FBI Director James Comey confirmed in a congressional hearing on Monday, March 20, that his agency is investigating Russia’s possible interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Comey also said he had “no information” to support President Donald Trump‘s claims that he was wiretapped by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Standing before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey, 56, admitted it is out of the ordinary for the FBI to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, but called this particular case an unusual circumstance that is of public interest.
The FBI director explained that the inquiry “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,” CNN reported. He did not disclose further details about the probe.
Comey also told the House Intelligence Committee on Monday morning that the bureau has “no information to support those tweets,” referring to unfounded claims by Trump, 70, on Twitter that Obama, 55, wiretapped Trump Tower during the election.
National Security Agency Chief Admiral Michael Rogers also weighed in on the wiretapping charge, saying, “I’ve seen nothing on the NSA side that we engaged in such activity, nor that anyone engaged in such activity.”
The U.S. intelligence community concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an “influence campaign” with the intention of helping Trump and hurting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the intelligence community said in a declassified report at the time. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”