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Comey Confirms FBI Probe of Russia Allegations, Refutes Wiretapping Claims

03-20-2017
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WASHINGTON – FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed for the first time that the FBI is investigating Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including potential coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russia's government.

Comey broke the news at a hearing Monday held by the House Intelligence Committee.

"I have been authorized to confirm that the FBI is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," the FBI director told lawmakers.

Comey says the probe is part of the FBI's counter-intelligence mission. He added that the investigation will also look at whether crimes were committed. The FBI chief noted that at this point, he can't provide details about the investigation since typically the FBI does not discuss or even confirm the existence of ongoing investigations.

Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers also say they have no evidence or intelligence that Russian cyber actors changed vote tallies in key states during last year's presidential election.

"Following this testimony it's clear that nothing has changed. Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm that there is no evidence of a Trump-Russia collusion. ," said Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says they have not found any evidence of communication between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

"The committee has seen no evidence to date that officials for any campaign conspired with Russian agents. However, we continue to investigate this question," he said.

Nunes also addressed Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his New York City skyscraper, Trump Tower, during the campaign, despite there being no evidence.

"We know there was no wiretap on Trump Tower. However, it's still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates," Nunes said.

"With respect to the president's tweet, I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully in the FBI," Comey replied.

Rogers concurred, saying, "I've seen nothing on the NSA side, nor did anyone ever ask us to engage in such activity."

Meanwhile, the FBI will continue its investigation into Russia and only release the details when the report is complete.

Just hours before the hearing, President Donald Trump accused Democrats of making up the allegations.

"The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!" Trump tweeted early Monday.

"The real story that Congress, the FBI and others should be looking into is the leaking of classified information," he added. "Must find leaker now!"

 

 

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