FBI head James Comey confirms Russia election probe

FBI head James Comey confirms Russia election probe

FBI director says bureau is investigating possible ties between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.


FBI Director James Comey has confirmed for the first time that the bureau is investigating possible ties between Republican Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.
Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, made clear on Monday that their investigation of Moscow and November's US elections could last for months.
The two officials spent more than five hours before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in testimony marked by starkly partisan divides between the panel's majority Republicans and Democrats.
Comey refused to back away from his claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not simply want Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to lose the election; he wanted Donald Trump to win.
The committee is one of several in the US Congress investigating whether Russia tried to influence the election, mostly by hacking Democratic operatives' emails and releasing information. Russia denies the allegations.
"That's something they don't want to hear in the White House," he said.
Comey confirmed the FBI has been investigating since July possible Russian efforts to interfere in the election, including any cooperation between Trump's campaign and Moscow.
He said that while the Russian government wanted to hurt Clinton's campaign and help Trump's, intelligence agencies made no judgment on whether the efforts influenced the outcome.
Comey gave no details of the classified investigation and said the fact that it exists does not mean charges would be filed.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia tried to help Trump by hacking leading Democrats.

'Preference for Trump'

"I think that was a fairly easy judgment for the (intelligence) community," he said. "Putin hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much."
Asked about Comey, White House spokesman Sean Spicer read a series of quotes from officials - some from the Obama administration - who have said they have seen no signs of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.
In a tweet before the hearing, Trump wrote: "The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign."

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