Comey confirms Federal Bureau of Investigation probing alleged Russian interference in U.S. vote

James Comey revealed for the first time that the FBI is investigating possible Russian government efforts to meddle with the election, including any links between Mr Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Much of what the public already does or does not know comes from press reporting on the election and Trump's administration, which led to many questions during the hearing over leaks from government officials to reporters. "Please keep in mind that those involved with the details of completed investigations".

You could see the extent of the damage to Mr. Trump in his flailing response.

Later, Mr Comey said that while it is not FBI practice to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations involving classified matters.

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

His tweet came just as the chiefs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency were to testify before Congress about ties Trump may have with Russian Federation and his shocking claim that he was wiretapped by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

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.

After Comey confirmed multiple times that neither the Federal Bureau of Investigation nor the DOJ had any information supporting Trump's wiretapping allegations, Schiff asked Adm. Rogers - who also testified at the hearing - if he or the NSA had ever asked their British counterparts to wiretap Trump on Obama's behalf. "And that includes investigating the nature of any links between the individuals associated with Trump campaign and the Russian government".

"But it is also possible, maybe more than possible" that it isn't a coincidence, Schiff said. "Must find (the) leaker now!" he said.

Russian Federation has denied involvement in the hacks, and Trump has denounced the tumult over the Russian Federation connections as a "total witch hunt".

Mr Trump also suggested, without evidence, that Mrs Clinton's campaign was in contact with Russian Federation and had possibly thwarted a federal investigation. 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. The U.S. intelligence agencies said the hacks on the Democratic National Committee were authorized to help Trump defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "It certainly wasn't our intention to say that today because we don't have any information on that subject".

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

Devin Nunes, the California Republican who chairs the committee, said: "For the first time the American people, and all the political parties now, are paying attention to the threat that Russian Federation poses". Contrary to Trump's tweet, they also said the intelligence community did not assess whether Russia's actions actually had a measurable impact on the election outcome or public opinion.

Comey told the intelligence committee on Monday that, in general, the courts must grant permission for electronic surveillance, based on a showing of probable cause.

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