Dem rep: White House in denial over Trump wiretap claims

Spicer Claims Scandal-Plagued Trump Campaign Chair

Wiretap charge harms Trump's credibility: Other views

The House intelligence committee is to begin hearings today into Russia's role in cybersecurity breaches at the Democratic National Committee, as well as President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor had authorized a wiretap of Trump Tower.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, VOA News and other sources.

In another tweet, Trump asked: "What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians?"

Trump offered his latest commentary on his upset win last November just hours before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee began hearing testimony from two key USA officials about the US intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the election to help him win and whether there is any truth to his explosive, but unsubstantiated claim that Obama wiretapped his Trump Tower headquarters in NY in the weeks before the election.

Before Monday's hearing started, Trump sent out a series of tweets denying that his campaign had cooperated with Russian Federation.

"In Hillary Clinton's case, the FBI confirmed the fact of an investigation into her emails during the heart of the campaign, creating a damaging cloud even though the probe never produced charges of any kind", Fallon said in an email Monday. "Must find leaker now!"

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway told Fox News' "Hannity" Monday night that an FBI investigation into possible ties between the Russian government and President Trump's campaign associates has "nothing to show for it".

Meanwhile, NSA director Michael Rogers dismissed the White House suggestion that Obama asked British intelligence to spy on Trump - a claim already angrily rejected the United Kingdom.

FBI Director James Comey said in his opening statement Monday the general policy of his agency is to not disclose ongoing investigations, especially those involving classified information.

-Russia is a serious problem the White House can't just tweet away.

"Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower?" "The information we received Friday continues to lead us in that direction". Comey said intense public interest in the case warranted the rare candor.

It is unclear if Trump sent out the tweet or ordered it. "He's often times put it in a very hard position", Speier said of Spicer on Tuesday.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer calls on a member of the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, March 13, 2017.

The biggest news from the hearing was probably Mr. Comey's announcement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating possible links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign for months.

Asked by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) if he or his counterparts ever requested the British to wiretap on behalf of Obama, Rogers said he hadn't and that would be against an agreement that has been in place for decades. "The Obama CIA director said so, Obama's director of national intelligence said so and we take them at their word".

Conway, who met with House Republican whips on Capitol Hill earlier Monday, said that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence "did not delegate or abdicate the details [of the health care bill] to anyone else".

FILE - Demonstrators make their way around downtown Philadelphia, during the first day of the Democratic National Convention after some of the 19,000 emails, presumably stolen from the DNC by hackers, were posted to the website Wikileaks. "A prosecutor might in very rare circumstances comment about certain aspects of an ongoing investigation, but he's not a prosecutor".

But the Trump administration has rebuffed any contention that its campaign aides colluded with Russian officials in that cyberattack.

"There was circumstantial evidence of collusion; there is direct evidence, I think, of deception", Schiff said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

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