Comey confirmed the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating since last July possible Russian government efforts to interfere in the election, including any links between Trump's campaign and Moscow.
He acknowledged that the FBI does not ordinarily discuss ongoing investigations, but said he'd been authorized to do so given the extreme public interest in this case. Democrats pressed for details on the status of the FBI's investigation, while Republicans repeatedly focused on news coverage and possible improper disclosures of classified information developed through surveillance. That went against Comey's own statement that "I would never comment on investigations" in an open forum. "But it is the way it has to be".
The Blaze published, "FBI Director Comey Undercuts Trump on Wiretapping Allegations", in which it noted, "Comey said that he has no evidence to support that claim".
"With respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets", Comey told the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee hearing.
But the public did know before the election that the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton's email server and her handling of classified information.
"No individual in the United States can direct electronic surveillance of anyone", he continued. "I have seen nothing on the NSA side that we engaged in any such activity", he said.
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An indication of how the White House will play this in the coming days came from press secretary Sean Spicer, who told reporters: "Following this testimony, it's clear that nothing has changed". We know that all American intelligence agencies agree that Russian Federation intervened in this election to help Trump, who won a narrow victory despite losing the popular vote.
Meanwhile, both Comey and Rogers say they expect Russian Federation will continue to attempt to influence elections, both in the USA and overseas.
"They'll be back. They'll be back in 2020".
"I think that what Comey did was he confirmed the investigation, but then he refused to characterize it", she said.
Comey was later asked a similar question and said it's not "something that we looked at". "One of the lessons they may draw from this is that they were successful", Comey said.
According to Stewart, the intelligence community agreed with him that Russian Federation wanted to disrupt the election but didn't favor one candidate or the other up until Obama asked for an investigation in December.
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His statements echo the main findings of the January 6 USA intelligence community's report on Russian attempts to undermine the 2016 election. He suggested the Russians were trying to undermine a Clinton presidency, not get Trump elected. "It's the raiders. You know they're not going to win, so you hope key people on the other team get hurt so they're not such a tough opponent down the road".
The report said the Russian campaign aimed to use computer hacks, leaks, and other methods to undermine faith in the USA electoral system and denigrate Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The Republican chairman of the panel, Mr Devin Nunes, said "the fact that Russian Federation hacked U.S. election- related databases comes as no shock to this committee". "We know there was not a physical wiretap", Nunes said.
Though Comey would not discuss specific evidence, he went far beyond his testimony from a hearing in January, when he refused to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation exploring possible connections between Trump associates and Russian Federation.
The president created a controversy in early March when he tweeted without giving evidence that Obama had wiretapped the campaign as the businessman took on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential race.
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