Rep. Schiff Defends Committee Examining Russia-Trump Connections
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 17:43
FBI Director James Comey is set to testify on Capitol Hill on Monday.
The Senate intelligence committee and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also are probing Russian involvement in the election. "There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign", Clapper said last week on NBC's "Meet the Press".
Mr. Obama has denied it, and the White House has offered no specific proof aside from media reports about alleged surveillance. Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's pick to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee for opening statements and questioning.
US lawmakers from both parties said on Sunday they had seen no proof to support the claim by Republican President Donald Trump that his predecessor Barack Obama had wiretapped him previous year, adding pressure on Trump to explain or back off his repeated assertion. "There's no evidence of any wiretap, of Trump Tower".
The California Republican also said there was "no evidence of collusion" between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
The administration's isolation was clear on the eve of the hearing Sunday.
Trump's tweets are not just causing a political kerfuffle; they've sparked global diplomatic fallout.
Some of the fallout has been worldwide in scope: The White House was forced to retract a charge repeated last week by its spokesman Sean Spicer suggesting that Britain's intelligence services aided the Obama administration in the alleged wiretap. The British government objected and the Trump administration pledged not to use the claim again.
"The response from Spicer lasted approximately nine minutes and involved the press secretary repeating the accusation of possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, which the intelligence committees have not said they have evidence to support". Trump's claims widened to two of the U.S.'s staunchest allies.
His unrepentant Friday news conference suggests the President will simply quadruple down on his claims, and ignore evidence against him. The claims angered British officials and have since been widely panned as unfounded - even by Fox News itself.
"We need to find out what the facts are", Mr. Cruz said. That, in my opinion, is no way to run a business.
He answered, "I'll give you a very simple answer. No".
"If he didn't do it, (Trump) shouldn't be reckless in accusations that he did".
Schiff is the ranking Democratic member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
But the White House is angry that statements by former senior intelligence officials in the Obama administration -- and by top congressional figures - that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims of alleged collusion with Russian Federation is not getting more coverage.
On Friday, the House Intelligence Committee received a classified report from the Department of Justice about the claim, which is all but certain to come up at Monday's hearing.
On CNN's "State of the Union", Sen.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on its investigation of Russian interference on March 30.
Trump fired his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, last month after he failed to disclose contacts with Russia's ambassador before Trump took office on January 20.
Trump's refusal to release his tax returns has meanwhile made it impossible for him to put speculation -- which so far lacks evidence -- that he has been compromised by business links to Russian Federation.
"At least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump quipped as he stood alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose calls were monitored by the Obama administration. "Up to speed, everything I have up to this morning, no evidence of collusion", Mr Nunes said. "Thus far, we have seen no basis for that whatsoever", Schiff told reporters Wednesday.
"And that's where we begin the investigation", he said. "And I do believe he owes us that explanation".