This Day in Trump, Day 60: FBI Confirms Investigation of Trump, Russia Ties; Says No Evidence of Obama Wiretap

WASHINGTON -- In a high-pressure hearing on Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency is investigating potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia, but he also batted down President Donald Trump’s repeated statements that former President Barack Obama ordered surveillance of Trump Tower.Despite the intelligence official’s statements, the White House refused to back down from the so-far unsubstantiated wire-tapping claims.Meanwhile, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch slid into the hot seat, the first of four confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.Highlight of the dayThe FBI is formally investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential contest, Comey confirmed for the first time in an explosive hearing before House lawmakers on Monday.Intelligence agencies rarely acknowledge ongoing investigations, making Comey’s admission particularly remarkable. But “in unusual circumstances, where it’s in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so,” Comey said, according to this Washington Post story.The news comes after months of speculation about the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 election -- an issue Trump has repeatedly decried as “fake news” intended to undermine his legitimacy -- and weeks after Trump accused the previous administration of spying on him.On that front, the FBI has “no information” backing up Trump’s claims that Obama ordered surveillance of Trump Tower last year, Comey said, according to several news outlets.A president lacks the power to order such surveillance, Comey continued, adding that the Justice Department also has zero evidence supporting Trump’s tweeted claim.Those are just some of the many bombshells Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers dropped during the five-hour hearing with the House Intelligence Committee. In addition to pushing back on Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about Obama, the intelligence officials reiterated that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goal last year was to undermine Democrat Hillary Clinton in a bid to boost Trump’s chances, and that Kremlin officials are likely to keep up their efforts to meddle in future elections given their “success” in the 2016 contest, CNN reports.Republicans on the committee sought to keep focus on “illegal leaks” to the media, with some implying that former Obama officials were behind damaging stories.The White House followed suit, with Trump’s presidential account tweeting a thinly veiled suggestion that Comey briefed Obama on the issue:  Continue reading...

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