Buckle up. As the House Intel Committee hearings kick off today, the first few minutes could focus on President Trump’s claims that Trump Tower was wiretapped by former President Obama.
FBI Director James Comey is expected to address the issue of wiretapping in the opening minutes, and his testimony is expected to contradict everything Trump has claimed.
Comey’s expected comments to the House Intelligence Committee will mark the U.S. law enforcement community’s first public response to President Donald Trump‘s continuing insistence that the Obama administration “wiretapped” or otherwise conducted surveillance of Trump’s presidential campaign. National Security Agency director Mike Rogers will also be testifying.
“It never hurts to say you’re sorry,” a Republican member of the committee, former CIA officer William Hurd, R-Texas, advised Trump today, telling ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos that the commander-in-chief should apologize for his false statements, which have angered key allies such as Great Britain.
The main purpose of the hearing is to determine if Russia did, in fact, interfere in the 2016 election, and to determine if any U.S. citizens helped them.
Any actual collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia may be hard to determine.
There is apparently lots of smoke, but no actual fire has been discovered.
But Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, the chairman of the committee -– one of several congressional committees looking into allegations of Russian meddling in the election -– insisted he has seen “no evidence of collusion” between Trump associates and the Russian government, noting that the only direct evidence of a crime he’s seen is the leaking of classified U.S. intelligence to reporters, including information about Flynn’s pre-inauguration contacts with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak.
The Washington Post first revealed that, despite Flynn’s private denials, he had discussed Obama administration sanctions against Russia with Kislyak — a discussion captured by U.S. spy agencies eavesdropping on Kislyak. The Washington Post later revealed that now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had also met with Kislyak at least twice during the campaign.
Sessions’ meetings were more in line with the course of work.
Flynn’s contact may have been a bit more troublesome, especially in light of the fact that he misrepresented the nature of his conversations with Kislyak to Vice President Pence, and was subsequently forced to step down.
Comey’s testimony will probably be limited on the subject of Russia to explaining why Russia would try and influence a U.S. election, as well as how they carry out the same campaign of confusion and interference in Europe, but there is a lot of anticipation that he will put the lid on any more questions, regarding the alleged surveillance of Trump.
I’m looking for a swipe at WikiLeaks, myself. There are many who believe WikiLeaks is a tool for the Kremlin, even though founder Julian Assange denies it.
Keep denying it, but it’s curious that your main (only?) target seems to be the U.S. and you leave nations like Russia and China alone.
The hearings are expected to begin at 9am today.