Testifying Monday before a congressional committee, FBI Director James Comey says that his agency has looked into the possibility that members of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign colluded with Russian officials, but refused to give details about the investigation.
Comey revealed for the first time that the FBI was pursuing claims that the Trump team “colluded with a covert Russian campaign” against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“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 said in his opening statement to the committee.
Comey also noted that while the agency used various investigative techniques, he could confirm that there was no wiretap placed inside Trump Tower to monitor then-candidate Trump, as the President has claimed on social media.
Comey refused to say whether members of Trump’s campaign team—or other Trump properties, servers and communications—were monitored during the campaign. He confined his dismissal only to the President’s claims that his New York offices were bugged. He noted only that he “has no information that supports those Tweets.” (click for gratuitous use of air quotes).
Rep. Peter Schiff did read several Tweets from Trump ally Roger Stone, who was booted from the campaign last July but continued to express his support for Trump. Stone claimed to have exclusive access to potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Schiff says Stone could be a key witness.
Stone recently admitted that he was in contact with hackers who breached a DNC server in September, releasing thousands of emails and leading to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation. He says the connections were “innocuous,” but a Senate panel investigating Trump-Russia connection has told Stone to retain any documents that could be related to the investigation.
The President responded to the new revelations with—what else?—a series of Tweets claiming the Russia connections were “fake news.”
Hearings on the subject are expected to run all week.