FBI director James Comey confirmed for the first time that his bureau is “investigating the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election,” during Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing.
“That includes any links between the Trump campaign,” Comey specified, adding that he can’t provide details about the investigation because the FBI does not typiclly discuss or even confirm the existence of ongoing investigations.
Comey and Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, said they currently have no evidence or intelligence that Russian cyber actors changed vote tallies in key states, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina or Ohio — when Trump upset Hillary Clinton last November.
However, Rogers said the intelligence community stands behind its January assessment that they’re highly confident Russia interfered in the election, with the goal of helping Trump win. He said the NSA is working to provide Congress with the material needed to investigate the intelligence agencies’ findings.
Earlier on Monday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to claim Democrats “made up” a story about Russia interfering with the election “as an excuse for running a terrible campaign.”
The president said the allegations are “fake news” that were made up by political rivals as an excuse for losing the presidential election. Trump said the “real story” is the leaking of classified information, adding, “Must find leaker now!”
Monday’s hearing is one of several congressional panels probing allegations of Russian meddling and the Senate Intelligence Committee will have a similar hearing later this month.
Comey was also asked about Trump’s tweets that accused former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign.
“I have no information that supports those tweets,” Comey said.
The president has been under fire for refusing to apologize despite the lack of evidence to support his claim. During Friday’s joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump was asked about the series of tweets in which he accused Obama of wiretapping.
“We said nothing,” Trump said. “All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind, who was the one responsible for saying that on television. I didn’t make an opinion on it. That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox.”
Fox News host Shepard Smith made the following statement shortly after Trump’s comments on Friday: “Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary. Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now President of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way, full stop.”
Watch the hearing above.