FBI Chief Debunks Trump Claim that Obama Wiretapped Him
FBI Director James Comey has debunked President Donald Trump's explosive claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him in the weeks before last year's presidential election.
At a hearing before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Monday, Comey also confirmed that his agency is investigating whether Trump campaign aides criminally colluded with Russian interests to help him win.
"I have no information that supports (Trump's) tweets" claiming that Obama eavesdropped on him at his Trump Tower headquarters in New York, Comey said.
Despite that statement, White House spokesman Sean Spicer later said Trump will not withdraw his wiretapping allegation. "We've started a hearing, it's still ongoing," Spicer said. "There's a lot of areas that still need to be covered. There's a lot of information that still needs to be discussed."
Comey told the panel that because the counter-intelligence investigation of Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S. election is classified, "I cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining." He said congressional leaders have been briefed behind closed doors.
But Comey said he has been authorized by the Justice Department to confirm that the FBI probe "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."
Hours earlier, Trump derided any suggestion that his campaign colluded with Russian interests to help him win the White House, saying it was an excuse "made up" by Democrats for losing the election.
Gorsuch to Face Questioning After Partisan Divides Emerge in Confirmation Hearing
President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, federal appellate Judge Neil Gorsuch, faces questioning Tuesday from a sharply divided Senate panel on the second day of his confirmation hearings.
The proceedings began Monday with opening statements, including one from Gorsuch, who made clear his conservative leanings by speaking out against judicial activism.
“It’s for this body, the people’s representatives [in Congress] to make new laws,” Gorsuch said. “If judges were just secret legislators, declaring not what the law is but what they would like it to be, the very idea of a government by the people and for the people would be at risk.”
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee praised Gorsuch’s conservative judicial philosophy while Democrats voiced concerns that he would solidify what they view as the Supreme Court’s pro-corporate leanings.
“No matter your politics, you should be concerned about the preservation of our constitutional order, and most importantly the separation of powers,” said the committee’s chairman, Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican. “Fortunately for every American, we have before us today a nominee whose body of professional work is defined by an unfailing commitment to these principles.”
“Our job is to assess how this nominee’s decisions will impact the American people, and whether he will protect the legal and constitutional rights of all Americans, not just the wealthy and the powerful,” said the committee’s top Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.