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vegassports-odds.com March 23, 2017


For FBI head James Comey, political hot seat awaits

20 March 2017, 11:58 | Darin Griffith

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FBI Director James Comey confirmed the ongoing investigation on the first day of a congressional hearing into Russia's well-established meddling in the US election, and into its efforts to rig the outcome in Mr. Trump's favour.

While discussing Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election during today's intelligence hearing, Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey and NSA director Michael Rogers were both asked if the country altered votes in any swing states.

It is not clear how much new information will emerge, and the hearing's open setting puts Mr Comey in a hard situation if he is asked to discuss an ongoing investigation tied to the campaign of Mr Trump.

The committee's chairman, republican Devin Nunes had opened the hearing by denying the USA president's wiretapping claim but did not rule out other surveillance methods.

Mr Comey also confirmed the agency is investigating possible Russian government efforts to interfere in the election, including any links between Mr Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Most dramatic was the news that, yes, the U.S. government is undertaking a counterintelligence investigation of the presidential election.

Trump on March 4 tweeted that Obama had "tapped" his phone - a charge that has consumed political debate in the USA capital. But the pair only denied that any votes were changed as a result of Russian influence in the election, which has been documented in a report compiled by the United States intelligence community.

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USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation tried to help Trump by hacking leading Democrats' emails.

"We have no evidence that supports them", Comey said.

He added, "The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a awful campaign".

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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigations into Trump-Russia ties after, he, too, had misled the White House and public about his meetings with Russian officials. Trump countered, as you might expect, by blaming Democrats for the FBI investigation, and said what should be investigated are the leaks.

The president instead tried to direct spotlight on finding individuals who are leaking classified information.

Trump also referred to statements by former spymaster James Clapper - the Director of the National Intelligence - that the Trump campaign had no collusion with the Russians.

And Trump's account also tweeted Rogers telling Rep. Tom Rooney, a Florida Republican, that revealing the name of an American swept up inadvertently in a wiretapping would damage national security and future surveillance programs.



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