report stated.

For Comey, Monday's hearing represents another unusually high-profile role for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director. While Trump used the term "wire tapping", he and his aides say that now refers to "surveillance" in general. If those facts lead to a decision against prosecution, will there be another Comey press conference, announcing no indictment, but calling out Trump and associates for "careless behavior"?

Comey said he wouldn't be able to give many details of the investigation.

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