Comey: FBI Probing Links Between Russia, Trump Associates

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[VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday that the bureau is investigating possible links and coordination between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in last year’s presidential election.

The extraordinary revelation, and the first public confirmation of an investigation that began last summer, came at the outset of Comey’s opening statement in a congressional hearing examining Russian meddling and possible connections between Moscow and Trump’s campaign.

He acknowledged that the FBI does not ordinarily discuss ongoing investigations, but said he’d been authorized to do so given the extreme public interest in this case.

“This work is very complex, and there is no way for me to give you a timetable for when it will be done,” Comey told the House Intelligence Committee.

Under questioning from the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, he also publicly contradicted a series of tweets from Trump that declared the Republican candidate’s phones had been ordered tapped by President Barack Obama during the campaign.

“I have no confirmation that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey said. The same was true, he added, of the Justice Department.

He also disputed allegations that British intelligence services were involved in the wiretapping.

Comey was the latest government official to reject Trump’s claims, made without any evidence, that Obama had wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the campaign. Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and chairman of the House intelligence committee, also rejected it earlier in the hearing.

Comey was testifying along with National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers.

Trump took to Twitter before the hearing began, accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates’ contact with Russia during the election. He said Congress and the FBI should be going after media leaks and maybe even Hillary Clinton instead.

“The real story that Congress, the FBI and others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!” Trump tweeted early Monday as news coverage on the Russia allegations dominated the morning’s cable news.

Trump also suggested, without evidence, that Clinton’s campaign was in contact with Russia and had possibly thwarted a federal investigation. U.S. intelligence officials have not publicly raised the possibility of contacts between the Clintons and Moscow. Officials investigating the matter have said they believe Moscow had hacked into Democrats’ computers in a bid to help Trump’s election bid.

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.

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

But the panel’s ranking Democrat said the material offered circumstantial evidence that American citizens colluded with Russians in Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the presidential election.

“There was circumstantial evidence of collusion; there is direct evidence, I think, of deception,” Schiff said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ”There’s certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation.”

Nunes said: “For the first time the American people, and all the political parties now, are paying attention to the threat that Russia poses.”

“We know that the Russians were trying to get involved in our campaign, like they have for many decades. They’re also trying to get involved in campaigns around the globe and over in Europe,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee has scheduled a similar hearing for later in the month.

Though Comey would not discuss specific evidence, we went far beyond his testimony from a hearing in January, when he refused to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation exploring possible connections between Trump associates and Russia, consistent with the FBI’s longstanding policy of not publicly discussing its work.

His appearances on Capitol Hill since then have occurred in classified settings, often with small groups of lawmakers, and he has made no public statements connected to the Trump campaign or Russia.

Any lack of detail from Comey on Monday would likely be contrasted with public comments he made last year when closing out an investigation into Clinton’s email practices and then, shortly before Election Day, announcing that the probe would be revived following the discovery of additional emails.

(AP)


11 COMMENTS

  1. #1 There’s 100% proof that there was wiretapping but there’s 0% evidence of Russian interfering as an ex-Obama CIA Director stated “there was not a spark of evidence to that effect.”

    But this FBI CROOK who exonerated Hillary the biggest criminal in the world, the Loser Comey, is lying through his teeth just to get back at PRESIDENT TRUMP because of Trey Gowdy’s disgracing him for his scandals and lies and warning him “of what’s coming to him”.
    Let’s hope President Trump will get rid of this crook once and for all.

  2. So now we hear again from the FBI and the NSA that Trump was lying and neither agency wiretapped or in any way engaged in surveillance of the Trumpkopfs…I suspect Aryehlah and his chevrah will be crying gevalt and how the entire world but them is lying and only they know the truth.

  3. The Hillary investigation is over just in case you were out of the country or the galaxy.
    For those of you who have no faith or trust in any of the institutions of this country, from the FBI, the NSA, the DOJ,the Congress, the courts etc it must be a very frightening place to live. Perhaps it’s time to make plans to move where you will be more at ease.

  4. Electronic surveillance of Donald Trump was listed in the database for the following companies, locations, and dates:
    Trump International
    1 Central Park, NYC, NY
    2008
    Trump World Tower
    845 United Nations Plaza, NYC, NY
    No Date
    Trump Tower SAL
    108 Central Park, NYC, NY
    2007
    Trump Palace Co
    200 E. 69th Street A, NYC, NY
    2008
    Trump Entertainment
    725 Fifth Ave. FL, NYC, NY
    2007
    Trump Organization
    725 Fifth Ave. BSM, NYC, NY
    2009
    Trump Palace
    725 Fifth Ave., NYC, NY
    2004
    Mar-a-Lago Club
    1100 S. Ocean BL, Palm Beach, FL
    2006
    Trump International
    401 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL
    2008
    Douglass Limousine
    239 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ
    2008
    Trump International
    3505 Summit BLV, West Palm Beach, FL
    2004
    Flights INC
    P.O. Box 196, Hamilton MA
    2004
    Trump International
    1 Central Park, NYC, NY
    2008
    Trump Hotels
    Huron Ave., Atlantic City, NJ
    No Date
    Trump National
    339 Pine Rd, Briarcliff, NY
    No Date
    Trump Plaza & C
    2500 Pacific Ave, Atlantic City, NJ
    2008
    Trump Palace Co.
    200 E. 69th St., NYC, NY
    2008
    Seven Springs
    66 Oregon Rd, Mount Kisco, NY
    2006-2008
    While attempts have been made to deny such domestic surveillance, reports from the New York Times in 2014 showed the Central Intelligence Agency had done just that by spying on a senate panel investigating the agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation.”
    https://www.infowars.com/nsa-documents-prove-surveillance-on-donald-trump-and-alex-jones/