FBI chief con­firms probe into ‘Rus­sia-Trump links’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

FBI di­rec­tor James Comey has con­firmed an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der way into pos­si­ble links be­tween Rus­sia and as­so­ciates of US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, as part of a wider probe into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

This is the first pub­lic con­fir­ma­tion of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion which be­gan last sum­mer, and it comes at the out­set of Mr Comey’s open­ing state­ment to a con­gres­sional hear­ing ex­am­in­ing Rus­sian med­dling and pos­si­ble con­nec­tions be­tween Moscow and Mr Trump’s cam­paign.

The di­rec­tor ac­knowl­edged that the FBI does not or­di­nar­ily dis­cuss on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions, but said he has been authorised to do so given the ex­treme pub­lic in­ter­est in this case.

He told the House in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee: “This work is very com­plex, and there is no way for me to give you a timetable for when it will be done.”

Un­der ques­tion­ing from the com­mit­tee’s top Demo­crat, Adam Schiff, he also pub­licly con­tra­dicted a se­ries of tweets from Mr Trump which de­clared the Repub­li­can can­di­date’s phones had been or­dered tapped by then-pres­i­dent Barack Obama dur­ing the cam­paign. Mr Comey said: “I have no con­fir­ma­tion that sup­ports those tweets, and we have looked care­fully in­side the FBI.”

The same was true, he added, of the Jus­tice Depart­ment.

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

He said Congress and the FBI should be go­ing af­ter me­dia leaks – and maybe even Hil­lary Clin­ton – in­stead.

“The real story is the leak­ing of clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion. Must find leaker now,” said Trump.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump salutes as he steps off Marine One at the White House

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