In another setback for US President Donald Trump, the , Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey has debunked the Republican President’s explosive claim his predecessor Barack Obama wiretapped him in the weeks before last year’s presidential election.
Testifying before the powerful House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the FBI head confirmed that his agency is investigating whether Trump campaign aides criminally colluded with Russian interests to help him win. He added that the decision to confirm the ongoing investigation is rare as the agency, as a matter of policy, normally does not confirm any ongoing investigation.
“I have no information that supports [Trump’s] tweets” claiming that Obama eavesdropped on him at his Trump Tower headquarters in New York, Comey was quoted saying.
The Department of Justice in larger public interest has given its consent to confirm the investigation.
I have been authorised by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counter-intelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. 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 effortsJames Comey, FBI Director
Comey, however, refused to divulge any details of the ongoing probe.
Acknowledging that the work was very complex, the FBI Director said that there is no timeline to complete this investigation.
“I can promise you we will follow the facts wherever they lead,” he said.
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Sean Spicer later said Trump will not withdraw his wiretapping allegation. “We’ve started a hearing, it’s still ongoing,” Spicer said. “There’s a lot of areas that still need to be covered. There's a lot of information that still needs to be discussed.”
Responding to the development, Trump said the director of national intelligence under Obama, James Clapper, and others “stated that there is no evidence” that he joined with Moscow to help his cause. “This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!” Trump declared.
The White House last week suggested that Obama may have asked the British intelligence agency to wiretap Trump.