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Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
World | By Ernestine Jimenez

President Trump should welcome FBI investigation

President Trump should welcome FBI investigation

First, FBI director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that there was no evidence to back up Trump's Twitter claims that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.

US President Donald Trump dismissed as "fake news" allegations that he worked with Russian Federation, which US intelligence says tried to tilt the US election in Mr Trump's favour.

Monday's hearing is also expected to address President Trump's claims that the Obama administration wiretapped his phone at Trump Tower in NY 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", Comey told members of the House Intelligence Committee.

It is not clear how much new information will emerge Monday, and the hearing's open setting unquestionably puts Comey in a hard situation if he's asked to discuss an ongoing investigation tied to the campaign of the president.

Trump said, "The NSA and Federal Bureau of Investigation tell Congress that Russian Federation did not influence electoral process".

Those in the Trump orbit: Democrats likely will raise questions about Russian links and could include, Quigley said, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, former NSA chief Mike Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"Because it is an open ongoing investigation and is classified, I can not say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining", Comey added.

Earlier during the hearing, Senator Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the committee, debunked Mr Trump's claim that his predecessor listened in on his communications, but did not rule out other surveillance methods.

"We know there was not a wiretap on Trump Tower", he said during the opening statement of Monday's hearing. Also of interest to the committee are any connections between Russian Federation and associates of President Donald Trump and whether any surveillance was conducted for political reasons.

"There was circumstantial evidence of collusion; there is direct evidence, I think, of deception", Mr Schiff said.

Trump first announced the unsubstantiated claim in several misspelled tweets on March 4.

About two hours later, as lawmakers began to gather for the House hearing, Trump tweeted again.

White House Press Secretary responded during a press briefing on Monday after ABC News' Jonathan Karl noted that Trump has repeatedly claimed - including as recently as this morning - that allegations about Russian Federation and his campaign are "fake news".

The demands for an investigation became louder after reports of connections between Trump campaign aides and Russian diplomats came to light. "The possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials is a serious, serious matter". At the very least, it means Mr. Trump will not soon escape from under the cloud of suspicion hovering over him and his campaign team.

James Comey also confirmed that the agency is investigating Russia's possible meddling in the election.

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