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Russian Federation claims: No evidence of collusion - Nunes
20 March 2017, 11:17 | Darnell Patrick
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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lost patience with a reporter on Monday
Monday's grilling by the intelligence committee of Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers was focused primarily on Russia's interference in the 2016 election, and whether there was any collusion between Trump operatives and Russian officials.
The FBI director's confirmation of the probe breaks with the FBI's policy not to disclose ongoing investigations. That revelation shocked the U.S., and has been credited with helping Donald Trump win the election and become president.
In his opening statement, Comey confirmed - for the first time publicly - that the FBI was investigating "the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election", an inquiry which includes "individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts". Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., asked Comey and Rogers to respond to Trump's tweet about their testimony.
On Monday, FBI director James Comey is due to appear before Nunes' panel, facing lawmakers seeking answers about the two scandals, which have dominated United States politics for several weeks. The same was true, he added, of the Justice Department.
The head of the U.S. National Security Agency, Admiral Mike Rogers, told Monday's hearing that the allegation had strained relations with London.
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. He said "the real story that Congress, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!"
"Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm there is NO EVIDENCE of Trump-Russia collusion and there is NO EVIDENCE of a Trump-Russia scandal", the official said.
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And beware of senators, Republican or Democrat, trying to pin Gorsuch down on hot-button issues such as abortion or gun rights. Gorsuch's non-judicial writings contain several powerful clues about his views on the constitutionality of abortion .
Adam Schiff, an Intelligence Committee member and Democrat from California, said that "if the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it aided or abetted the Russians, it would not only be a serious crime, it would also represent one of the most shocking betrayals of democracy in history". A recently declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed that every US intelligence agency concurred that Putin ordered a concerted effort to "undermine" democracy in America and boost Trump's chances of victory. Amid a furor over whether Moscow tried to influence the presidential race on Trump's behalf to the detriment of Democrat Hillary Clinton, lawmakers said they would make public as much of their investigations as possible. In his opening statement, Rogers said Monday that the NSA stands by its earlier report on Russian meddling and its level of confidence in the findings has not changed. Secondly, is there any evidence to support the President's claim that then-President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower?
"Mr. President, the Russians hacked our election and interfered".
"I hope that we can put an end to this wild goose chase because what the president said was just patently false", Schiff said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. He declined to speculate on how long it would take to conduct the investigation, but suggested that it wasn't nearing completion.
Nunes said: "For the first time the American people, and all the political parties now, are paying attention to the threat that Russian Federation poses". Majority Republicans concentrated their questions on leaks of classified information - a concern that Trump frequently mentions - and media reports on issues such as contacts between former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian officials. "They're also trying to get involved in campaigns around the globe and over in Europe", he said on "Fox News Sunday".
The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced a public hearing for March 30.
Accusations of Russian Federation connections have dogged the Trump administration since he took office in January.
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But in an interview with American Vogue , she laughed off the hand gesture, saying: "I think he was actually being a gentleman". Asked by the magazine what she thought of the U.S. commander-in-chief, she said "I like to think we got on".
House Intelligence Committee's Russia Hearing
For Comey, Monday's hearing represents another unusually high-profile role for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director. Since Trump made the disputed claims, he and aides have sought to redefine the terms of his accusations.
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Article 50 to be triggered on 29 March
Negotiations will begin to outline a UK Brexit deal, which could include trade deals - although this might be handled separately. This will be a "long game". "So Britain will exit the European Union on 29 March 2019", the Downing Street spokesperson said.
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch facing Senate hearings
And beware of senators, Republican or Democrat, trying to pin Gorsuch down on hot-button issues such as abortion or gun rights. A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Blumenthal will be questioning Gorsuch at his confirmation hearing this week.