In a highly anticipated congressional hearing, FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed Monday that his agency is conducting an investigation of ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and the Russian government.
Comey told members of the House Intelligence Committee the investigation is part of a broader probe of Russian meddling in the election.
"The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," Comey said.
He added, "That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."
Comey noted that the FBI does not typically confirm or deny the existence of any investigations but said he was given permission to do so under the circumstances.
The FBI Director was also asked about Trump's accusations of wiretapping by former President Barack Obama and said there was no information to support the president's claims.
"I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI," Comey said, adding that the Justice Department has also not found any evidence.
National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers is also testifying at the hearing and denied claims that British intelligence helped Obama wiretap Trump Tower.
"I've seen nothing on the NSA side that we engaged in such activity nor that anyone engaged in such activity," Rogers said.
Ahead of the hearing, Trump continued to lash out against allegations that his presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government.
Trump took to Twitter on Monday to reiterate his claim that reports of ties between his campaign and Russia are "fake news."
The president pointed to recent remarks by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who said there was "no evidence" of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian.
"James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!" Trump tweeted.
He added, "The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!"
Trump also reiterated his belief that the real story is the leaking of classified information to the media and said the leaker must be found.
by RTT Staff Writer
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