The Associated Press
Comey Says FBI probing Trump-Russia links, wiretap claims bogus
WASHINGTON — The FBI is investigating whether Donald Trump’s associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday in an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats.
In a bruising five-hour session, the FBI director also knocked down Trump’s claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper, an assertion that has distracted White House officials and frustrated fellow Republicans who acknowledge they’ve seen no evidence to support it.
WATCH: FBI says no evidence to backup Trump’s wiretapping tweets
FBI Director confirms probe of Russian meddling in election, possible links to Trump associates
FBI Director James B. Comey acknowledged on Monday the existence of a counterintelligence investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, and said that probe extends to the nature of any links between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government.
Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey said the investigation is also exploring whether there was any coordination between the campaign and the Kremlin, and “whether any crimes were committed.”
The acknowledgment was an unusual move, given that the FBI’s practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations. “But in unusual circumstances, where it is in the public interest,” Comey said, “it may be appropriate to do so.”
Comey said he had been authorized by the Justice Department to confirm the wide-ranging probe’s existence.
He spoke at the first intelligence committee public hearing on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, along with National Security Agency head Michael S. Rogers.
FBI Sees No Evidence of Trump Wiretap, Director Confirms Inquiry Into Russian Election Meddling (NY Times)
FBI Says Trump campaign, Russia ties investigated, no wiretap evidence found (CNN)