Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Federal Bureau of Investigation head says no evidence of Trump wiretap claim

Federal Bureau of Investigation head says no evidence of Trump wiretap claim

The White House is distancing itself from two former senior members of Donald Trump's team, amid an FBI investigation into possible connections between Trump "associates" and Russian Federation.

Mr Trump has called the investigation a "total witch hunt".

At a hearing in January, Comey refused to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation exploring possible connections between Trump associates and Russian Federation, consistent with the FBI's longstanding policy of not publicly discussing its work.

Don't expect big bombshells or deeply classified information to emerge from Monday's long-awaited House Intelligence panel hearing into Russian interference in the USA presidential election - and other related possible spying.

Speaking before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey said that he had been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm the investigation publicly "in an extraordinary step" since the agency does not typically do so with open investigations.

The hearing, one of several by congressional panels probing allegations of Russian meddling, could allow for the greatest public accounting to date of investigations which have shadowed the Trump administration in its first two months.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House intelligence committee, appears on "Fox News Sunday" on March 19, 2017. Obama's Director of National Intelligence said so.

Mr Nunes said "numerous" current and former United States officials had leaked potentially classified information, and that his committee meant to identify them to bring them to justice.

"I hate the New England Patriots, and no matter who they play I'd like them to lose", Comey said.

Which campaign members have been accused of deception?

Mr Flynn was sacked last month after he misled the White House about his conversations with the Moscow diplomat, allegedly regarding USA sanctions. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct U.S. diplomacy.

Mr Sessions has removed himself from the Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry.

Russian Federation denies trying to influence the election, while Mr Trump denounced the investigation as a "total witch hunt".

We rate Trump's claim False.

Senator Nunes had said that yesterday's hearing would focus on Russia's actions, whether campaign officials or other USA citizens were improperly monitored, and who was responsible for leaks of sensitive information. Mr Obama's spokesman dismissed the claims.

The same was true, he added, of the Justice Department.

Smelling Trump's bullshit through his phone, Representative Jim Himes then pulled up the president's patently misleading tweet and read it back to the two directors, asking "that's not quite accurate, that tweet?"

What impact have these claims had?

Nunes also said there was no "physical wiretap" of Trump Tower.

"A week from Tuesday, on the 28th, we have an additional hearing with at least three more witnesses".

It should go without saying that Trump needs to apologize to Obama for wrongly accusing him of a felony.

It's a moment of political theater that could end in humiliation for Trump, with Comey expected to say that there was no wiretapping, debunking allegations that Trump has repeatedly refused to withdraw.

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