Top Democrat says not clear if Americans helped Russians in election hack

Posted Марта 20, 2017

There was no wiretap of Trump Tower, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Monday, contradicting an assertion from President Donald Trump.

In a dramatic moment at the beginning of a hotly anticipated House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the US election, Comey announced that he had been authorized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to break bureau policy and publicly disclose the probe.

"This work is very complex, and there is no way for me to give you a timetable for when it will be done", Comey told the House Intelligence Committee.

Rep. Adam Schiff is speaking at the start of the committee's hearing on Russia's interference in the presidential election. But the panel's ranking Democrat said the material offered circumstantial evidence that American citizens colluded with Russians in Moscow's efforts to interfere in the presidential election. Fox News disavowed the segment, but Trump continued to stand by the original report when meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.

Nunes said "numerous" current and former USA officials had leaked potentially classified information, and that his committee meant to identify them to bring them to justice.

Mr Trump took to Twitter before the hearing began, accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates' contact with Russian Federation during the election.

In January, the intelligence community released a report concluding that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to not only undermine the legitimacy of the election process but also harm the campaign of Hillary Clinton and boost Trump's chances of winning. This is, of course, no crime. His appearances on Capitol Hill since then have occurred in classified settings, often with small groups of lawmakers, and he has made no public statements connected to the Trump campaign or Russian Federation. "Yes, it is possible", Schiff said.

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"It is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated and that the Russians used the same techniques to corrupt United States persons that they employed in Europe and elsewhere".

In his opening statement, Schiff said: "We will never know whether the Russian intervention was determinative in such a close election". He also said that he had not personally done so. "No, sir, and nor would I, that would be expressly against the construct of the Five Eyes agreement that has been in place for decades", Rogers said.

President Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of fabricating allegations about Russian Federation and creating more "fake news".

"James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence POTUS (President of the United States) colluded with Russian Federation. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it".

"The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a bad campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!"

As Radar previously reported, in a series of tweets last month, Trump accused Barack Obama of orchestrating wiretaps on the phones in Trump Tower in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

This story is being updated to include breaking news.

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