FBI probing Trump-Russia links, wiretap claims bogus

FBI Director James Comey takes a break after three hours of testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday. AP photo

WASHINGTON —

The FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s campaign associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday in an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats.

In a bruising five-hour session, the FBI director also knocked down Trump’s claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper, an assertion that has distracted White House officials and frustrated fellow Republicans who acknowledge they’ve seen no evidence to support it.

The revelation of the investigation of possible collusion with Russians, and the first public confirmation of the wider probe that began last summer, came in a remarkable hearing by one branch of government examining serious allegations against another branch and the new president’s election campaign.

Tight-lipped for the most part, Comey refused to offer details on the scope, targets or timeline for the FBI investigation, which could shadow the White House for months, if not years. The director would not say whether the probe has turned up evidence that Trump associates may have schemed with Russians during a campaign marked by email hacking that investigators believe was aimed at helping the Republican defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“I can promise you,” the FBI director vowed, “we will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

Comey for the first time put himself publicly at odds with the president by contradicting a series of recent tweets from Trump that asserted his phones had been ordered tapped by President Barack Obama during the campaign.

“With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey said. The same was true, he added, of the Justice Department.

His confirmation of the Russia-links investigation was striking given the FBI’s historic reluctance to discuss its work. But Comey said the intense public interest in the matter — and permission from the Justice Department — made it appropriate to do so.

Comey said the collusion inquiry began last July as part of a broader probe into Russian meddling in American politics, meaning Trump was elected president as associates remained under investigation for possible connections to Russia.

Clinton allies on Monday contrasted Comey’s silence during the campaign with public comments he made last year when closing out an investigation into Clinton’s email practices and then, shortly before Election Day, announcing that the probe would be revived following the discovery of additional emails. Many Democrats blame Comey’s public updates with stoking worries about Clinton’s trustworthiness and turning voters against her.

Comey acknowledged that “some folks may want to make comparisons to past instances” where he and other officials were more open, but he said those were about concluded investigations.

In the current case, it’s not clear how long it will take for the FBI to decide if a crime was committed, but counterintelligence investigations are known for being complicated and time-intensive — and for frequently concluding without charges. Comey would not commit to a timetable.

Regardless of the outcome, the investigation is unquestionably an unwelcome distraction for an administration that has struggled to move past questions about ties to Russia. The White House tried anew Monday to distance itself from two former senior members of Trump’s team, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, who have been under scrutiny for foreign contacts.

“The faster you can get to the bottom of this, the better it’s going to be for all Americans,” Rep. Devin Nunes, the California Republican who chairs the committee, told Comey.

The hearing quickly divided along partisan lines, Democrats pressing for details on the status of the FBI’s investigation while Republicans focused on news coverage and possible improper disclosures of classified information developed through surveillance.

Comey is the latest government official to reject Trump’s claims, made without any evidence, that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, his campaign headquarters. Rep. Nunes rejected them earlier in the hearing.

Comey testified along with National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, who also disputed allegations that British intelligence services could have been involved in such wiretapping. The White House last week pointed to a report of British involvement in an attempt to bolster the president’s claim. The move only angered an ally.

Trump took to Twitter before Monday’s hearing began, accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates. He said Congress and the FBI should be going after media leaks and maybe even Clinton instead.

“The real story that Congress, the FBI and others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!” Trump tweeted early Monday as news coverage on the Russia allegations dominated the morning’s cable news.

The president continued to tweet throughout the hearing, creating a unusual public conversation between the embattled president and his FBI director.

After Trump tweeted that the FBI and NSA had told Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process, Comey disputed that description. The FBI has offered no opinion and has no view and no information on the potential impact on the election because that’s not something the bureau has looked at, he said.

The president also claimed that Comey had said there was no evidence of collusion between his aides and Russia, though Comey made no such thing.

Trump also suggested, without evidence, that Clinton’s campaign was in contact with Russia and had possibly thwarted a federal investigation. U.S. intelligence officials have not publicly raised the possibility of contacts between the Clintons and Moscow. Officials have said they believe Moscow had hacked into Democrats’ computers in a bid to help Trump’s election bid.

The panel’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, outlined a chronology that he said suggested frequent and troubling contacts between Trump associates and Russian intermediaries.

“Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated and nothing more than a entirely unhappy coincidence?” he asked rhetorically. “Yes, it is possible. But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 1

    theFu

    While I agree that the FBI didn't wire tap Pres. Trump's phones, that doesn't mean that the NSA (and other TLA world-wide) weren't capturing all the data and voice from his phone using known SS7 insecurities, which are available from any telecom in the world to any phone in the world.

    Few cell phones have protection against these methods.

    The FBI would use a different method than the SS7 hacking and there would be paperwork, hence, they didn't do the deed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/19/ss7-hack-explained-mobile-phone-vulnerability-snooping-texts-calls

    Given that the vulnerabilities and the possibilities of spying on users relies on systems outside of user control, there is very little you can do to protect yourself beyond not using the services.

    I'm just happy that I'm boring and nobody has any reason to listen to my conversations about veggie bowls.

  • 13

    SuperLib

    an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats.

    The problem is that the investigation isn't going to stop, and Trump will be forced to continue tweeting from his bubble, and the longer that happens the greater the chances that he becomes even more isolated and detached. But he is still President and he still has decisions to make in countless other areas and he will still have to engage with the media and Democrats/Republicans.

    Also, his support numbers are dropping and he seems to have difficulty with things like that. It might produce even more erratic behavior if he struggles to cope with it.

  • 22

    CrazyJoe

    If, as President, you accuse a past President of an impeachable offense - and your charge is a lie - you should in turn be impeached. Simple as that. An allegation of potentially criminal misconduct made without evidence is itself a form of serious misconduct by the government official who makes it. When President Trump accuses Obama of an act that would have been impeachable and possibly criminal, that’s something much more serious than libel. If it isn’t true or provable, it’s misconduct by the highest official of the executive branch. The answer is that the constitutional remedy for presidential misconduct is impeachment.

  • 11

    BertieWooster

    But, Trump says he was wiretapped.

    So he must have been.

    He said so. He doesn't need proof!

  • 12

    Mr. Noidall

    Trump is so stupid that he doesn't realize that he's admitted guilt of colluding with the Kremlin by accusing Obama of wiretapping him.Trump is saying that it's not a question of whether ot not he did it, but rather that the evidence was obtained without a proper warrant. Just like in regard to his taxes, this criminal peabrain is trying to escape responsibility via a technicality.

  • 4

    toshiko

    Hehe has a bigger problem his connection with Russia has been investigated as criminally since last July.

  • 12

    PTownsend

    The problem is that the investigation isn't going to stop,

    And while the investigations continue to draw attention to the careening clown car that is the White House, while the WH continues to claim anything critical of the new regime is fake news, TrumpBannon and the Republicans continue to gut programs beneficial to the middle and working class, replacing them with ones that further will enrich the corporate ruling class elites, especially those in the weapons making businesses.

    TrumpBannon are playing the media ,and while some loyal Trump-enistas are buying it, many others, according to his approval ratings, are starting to admit they were snookered by the aging leopard and the global media empires that backed him. No sympathy for those hoodwinked: they bought his lies, he's theirs.

    Trump's golf trips to his palace in Florida cost the US taxpayer how much?

  • 12

    bones

    So what do all the trumpy supporters have to say about all this?? Is it all just fake news??

  • 13

    SuperLib

    You have to assume that there will be a group of supporters who will ditch him, and on the other hand you have to assume the ones who are left will harden their positions despite all evidence to the contrary. The goal is to make that group as small as possible to take away Trump's ability to hide behind them.

    I believe Blacklabel said he would wait to see what the FBI had to say before making his decision, and this will be one of those times when we will see a Trump supporter either distance himself from Trump or go further into the black hole. Now apply that to his entire base.

  • 8

    katsu78

    razyJoeMAR. 21, 2017 - 07:43AM JST If, as President, you accuse a past President of an impeachable offense - and your charge is a lie - you should in turn be impeached.

    As much as I think Trump should be impeached, let's not jump the gun here. Lying about someone, even as President, even about a President, isn't a crime unless it's done under oath. Obama of course has grounds to sue for defamation, but he won't because he has class.

  • -12

    Burning Bush

    There seems to be a schism in the American Government, the entrenched bureaucracy versus the incoming administration.

    This is going to be very very interesting.

    Distrust grows by the day and each side is digging in their heels.

    Nothing uglier than a divorce or civil war.

  • 16

    Mr. Noidall

    So what do all the trumpy supporters have to say about all this?? Is it all just fake news??

    I saw a report today where Trump stated that the whole thing is a fabrication by the democrats. I'm sure Trump's following will concede the same.

  • 15

    Aly Rustom

    Most americans I talk to say he's not going to last until the midterm elections. Its going to be very interesting to see how this plays out.

  • 9

    nostromo

    is it just me or is Trump's nose getting longer??...perhaps it's all the lies he's been telling....

  • 12

    SuperLib

    A landslide of Republicans saying you shouldn't elect someone under FBI investogation....when it was Clinton:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-versus-hillary-fbi-investigationus58d01a73e4b0ec9d29de2c1e?

  • 7

    viking68

    The "no comments" were pretty damning on Trump. Indeed, the one positive statement of no wiretapping was also damning. The WH forgot about the "wiretapping" and focused on the Russia damage control, which they previously claimed was just "fake news"

    The WH and Spicy are trying to put distance between themselves and those who had contact with Russians and are a focus of the investigations. They are trying to create distance using their old go to, lying.

    Paul Manafort was the head of Trump's campaign last year and worked closely with the campaign before that point. He was later fired after the so-called "fake-news" found out he was a paid adviser to a the pro-Russia Ukraine group. Now, Spicy is saying he had a very limited role.

    Spicy is calling Carter Page and Roger Stone basically a groupee. The Trump campaign itself called Page a foreign policy advisor. Stone is a long-time friend of Trump.

    Meanwhile, the GoP is trying to blame leakers instead of looking at Trump's connections to Russia. Talk about hypocrites.

  • 11

    Strangerland

    A landslide of Republicans saying you shouldn't elect someone under FBI investogation....when it was Clinton:

    Yeah, but it was Clinton. They didn't mean that you shouldn't elect someone under FBI investigation, they meant you shouldn't elect a Democrat under FBI investigation.

    That clears it up, right?

  • -4

    deadbeatles

    ...why the hell is no one bringing up Russia's Weather Machine!?!?!?!?

  • 6

    Laguna

    The Donald is a devious guy. He has carefully set up a strategy to deal with this that might be most accurately called, "Squirrel!" The main thrust is to pretend that the investigation is about the leaks - the messenger - rather than about the message - Russian influence in both/either Trump's campaign and the election itself. His mouthpiece Sean Spicer stated so in this word salad yesterday:

    What I am getting at is there’s a lot of information that we have come to learn in terms of what happened in terms of surveillance throughout the 2016 election and the transition. And when you look at somebody like Michael Flynn, and you realize that while they might have been looking at somebody else at that time, how does somebody’s name that’s protected by law from being disclosed get put out in the public? ... What were the motives behind that? What else do we need to know? Who was behind that kind of unmasking?

    Trump appears to be further trying to muddy the waters with a slightly new tack. His tweets after the conference imply that, as no evidence has been found of Russian tampering with voting machines - see third tweet - this investigation should be over (except for determining the leakers, of course). He also upped the ante by implying that perhaps Comey and Obama have been the leakers all along. Pretty brazen, but here are some of his most recent tweets:

    FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia.

    NSA Director Rogers tells Congress unmasking individuals endangers national security.

    The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process.

    Put together, these tactics point to a disturbing conclusion: Why would a sitting POTUS go to so much trouble to invent and obfuscate unless he actually had something to hide?

  • 9

    viking68

    Why would a sitting POTUS go to so much trouble to invent and obfuscate unless he actually had something to hide?

    First and foremost, Trump is a narcissist and a practiced liar. He is also good at distraction and showmanship. He's not a great businessman or a decent and ethical person for that matter.

    I honestly doubt that Trump himself will be directly involved with Russian hacking, but I believe someone in his circle was.

    I suspect that because of the comments he made on the campaign trail, e.g., if Russia is listening, please hack Hillary's email servers to find the missing 30,000 emails, the softening of the GoP's Ukraine position after meeting with Russians, Trump liked Putin, etc.

  • 8

    SuperLib

    Yeah, this one is just weird since the FBI just told the world they are investigating team Trump's ties to Russia:

    "The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign...."

    Like I said, it's dangerous for the president to be retreating into a bubble. He's going to isolate himself and that's not good for the country or the world.

  • 8

    zichi

    FBI Director James Comey tells Congress that Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump to win the 2016 election because the Russian president hated Hillary Clinton.

    POTUS could damage relationships when claiming Britain's GCHQ wiretapped Trump's phones. No evidence.

    Trump has a long history of telling lies and when called out over them handles it badly bullying his way out of his corner. His lies are his version 1.0 of fake news.

    POTUS is dancing the two step.

  • 4

    bones

    I am just waiting for trumpy to tweet how his approval rating is actually the highest ever in the history of presidents and how the FBI is working with Obama to try and ruling him.

  • 0

    zengohan

    @CrazyJoe If, as President, you accuse a past President of an impeachable offense - and your charge is a lie - you should in turn be impeached. Simple as that. An allegation of potentially criminal misconduct made without evidence is itself a form of serious misconduct by the government official who makes it. When President Trump accuses Obama of an act that would have been impeachable and possibly criminal, that’s something much more serious than libel. If it isn’t true or provable, it’s misconduct by the highest official of the executive branch. The answer is that the constitutional remedy for presidential misconduct is impeachment. So after todays hearing of the fbi and nsa announcing there is absolutely no evidence russia was involved in the election or had any collusion with trump that its ok for obama to blame russia without any proof and put sanctions on them?

  • 3

    John-San

    Fake New, NO WRONG, That is the REAL head of the FBI, What he is stating is REAL. So it REAL that Trump the fool is a real Russian Tool.

  • -13

    Blacklabel

    I believe Blacklabel said he would wait to see what the FBI had to say before making his decision, and this will be one of those times when we will see a Trump supporter either distance himself from Trump or go further into the black hole. Now apply that to his entire base.

    Correct. Did you hear the FBI Director say the investigation is over? Or even close to over? Did you hear him say that any actual evidence of collusion was found? He said do not make any speculation from his refusal to answer any questions. So wait we shall. I am all for this investigation because when it is done, findings will have to be released. So this cant just be drawn out for the next 8 years whenever someone wants to bother Trump. At some point in time it will be done and we can move on.

    So there is an investigation, we already pretty much knew that. And there should be an investigation into all of this. How else could someone have unmasked the name of Michael Flynn and leaked the transcript of the conversation, which is a felony?

    I noticed several things:

    The word is now Trump 'associates', not the actual campaign or administration anymore . Collusion was replaced with the word coordinated. There was also a lot of talk about people who inadvertently may have done something to help Russia and that they didnt need to prove it was intentional. They keep saying there is no evidence of something without directly saying it didnt happen. FBI/NSA has NO interest whatsoever in even trying to find out who the leakers are.

  • 5

    wtfjapan

    I can see the next tweet now, "Clinton has brainwashed Comey, FAKE FBI, FAKE NEWS!!!. lmfao

  • 3

    sf2k

    CrazyJoe

    GOP senators and house members who have gerrymandered their districts and can't be voted out want to burn the country down. Having a clown in office makes their job easier for their corporate representatives. How any thinking person voted in traitors is a mix of incredulous disbelief to watch from afar. Condolences from Canada

  • 1

    wtfjapan

    Nothing uglier than a divorce or civil war. LOL if you think that's going to happen your more delusional than Trump. America has many more enemies to worry about , than going to war with itself.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Wow, even most of the usual Trump apologists can't show their faces on here today. Who can blame them?

  • 2

    Weasel

    Interesting that today the first daughter (i.e. Ivanka Trump) was granted a Top Secrete clearance (i.e a "Yankee White" clearance) at the behest of the US Government (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ivanka-white-house-officeus58d056ffe4b00705db520f50?8o4y262cy4rrbv5cdi&&).

    Coincidental or happenstance, that during this bombshell that this somehow warranted his Nordstrom purse-dealing-daughter a very high-level counterintelligence security clearance? Too much weird stuff going on here that doesn't add up at all.

  • -10

    Blacklabel

    I also noticed that the FBI Director said a lot of the news reports are false or have false information. Media has been 99 percent anti-Trump so that tells me something as well. Overall, nothing has changed except that we now know for sure that there is an investigation. Which now means there are either (a) FISA warrants for legal surveillance or (b) no FISA warrants were approved which means the surveillance was illegal.

    Also investigation has been since last July. Yet was no evidence of anything 2 weeks before the election or it could have been mentioned when Hillary email was. Was no evidence last month when James Clapper said there was no collusion. So a 9 month investigation has found nothing provable. So yes, the Dems are pushing this and why is this still a 'story' and spoken about as if it is true? There is still no proof of any collusion or coordination or anything, nothing has changed since last July.

  • 4

    Jimizo

    @Blacklabel

    Do you have anything to say about Trump's trash about wiretapping? Anything at all?

    It's interesting that while Trump supporters liked the idea of a non-politician leading the country, they have to do all kinds of mental contortions, deflections and evasions in order to defend him. They sound like seasoned politicians already.

  • -8

    Blacklabel

    The idea of an ILLEGAL wiretap would be that there is no evidence. The NSA and FBI only have found that a legal one was not done. Still the CIA testimony to go next week as well.

    But obviously someone was wiretapped, as the leaks of Michael Flynn's phone calls and the fact that it has been confirmed there is an active investigation. How was enough information found to lead to the opening of an investigation? If no one was surveilled how was this gathered?

    Most of you seem to buy the story that the Russian side was wiretapped in order to get all this information- ok fine. So were the Australian PM and the Mexican President also wiretapped to get the contents of their phone calls with the President?

    Obama already wiretapped PM Merkel as a fact and as precedence so I dont get that people believe he could never do such a thing. All the answers were that Obama cannot LEGALLY order a wiretap on Trump. We know that, how about looking into an illegal one? Wiretapping and illegal leaking of his name and the transcripts at least concerning Flynn cannot be disputed.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    A whole lot of justification in that post blacklabel, but you entirely ignored the fact the claims Trump made have been shown to not have any basis in fact.

    Are you ok with him presenting fake news from Breitbart as fact, without first verifying that what he has said is not in fact fake news?

  • -5

    Blacklabel

    The investigation has not been completed, so until that time there is no final determination of anything. No evidence of something does not mean it didnt happen. There was no evidence of Obama wiretapping Merkel until Edward Snowden released it, then there was. Was no evidence of the NSA spying on US citizens and James Clapper denied it to Congress, until there was evidence. Where is anyone saying 'THIS DID NOT HAPPEN'?

    The NY Times used the word wiretapped in their article to try link Trump and his associates to a lot of Russian activities that are the basis of this whole 'Russian story' that is still unproven. I will agree there was no wiretap of Trump personally at Trump Tower once they retract that article as untrue and admit all the allegations that came from the supposed wiretap are untrue. It is still pretty clear that someone is listening to Trump on the phone from somewhere as the leaks of Presidential calls to Australia and Mexico happened.

  • 5

    Strangerland

    The investigation has not been completed, so until that time there is no final determination of anything. No evidence of something does not mean it didnt happen.

    That's not the point though. The point is that Trump made claims of fact, and nothing has been found to show that his comments were made based on any facts. So even if it turns out he was correct in the future, he still made these claims without any basis in fact.

    So I once again ask the question, are you ok with him presenting fake news from Breitbart as fact, without first verifying that what he has said is not in fact fake news?

  • -5

    Blacklabel

    So I once again ask the question, are you ok with him presenting fake news from Breitbart as fact, without first verifying that what he has said is not in fact fake news?

    yes I am ok with it. he is obviously hearing reports about himself that are either (a) not true or (b) cannot be known without someone listening in on his phone. So yes, I think you can verify yourself that things about yourself are not fake news, because you were there and know more about it than anyone else.

  • 6

    Jimizo

    "Obama already wiretapped PM Merkel as a fact and as precedence so I dont get that people believe he could never do such a thing"

    This sentence is now trotted out by Trump supporters non-stop.

    Claims require evidence. It's that simple. Stating that someone is capable of doing it will not wash as evidence.

    As I stated before, it's very interesting to watch the Trump supporters turn into evasive politicians while taking delight in the fact that their leader sounds like a tantrum-throwing brat.

  • 2

    Tokyo-Engr

    This continues to get more interesting by the day. It will be interesting to see how Trump reacts to this. There are two distinct issues

    Regarding the wiretapping: The FBI has indicated this did not happen. I would tend to believe Comey on this. Whether other agencies wiretapped Trump Tower or not (for other purposes). The Washington Post actually has a good article on this and even Fox News called Trump to the carpet on his allegations.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/about-that-new-york-times-wiretapping-article-trump-has-it-all-wrong/2017/03/16/7f57d99e-0a86-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1story.html?utmterm=.67b81010da0d

    So sure, maybe there was wiretapping occurring but my gut feeling this is more likely due to an investigation related to his business.

    Regarding the Russian connection: I am not convinced that the Russians colluded with Trump to manipulate the election, BUT I really want to see what the investigation reveals.

    All in all this is more evidence Trump is not suitable to be President. If all of this continues, it is quite possible he will not make it through the first term.

  • 5

    Silvafan

    Saw this earlier:

    In case you haven't connected the news dots... Putin controls the largest oil company in Russia. He made a 500 Billion dollar deal with the CEO of Exxon Mobil. Obama put sanctions in place which stopped that deal. Russia then hacked into our government in order to get Trump elected. When the CIA told Congress this in September (James Comey was also in that meeting), Mitch McConnell refused to tell the American people, blackmailing Obama saying he would frame it as playing partisan politics during the election. Comey released the infamous no-information letter. Mitch McConnell's wife was picked for Trump's cabinet. The CEO of Exxon is now the Secretary of State. Wonder why our President has been so quick to dismiss the CIA's findings?.........it gets better..2/...

  • -7

    Blacklabel

    oh now we are disputing that Obama wiretapped Merkel?

    This report plus Snowden tells me all I need to know about that.

    After the news broke, White House press secretary Jay Carney said “the president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring, and will not monitor, the communications of the chancellor,”but remained silent when he was asked questions about past surveillance. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/17/flashback-barack-obama-wiretapped-german-chancellor-angela-merkel-in-2010/#ixzz4bvl5GAd1

    Interesting that Germany was never able to prove this either to the level that was acceptable in a court of law, yet everyone knows it happened. These things are really hard to prove if done correctly, same for Trump's case.

  • 4

    Laguna

    Blacklabel: See, Trump's gambit is already working! You're not alone: Most GOP questions to Comey followed Trump's gameplan by focusing on how security agencies obtained info re: Trump functionaries' interactions with Russian officials and who leaked that info. Seems you've also swallowed that hook, line, and sinker.

    A few facts are incontrovertible: DNC and Podesta mail accounts were hacked; the material was passed on to Wikileaks; it was then leaked strategically to cause maximum damage to Clinton. A great amount of information already available regarding these hacks clearly points to Russia as the mastermind.

    Meanwhile, many individuals at the center of Trump's campaign have had rather inexplicable ties with Russia that they have attempted to hide. Then there is a sliver of known involvement between Russia and the Trump Organization (e.g., Russians have purchased some $100 million worth of Trump-branded condominiums) and a huge amount we do not know thanks to Trump's refusal to release his tax returns.

    Of course, Trump wants Americans to think like you - There's nothing there! What about the leakers? - and his latest tweet is an implied threat to accuse Comey of being a leaker ("FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia"). But that's the "Squirrel!", see: how security agencies obtained info re: Trump functionaries' interactions with Russian officials and who leaked that info is of far less importance than why Russia committed these acts and who aided them. That is, important for real Americans. Partisan hacks will stick with Trump's obfuscation.

  • -4

    Burning Bush

    Did I stumble on the UFO boards by accident?

    These Russian conspiracy theories are getting wackier by the hour.

  • 4

    SuperLib

    Blacklabel:. Personally, I still believe he has something to prove it, so we will wait until the public hearings next week and see if anyone slips up.

    That was your response a few days ago into the investigation as to whether there was evidence Obama wiretapped Trump. You were waiting for the FBI's comments before you made a Personally, I still believe he has something to prove it, so we will wait until the public hearings next week and see if anyone slips up.. The FBI has spoken, said they know of nothing, so we can go ahead and put that issue to bed.

    Next up is the issue of Trump colluding with the Russians. Looks like you want to wait for that investogation to finish. Fair enough. Personally, I think they acted independently. No reason for the Russians to involve Trump if they don't have to, but maybe I am wrong.

  • -5

    Blacklabel

    So how did Russia know that Hillary/DNC/Podesta email would be a treasure trove of corruption? Do you think they just took the risk to hack and got lucky? Yes, why cant Comey answer if he SPOKE to Obama about a topic? hiding something is what the liberals would say if Trump people answered like that. Arent the Trump guys in trouble for not reporting they simply spoke to someone? So Comey is refusing to say he spoke to Obama, why? Afraid he might be asked what they talked about?

    I am simply saying this. If there is no illegal surveillance and no wiretaps, then any information leaked to the media must be considered to be fake news and newspapers should write retractions for every article based on that information. Whoever publishes this information should have to prove how they know the content of these private phone calls. The media/FBI/NSA say there are no wiretaps yet they are using information that they cannot possibly have without wiretaps to disparage Trump and open investigations. Cant have it both ways.

  • -11

    bass4funk

    The investigation has not been completed, so until that time there is no final determination of anything. No evidence of something does not mean it didnt happen.

    Pretty much. Of course there was someone that leaked all of this information out,without a doubt, how else would Gen. Flynn have been caught doing what he did. Do I think Obama is sitting in a back room ordering Trump and his team to be surveiled, I do not, but I do believe someone in the former administration did, but as of now, there is no proof, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. But Trump does need to be more careful with his words when he throws out these accusations, even if there isn't any tangible evidence.

    There was no evidence of Obama wiretapping Merkel until Edward Snowden released it, then there was. Was no evidence of the NSA spying on US citizens and James Clapper denied it to Congress, until there was evidence. Where is anyone saying 'THIS DID NOT HAPPEN'?

    Silence.

    The NY Times used the word wiretapped in their article to try link Trump and his associates to a lot of Russian activities that are the basis of this whole 'Russian story' that is still unproven. I will agree there was no wiretap of Trump personally at Trump Tower once they retract that article as untrue and admit all the allegations that came from the supposed wiretap are untrue. It is still pretty clear that someone is listening to Trump on the phone from somewhere as the leaks of Presidential calls to Australia and Mexico happened.

    I believe it, but the problem is, the FBI won't say anything because it's an ongoing investigation, at least for now. In any case, neither side can prove that there was either collusion on the part of the Russians and the Trump administration as Comey told a very depressed looking Democratic Senators desperately hoping for a smoking gun and once again, smoke and No bullets.

  • 2

    Kurobune

    Look up the word "narcissist" in the dictionary, go ahead. See the picture of the Twitter-in-Chief right next to it ?

  • 1

    goldorak

    The FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s campaign associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday (...) the FBI director also knocked down Trump’s claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper.

    Funnily and paradoxically enough, Trump should hope he and his collaborators had actually been bugged by the Obama administration as this would/could help prove he and his collaborators hadn't colluded with the Russians during the us campaign... provided they haven't done so, that is.

  • 5

    Jimizo

    "But Trump does need to be more careful with his words when he throws out these accusations, even if there isn't any tangible evidence."

    Not really a question of being more careful with words. More a question of not throwing out baseless accusations against former presidents and key allies with zero evidence.

    This is the president of the US, not a trash tabloid. Then again, the two are becoming disturbingly similar these days.

  • 5

    SuperLib

    Wiretaps are on all Russian calls, at least all they are able to get. That's how Flynn got picked up on a call. One issue related to that is how his name got leaked, and that's the GOP's focus since it doesn't involve Trump's unsubstantiated accusations.

    It's moot anyway. You clearly said you were going to wait for Comey's findings, and he said he sees no evidence supporting Trump's claims of Obama wiretapping him. That should be the end of that. Naturally you are free to abandon your previous statements because it ended up working against you, but then you're stepping into a credibility issue. Please clarify if that is what you are doing.

  • 3

    zichi

    Pretty much. Of course there was someone that leaked all of this information out,without a doubt, how else would **Gen. Flynn have been caught doing what he did. **

    Thought that was the suppose of vetting.

  • 4

    MrBum

    So how did Russia know that Hillary/DNC/Podesta email would be a treasure trove of corruption? Do you think they just took the risk to hack and got lucky?

    I think "treasure trove" is overstating it, but who doesn't expect a political party to keep some information from the public? I bet they would have found worse on the RNC side, and maybe they did and are sitting on it.

    So Comey is refusing to say he spoke to Obama, why?

    Maybe he's trying to honor the traditional decorum of past presidents not bad mouthing their successors. The tradition goes both ways just so you know. Either way, his refusal isn't going to stop any questions.

    If there is no illegal surveillance and no wiretaps, then any information leaked to the media must be considered to be fake news and newspapers should write retractions for every article based on that information.

    No. If there are no illegal surveillance and no wiretaps, Trump should apologize and admit he was wrong. He's never been known to do that and his supporters have never been known to care though.

    The media/FBI/NSA say there are no wiretaps yet they are using information that they cannot possibly have without wiretaps to disparage Trump and open investigations.

    You think wiretaps are the only way leaks occur? News flash, they're not.

  • -11

    bass4funk

    Not really a question of being more careful with words. More a question of not throwing out baseless accusations against former presidents and key allies with zero evidence.

    Sure, bur as I said before, doesn't mean it never happened and given Obama's history and his minions when it comes to surveillance, I do believe there was definitely something there

    This is the president of the US, not a trash tabloid.

    Exactly, he's president, not a God and not perfect, the previous president 44 thought of himself as omnipotent, so yes, Trump is a president and a man that shouldn't have to take stuff just because the establishment aren't happy, they can all go and pound sand.

    Then again, the two are becoming disturbingly similar these days.

    You think?

    It's moot anyway. You clearly said you were going to wait for Comey's findings, and he said he sees no evidence supporting Trump's claims of Obama wiretapping him.

    And likewise, NO smoking gun that the Russians influenced the election to tip it in Trump's favor, so we can equally let it all go.

    That should be the end of that.

    I sure hope so!

    Naturally you are free to abandon your previous statements because it ended up working against you, but then you're stepping into a credibility issue. Please clarify if that is what you are doing.

    I think this ended very well. I feel good.

  • -8

    Blacklabel

    It's moot anyway. You clearly said you were going to wait for Comey's findings, and he said he sees no evidence supporting Trump's claims of Obama wiretapping him. That should be the end of that. Naturally you are free to abandon your previous statements because it ended up working against you, but then you're stepping into a credibility issue. Please clarify if that is what you are doing.

    yes, I waited for his findings. I was actually expecting him to say something, some actual results of this 9 month investigation and what were those findings? NOTHING at all. There is an investigation. Cant talk about it. Wont answer that. Leaks are bad, but I wont tell you if Im doing anything to find the leakers. Some things in the newspapers are false. Which ones? Cant answer that. No information found. Where did I look? Who did I talk to? cant answer that. same answer. same answer.

    So based on those findings, we are at the same place we were. The FBI (and NSA) have no evidence of wiretapping, yet Trump still says that he was surveilled. There is also no evidence of Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. So all these stories from both sides should be on hold until the investigation is complete, right?

  • 6

    SuperLib

    bass:. but as of now, there is no proof, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    It just means we are dealing with an unsubstantiated accusation, especially after testimony from multiple sources saying there is no evidence, making it really, really unsubstantiated heh.

    As a journalist, how do you treat those?

  • 4

    Laguna

    So how did Russia know that Hillary/DNC/Podesta email would be a treasure trove of corruption?

    Uh, one example of "corruption," please? You know - the kind where people go to jail?

    More importantly, you don't seem to understand how Russian security services go about securing "kompromat." The basically target anyone and everyone they think might be of use in the future; all info collected is retained until it is needed. It may be that the DNC and Clinton's campaign manager's email accounts were hacked quite some time ago. It may also be that the RNC email was also hacked but that they chose not to release any info.

  • 7

    Jimizo

    "Exactly, he's president, not a God and not perfect"

    Nobody is expecting him to be perfect. They should expect a level of behaviour befitting the position. Trash claims with zero evidence isn't acceptable for civilised people.

    "the previous president 44 thought of himself as omnipotent, so yes, Trump is a president and a man that shouldn't have to take stuff just because the establishment aren't happy, they can all go and pound sand."

    The previous president had to "take stuff" like bigots making baseless claims about him not being a US citizen. One of those people has a disturbing habit of this. He also had to "take stuff" from ignorant bigots claiming he was a Muslim. He also had to "take stuff" from screaming lunatics about being the anti-Christ. He dealt with this trash with dignity and didn't start bawling on Twitter.

    He wasn't perfect but certainly a man who took stuff with real class.

    Ah, class. Remember that?

  • -9

    Blacklabel

    Uh, one example of "corruption," please? You know - the kind where people go to jail?

    Mishandling of classified information by Hillary and her staff. As evidenced by classified emails being sent to an unclassified system using an unauthorized home server. Wiping of said home server and destruction of government devices used to access it. These are all crimes within the US government where she was employed. Plus all the other things (Clinton Foundation, etc) that I dont feel like getting into again that were dropped when Trump decided to show mercy and not to lock her up.

    It may also be that the RNC email was also hacked but that they chose not to release any info.

    Pure speculation, this can never be proven or disproven.

  • 3

    takeda.shingen.1991@gmail.com

    And likewise, NO smoking gun that the Russians influenced the election to tip it in Trump's favor, so we can equally let it all go.

    Not according to Comey's testimony. He quite clearly said the Russians were after Clinton. Whether Trump personally had dealt with Putin/Russia remains unclear but someone in his inner circle certainly did. Roger Stone anyone? http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/20/politics/kfile-roger-stone-wikileaks-claims/

  • -5

    Blacklabel

    Anyway, nothing has really changed on any of this.

    Trump can wait for the ongoing investigation to find any evidence of wiretapping or he can provide it himself. The CIA is also coming to Congress next week so I assume he will wait until after that.

    The FBI can continue their own investigation into collusion indefinitely or they can simply have a cutoff point where if nothing is found in x number of more months, then there is no evidence and its closed. Until the confirmed investigation is closed there is a cloud of uncertainty over all of this on both sides.

  • 3

    PTownsend

    @rbBush These Russian conspiracy theories are getting wackier by the hour.

    It's doubtful anyone on this board can prove what happened with regard to intelligence agencies keeping track of Trump and his Russian contacts. However, Flynn's resignation pretty clearly suggests that Flynn had contact with Russians (which he wanted to hide for some reason) and the intelligence agencies had the means to find that out.

    Do you have evidence of any sort - perhaps a link from Russia Today, Breitbart, infowars, any of the usual alt right sources - saying that Trump or any of his appointees were NOT involved with Russians, that the allegations of involvement are just 'conspiracy theories' - or 'fake news'?

  • 3

    Northernlife

    Oh Trumpy egg on face again..He really needs to get on with the job of being President and start making good on his campaign promises..

  • -14

    bass4funk

    It just means we are dealing with an unsubstantiated accusation, especially after testimony from multiple sources saying there is no evidence, making it really, really unsubstantiated heh.

    Exactly and that goes for both sides.

    As a journalist, how do you treat those?

    I'm going by my gut feeling and going by the history of the Obama administration.

    The previous president had to "take stuff" like bigots making baseless claims about him not being a US citizen.

    How do you know they were bigots. Why is it that disagreeing with Obama means you are a racist? Or should we take that all the Trump haters are anti-White? The left still seems to be enjoying and to embrace the racist card.

    One of those people has a disturbing habit of this. He also had to "take stuff" from ignorant bigots claiming he was a Muslim.

    Being ignorant doesn't make you a racist.

    He also had to "take stuff" from screaming lunatics about being the anti-Christ.

    I'll just skip that one....

    He dealt with this trash with dignity and didn't start bawling on Twitter.

    Well, he did a lot of other underhanded things, but we shall leave that for a different debate time.

    He wasn't perfect but certainly a man who took stuff with real class.

    That's debatable.

    Not according to Comey's testimony. He quite clearly said the Russians were after Clinton.

    Yes, I would be as well, she should have kept her nose out of the Russian 2011 election cycle then.

    Whether Trump personally had dealt with Putin/Russia remains unclear but someone in his inner circle certainly did. Roger Stone anyone.

    And the same can be said about Obama and his wiretapping.

  • 7

    MrBum

    Anyway, nothing has really changed on any of this.

    Yes, nothing has changed. Another lie from the President brushed off by his supporters, and another investigation that will be forgotten by the Trump camp when it inevitably leads nowhere. How is that investigation into the millions of illegal voters going?

    Soon Trump's handlers will put another bogus story in front of him, he'll tweet it as fact, and we'll start all over while his handlers continue dismantling the government.

  • 5

    Laguna

    Mishandling of classified information by Hillary and her staff. As evidenced by classified emails being sent to an unclassified system using an unauthorized home server.

    Blacklabel, for all GOP hyperventilation over Clinton's server, it ironically appears to have been secure enough never to have been hacked so has nothing to do with the story at hand.

    Also, for all of your (and Trump's) efforts to twist this into an investigation of "wiretapping" and leaks, that is not reality. The investigation regards Russia's attempts to influence the election (mostly indisputable) and possible Trump campaign involvement (speculative, but no fire yet). Let's not change the subject.

  • -7

    Blacklabel

    No one seems to be disputing any more that Russia attempted to influence the election.

    So the three things that are left are:

    Did Trump or any of his campaign members actively collude with Russia to help do so. 9 months of investigation has shown nothing but speculation based primary on information from illegal leaks. So now it appears this is being expanded to Trump 'associates' and no longer needs active collusion but just coordination, whatever that means.

    Was Trump wiretapped? so far no evidence he has been but no one has come out and said directly it didnt happen. Each answer is no evidence, not to my knowledge, I dont think so, not by MY organization, etc

    Was classified info leaked? Most definitely, that is clear. It is just a matter now of if any effort will be made to find and punish the leakers. Doubtful, as the info leaked was detrimental to Trump.

  • -13

    bass4funk

    Yes, nothing has changed. Another lie from the President brushed off by his supporters,

    So what is it you want? You want his core supporters to crucify him? I didn't see Obama supporters doing that whenever he screwed up which was a lot. But many of us are not that partisan and will criticize Trump if he is wrong on the issues as I have done.

    and another investigation that will be forgotten by the Trump camp when it inevitably leads nowhere. How is that investigation into the millions of illegal voters going?

    And how how about the Russian conspiracy theory, how's that working out for liberals? Not good, not good at al. Keep grasping guys. The tax thing was a huge embarrassment and Maddow is still feeling the brunt of that disaster.

    Soon Trump's handlers will put another bogus story in front of him, he'll tweet it as fact, and we'll start all over while his handlers continue dismantling the government.

    Probably, you guys will just have to deal with it.

  • 5

    Jimizo

    "But many of us are not that partisan and will criticize Trump if he is wrong on the issues as I have done."

    When was that? What issues are you talking about?

  • 3

    Northernlife

    @bass I'm going by my gut feeling and going by the history of the Obama administration.Well what you think of the Obama administration a majority of the population disagrees with you on that one.Trump breaking records all over the place he just broke another one with his approval ratings worst since WW2. Journalism these days is not about searching for facts its about gut feelings in the day and age of Trump and his fake tweets seems very appropriate.

  • 4

    frontandcentre

    When Trump has no qualms about telling obvious lies to the American people who elected him, how can anyone else be expected to ever take him at his word?

    He has zero credibility and should be dismissed from office, even if his massive conflicts of interest were not sufficient reason. Time's up for this particular circus.

  • 8

    Mr. Noidall

    Exactly, he's president, not a God and not perfect, the previous president 44 thought of himself as omnipotent, so yes, Trump is a president and a man that shouldn't have to take stuff just because the establishment aren't happy, they can all go and pound sand.

    Please give a concrete example of Obama passing himself off as a god, or even infallible. I'm getting sick and tired of the blatant double standard. You take Obama to task over any infraction the size of nanometer, but defend Trump to the death over major infractions.

    • Moderator

      Readers, please do not focus on Obama. That is not what this story is about.

  • 6

    nakanoguy01

    Was Trump wiretapped? so far no evidence he has been but no one has come out and said directly it didnt happen. Each answer is no evidence, not to my knowledge, I dont think so, not by MY organization, etc

    which part of "no evidence" don't you understand? it is actually incumbent on trump to provide evidence that obama "ordered the wiretap" since he is the one that made the claim. he is in fact president and could do so quite easily. but he hasn't, and he has now been slapped down by the doj and the fbi. so please stop contorting the "facts" to suit your version of the truth. "no evidence" means that trump lied.

    Was classified info leaked? Most definitely, that is clear. It is just a matter now of if any effort will be made to find and punish the leakers. Doubtful, as the info leaked was detrimental to Trump.

    why wouldn't the leaker be punished if he or she were found? this idea is ludicrous. you do understand that you control two branches of government, don't you? so you have the power ( and with great power comes great responsibility) to punish to the greatest extent of the law whoever is behind the leaks.

    but i feel like i'm just wasting my breath here. there's this unshatterable dissonance that both sides live in. facts do little to change opinions.

  • 2

    viking68

    There was no evidence of Obama wiretapping Merkel until Edward Snowden released it, then there was. Was no evidence of the NSA spying on US citizens and James Clapper denied it to Congress, until there was evidence. Where is anyone saying 'THIS DID NOT HAPPEN'?

    Silence.

    I am not surprised about the U.S. tapping a foreign leader, even an ally. I had just assumed that to be the case since it is what the NSA does, collect everything within its power to collect. And it can collect nearly everything and does not discriminate.

    Snowden wasn't any kind of bombshell in that respect. I already new the NSA was sucking up any information it could. The NSA has been doing this for decades.

    Merkel wasn't special or some evil plot carried out by Obama. In fact, he made it a point not to monitor her after it was revealed that the NSA was collecting her communications.

    As sinister as it seems, all foreigners (enemies and allies) are fair game under U.S. law. Still, the U.S. generally uses the information to inform government.

    I somewhat agree with what Snowden did. Obviously, the NSA was violating the law with respect to collecting on U.S. citizens. There were no checks, and Gen. Hayden out and out lied about the scope of the NSA's spying with regard to U.S. citizens.

    The Snowden release also raised broad questions of privacy and potential abuse, which in spite of government assurances are probably not limited to a very few exceptional cases of agents checking up on their spouse or significant other.

    But to say there is a comparison between Merkel and Trump is another alt-right falsehood, or just another Trump lie repeated by his followers.

  • 3

    Dre Hund

    With 72 comments above me, I can't read all of them. But I watched 3 hours of the open hearing tonight. I grokked what Comey and Rogers's couldn't talk about, but I was fascinated by all these intelligent new faces (to me) had to say. I felt the American process was back on it's feet again. I give no one a pass, considering Kobey's mouth influenced the Clinton vote. But I see integrity all over the room. And intelligence. But let's face it, the big shots on Don's team don't think like the rest of us. Exxon smoozing for oil deals, payments, favors, you get the strong feeling that these international players think completely outside of lowly government concerns. they make gigantic power plays with the oligarchy in Russia, a country that hasn't a clue as to the art form of a interdependent relationship with the Ukraine. It's the old KGB mentality. Don't forget these guys used to control what maps looked like, to keep the people from knowing the actual border lines of their own country. The hubris of American industrialists aligns with this type of thinking. The masses are a means to an end. No difference than what a small company thinks of it's one hundred employees.

  • -9

    Cortes Elijah

    What a bunch of idiots you Americans are. You finally get a president who wants to help the U.S and you hate him. You guys really don't know what you want do you?

    He is the president of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Not the world.

  • 3

    wtfjapan

    but as of now, there is no proof, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. actually as of now it didnt happen , until proof is found if any. Americas legal system , "innocent until proven guilty" There fixed it for you.

  • 4

    SuperLib

    Blacklabel:. So based on those findings, we are at the same place we were.

    Yep, no evidence whatsoever of Obama wiretapping Trump. It's now considered to be a baseless claim and will be ignored going forward except by Trump fans.

    So let's switch gears to help those Trump fans. What would you consider to be solid evidence to prove that something didn't happen? Can you give me some examples of what has to be done to give you reason enough to drop your baseless claim against Obama?

    Or let's try this. Trump makes an accusation every day for the next week with no proof. Will you have seven more "we just don't know" positions?

    Or how about this:. Tomorrow Trump wakes up and decides "I'm going to make up something and accuse Obama." Wouldn't you be forced to believe that it might be true until the day you die because you can't prove something didn't happen?

    Or...maybe I think you hacked my email and read them. Unless you could prove you didn't, that would mean you will always be suspected of doing it, right?

    Is any of this sinking in? This baseless accusation will be dropped except by Trump fans like yourself, but you're giving Trump and endless pass to start a new one the next day. That creates a distraction, meaning time and resources are used that could be spent elsewhere.

    So please, be very specific in terms of what proof could be put in front of you which would make you drop the accusation against Obama? And if you can't, what did you learn?

  • 3

    Strangerland

    That creates a distraction

    The Trump team are pros at distraction. Notice how the fact that Pence used a non-official email server, which last year was worthy of chants of 'Lock Her Up' for months on end, suddenly has become silence within days of Pence doing the same thing? Trump distracted from it, and his subjects willingly went with those distractions, so that they didn't have to justify their hypocrisy. I'm really disappointed in the other side in also taking the bait with the distractions though. Pence's transgression should require 3-4 inquiries to clear up, and yet there isn't even a call for a single inquiry.

  • 6

    1glenn

    So embarrassing. Words cannot describe the loathing I have for our Idiot-in-Chief.

  • 3

    Madverts

    Heh, only the slippery Russian contributors here to defend the indefensible. The whole gang is here. No real Trump supporters in evidence until the alt-right talking points come in later in the day. I hear our YouTube correspondent took it particularly badly and was found drunk and disorderly in a taxi with a ladyboy prior to his arrest near the New Sanno Hotel...

  • -13

    bass4funk

    @Cortes

    Yup! Couldn't have said it better myself.

    but as of now, there is no proof, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. actually as of now it didnt happen , until proof is found if any. Americas legal system , "innocent until proven guilty" There fixed it for you.

    Exactly, falls on both sides. There is zero proof on either side. Before you libs start jumping out of your skins again, yes, I believe there was Russian tampering and doing God knows what, but as far as collusion is concerned on The Trump admin. Nada, nothing, nichts. Once again, Comey had to tell liberals this again. So both sides need to spare themselves further embarrassment and just move on.

  • 1

    Northernlife

    @simon foston hit the nail on the head..

  • 1

    takeda.shingen.1991@gmail.com

    Ahhh, but you did read them. Look, let's cut through the mustard and all the mumbo jumbo. It's very simple. The Dems don't have anything on Trump, nothing, absolutely nothing and we found out AGAIN last night and please don't conflate the two, Russia having their hands involved to a certain extent in the election didn't in any way shape or form alter the election to the point where the Russians had the power to sway voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania

    Nonsense. Just absolute right wing, nonsensical garbage and you know better than that.No one is claiming Russia hacked the voting machines, and no one has said that in a long, long time.

    Who are the Dems? The house intelligence committee is 1) Made up of both Republicans and Democrats and 2) No one ever said they don't have proof. In fact, it is again quite the opposite; There is no doubt Russia attempted to disadvantage Clinton to the benefit of Trump. Did they actually collude with the Trump campaign? That we do not know yet, but its under investigation- gotta be something there.

  • 2

    wtfjapan

    There is zero proof on either side actually the FBI already has some proof of Russias hacking involvement in the election, hence the investigation. I'm neither a Liberal or Republican but I certainly know stupid when I see it.

  • -6

    bass4funk

    Nonsense. Just absolute right wing, nonsensical garbage and you know better than that.

    Ok, you think so, but you never know.

    No one is claiming Russia hacked the voting machines,

    I never said "voting machines" I was referring to hacking period.

    Who are the Dems? The house intelligence committee is 1) Made up of both Republicans and Democrats and

    Equally divided.

    2) No one ever said they don't have proof. In fact, it is again quite the opposite; There is no doubt Russia attempted to disadvantage Clinton to the benefit of Trump.

    I already said that, but there is NO proof that the Trump admin. was in any collusion with Moscow. That is all I am saying.

    Did they actually collude with the Trump campaign? That we do not know yet, but its under investigation- gotta be something there.

    And there might NOT be anything there as well, it goes both ways and the Feds might be investigating something or someone that isn't even connected to the Trump admin. you never know. Dems and libs are focusing on ONLY one thing and that is why they keep dropping the ball constantly. Heads up!

    There is zero proof on either side actually the FBI already has some proof of Russias hacking involvement in the election, hence the investigation.

    I agree, never disputed that.

    I'm neither a Liberal or Republican but I certainly know stupid when I see it.

    Well, it would be stupid for any Liberal or Democrat to think they know more than the FBI.

  • 2

    MeanRingo

    Perhaps if Trump was standing on Fifth Ave and shot Blacklabel to death, he'd stop believing in this horrible excuse for, not only a president, but person as well. I pity you America, I really do. Your president is only one part of the problem. The flat-earthers that believe in him are a terrifying display of the state of your country. And all this because, what, you had a black man as a president? I'm gob smacked.

  • 2

    dmacleod

    Well, it would be stupid for any Liberal or Democrat to think they know more than the FBI.

    Same goes for Republicans and right-wingers.

  • -8

    bass4funk

    Same goes for Republicans and right-wingers.

    Totally agree with you, so then both sides need to back off unless there is a smoking gun and some names, otherwise they are just wasting everyone's time.

    The flat-earthers that believe in him are a terrifying display of the state of your country.

    flat earthers? I give you guys credit, y'all do try to be.....creative, I guess.

    And all this because, what, you had a black man as a president? I'm gob smacked.

    Here we go with the race card again. Well, we could say the same, the vitriol that's going on is because the current president is White. Reverse racism! Jeeez, you guys!

  • 6

    SuperLib

    Bass, the wiretapping issue has been investigated and concluded. No evidence supporting Trump's claims. Over and done, and Trump's been discredited except by his hardcore fans.

    Second point: The FBI has concluded, and is still investigating, Russian attempts to influence the election. There will probably be more information released in the future.

    Third point: The FBI is currently investigating any link between the Russians and Trump's team. It's ongoing and a conclusion hasn't been reached yet.

    You erroneously claim "no evidence" for the last point, but only as a way to have a response when someone brings up the first point. If no one mentions wiretapping, your comments about the last point changes to a "there might NOT be something there" kind of a thing which shows you understand it's being investigated with no conclusion. So you have two opposite points to the same issue depending on where you get stuck at.

    We both agree on the second point. There's some influence, we don't know how much, etc. And we both seem to have the same opinion (not conclusion) on the third one, which is that collusion seems unlikely. But we have to wait for them to finish.

    And that's where we stand.

    Trump's opinion is that the first one is true despite being discredited. As for the second point about Russian influence, he doesn't acknowledge it. For the third point about collusion he's spreading false information via Twitter about how the Democrats fabricated the story, most likely to confuse his base from hearing what the FBI just said.

    Republicans are focusing on how Flynn's name got released as a way to run interference for their party leader. It's a valid point to investigate, but obviously nothing like presidents wiretapping candidates or Russian meddling in our democracy. It should give them a way to dodge those questions by switching the topic to Flynn.

    Next up will be the Republican statements, which will probably be the same as they've always been. Something like "I don't agree with Trump but I support him.". Ryan uses that so much he should just print copies of the statement out each morning and change the date.

  • 0

    wtfjapan

    Russia having their hands involved to a certain extent in the election didn't in any way shape or form alter the election to the point where the Russians had the power to sway voters but thats just it, Whether it was Clinton or Trump who benefited and if neither had any knowledge of it is beside the point, If Russia had any involvement in the election outcome no matter how small the election result is tainted and should be held again.

  • 1

    John-San

    What is the most annoying about the Russian Tool, knows how annoying Spicers voice is. It been only a few months and I can not stand His high pitch whining. It like chalk on a blackboard. So he uses this mouthpiece (Spicer ) knowing people will automagical tune out. This is method of mind control, wife,s have used for eon. So I assume the FBI will look into this as well..

  • -2

    zengohan

    Smithinjapan i said something yet you liberals are awfully quiet

  • -4

    Blacklabel

    Perhaps if Trump was standing on Fifth Ave and shot Blacklabel to death, he'd stop believing in this horrible excuse for, not only a president, but person as well.

    Well as I would then be DEAD, I doubt I would care anymore. Im ok, most of you are the same people who told me Trump wouldnt win the election when I told you he would. So even if you are right this time (which I still doubt), I am way ahead in the game of being correct in what I say will happen.

    So I say this. No evidence of any collusion or collaboration will be found. Some method of illegal surveillance will be found against Trump or his people, but the media will say it doesnt count because it wasnt technically 'wiretapping' and it was Obama's people/unknown people and not Obama himself. Obamacare will be repealed and replaced, the wall will be built, sanctuary cities will be defunded, illegal alien criminals will be deported, the travel ban will be enacted and the Supreme court nominee will be confirmed. Then its on to tax reform and a more permanent immigration reform. So lets see what happens, shall we?

  • -1

    John-San

    You know, I might have retract that Trump is a fool, I come to realise that Trump has the exact symptoms that affect children with A.D.D., After some studying Trump form over the decades. This has to be the answer to his form. Tweeting outrageous tantrums, None of his tweets are correct or have fact. Children with ADD come out with some outragous statement even when not under any pressure. ADD is classed has autism, It a defect to one mental ablity to concentrate for the smallest amount of time and go off tangent very quickly ( Another trait Trump has). So I can,t not discriminate by refer to Trump has a fool is clear that Trump is severely mentally disable with ADD

  • 1

    bones

    So no one is gonna mention how trumpy has been spending TAX PAYER money on all those vacations to play golf in mara lago and having melania staying in trump tower? That money could pay for meals on wheels could it not?

  • 0

    zichi

    Trump's one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to assist President Vladimir Putin

  • 0

    theFu

    Trump team 'incidentally monitored' after election http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39358363

    Nothing startling here. "Signals" are captured all the time by the NSA. That's code for "save all voice and data traffic we can, 'cause we may need it later."

  • 0

    deadbeatles

    ...hide your heads in the sand. The Russians HAVE a Weather Machine. I suppose you'll blame historically erratic weather patterns on 'global warning'. Liberal twits.

  • -1

    Serrano

    Was Trump and his team really under surveillance by the Obama administration?

    Oh my...

    President Donald Trump Surveillance Confirmed

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BCzSKIAsbk

    .

    .

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