FBI Director Totally Discredits Donald Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Claim

FBI Director Totally Discredits Donald Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Claim

By The New York Times on March 20, 2017
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James Comey FBI Barack Obama Donald Trump
James Comey, U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee as director of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. | Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The F.B.I. is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government — and whether there was any coordination, Mr. James Comey, the director of the federal agency said.

Mr. Comey said that it was unusual for the F.B.I. to confirm or deny the existence of any investigations, but that in unusual circumstances when it is in the public interest, the bureau will sometimes discuss such matters.

“This is one of those circumstances,” he said.

“The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election,” he continued, adding that the investigation included looking at whether associates of Mr. Trump were in contact with Russian officials, and whether they colluded with them.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, responded: “The possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials is a serious, serious matter. The investigation must be fair, independent, and impartial in every way, and the F.B.I. must be allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”

Much of the questioning focused on Trump confidante Roger Stone and his public bragging that he was in contact with the Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0. Mr. Comey would not confirm or deny the subject of the F.B.I.’s probe, but Mr. Stone, never a shrinking violet, did speak up on Twitter.

F.B.I. director says there’s “no information” to support Trump wiretapping charge

Mr. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee, “We have no information to support” President Trump’s assertion on Twitter that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

“We have no information to support those tweets,” Mr. Comey said, repeating moments later, “All I can tell you is that we have no information that supports them.”

The N.S.A. chief, Admiral Rogers, weighed in as well, saying that he had no knowledge of anyone asking the British or any other ally to wiretap Mr. Trump. That seemed to refute another claim made by the White House.

“I’ve seen nothing on the N.S.A. side that we engaged in such activity, nor that anyone engaged in such activity,” Admiral Rogers said.

He then explicitly denied having any indication that Mr. Trump was wiretapped by British intelligence at the request of Mr. Obama.

This article originally appeared on The New York Times.

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