World Bulletin / News Desk
The FBI is investigating Russia's interference in last year's U.S. presidential election, as well as any ties between Moscow and the Trump campaign, Director James Comey said on Monday.
"The FBI as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," he told lawmakers while testifying on Capitol Hill.
"That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts," he said.
The public confirmation of an ongoing classified FBI investigation is incredibly rare, but Comey said it was in the public interest to do so.
This investigation will include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed, Comey said, noting that further details in the public setting would be sparse due the nature of the inquiry.
Depending on its results, the probe could be a boon to either party.
Democrats have long called foul over Russia's confirmed influence on the campaign last year, while Republicans have sought to downplay the effects.
U.S. intelligence officials concluded in January that Russia sought to influence the election in favor of President Donald Trump in a campaign directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has acknowledged the efforts, but has claimed they had "absolutely no effect" on the vote results.
The hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as well as Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta revealed unsavory details about how the supposedly neutral organization conspired to favor Clinton against populist Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.
Regular leaks of DNC and Clinton emails in the months leading up to the Nov. 8 poll cemented a popular narrative that the first female presidential nominee of a major party was not trustworthy.
Comey further said he has no information to substantiate Trump's allegations that former President Barack Obama had his "wires tapped" at Manhattan's Trump Tower.
"How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!" Trump said in a series of March 4 tweets, misspelling "tap".
"We have no information that supports them," Comey said, referring to Trump's tweets.
"No individual in the United States can direct electronic surveillance of anyone," he added, noting that the process to do so would include approval from a judge.
Over 190,000 voters across 6 districts will vote for 28 municipalities and 280 members of the city council
Two leaders announce they will form new government
The attack targeted a meeting of ISIL leaders in the eastern Deir Ez Zour province
Official results of Iraq’s parliamentary election have been dogged by controversy and allegations of vote-rigging
Threat comes after EU announced 25 percent tariff on US products
Armed terrorists ‘neutralized’ in northern Iraqi region of Gara
Palestinians have been holding mass rallies near Gaza-Israel security fence since March 30
Police report states driver of car that killed pedestrian in Arizona was streaming television show
Decision follows Trump's pledge to end “war games” during Singapore summit
Conservative bill was widely expected to fail in the chamber
Washington urges Moscow to reign in ally amid offensive in de-escalation zone
‘Koko touched lives of millions as an icon for interspecies communication and empathy’, Gorilla Foundation says
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says they will look into strengthening transatlantic bond in summit next month
Administration to no longer require immediate legal proceedings for undocumented adults who cross illegally with children