FBI Director Comey fact checks Trump’s tweets during his testimony

FBI Director Comey fact checks Trump’s tweets during his testimony
FBI Director James Comey(L) and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers(R) arrive to speak during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian actions during the 2016 election campaign on March 20, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump did not keep from tweeting during FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Monday before the House Intelligence Committee today, and one representative asked Comey to directly address the issues Trump was bringing up. National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers was also asked to respond to a Tweet from the president.

“So thanks to the modern technology that’s in front of me right here,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) offered,  “I’ve got a tweet from the President an hour ago saying, ‘the NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process’ so that’s not quite accurate, that tweet?”

“I’m sorry, I haven’t been following anybody on twitter while I’ve been sitting here,” answered Comey.

“Well I can read it to you,” Himes responded, “it says ‘the NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process.’ This tweet has gone out to millions of Americans, 2.6 million to be exact. Is the tweet, as I read it to you, ‘the NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process,’ is that accurate?”

“It’s hard for me to react to that,” Comey answered, “let me tell you what we understand the state of, or what we’ve said is. We’ve offered no opinion, have no view, have no information, on potential impact because it’s never something that we looked at.”

“OK, so it’s not too far of a logical leap,” clarified Himes, “that the assertion that you have told the Congress that there was no influence on the electoral process is not quite right.”

“It certainly wasn’t our intention to say that today,” Comey said, trying to avoid contradicting the president, “because we don’t have any information on that subject. That’s not something that was looked at.”

Admiral Rogers before I yield back to the ranking member, there’s another tweet that says, “NSA Director Rogers tells Congress unmasking individuals endangers national security.” My understanding was, as a member of the committee, is that there’s a lengthy and very specific process for the unmasking, but it does not inherently and in and of itself, endanger national security.

“I assume the comment is designed to address the leaking of such information,” answered Rogers, “but again, I have not read what you are saying to me, so I’m not in a position to comment on it, sir. “

Trump had posted the tweets earlier with video:

During his testimony, Comey specifically denied the substance of Trump’s tweet that started the entire firestorm – the allegation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election. He also admitted the existence of an investigation into Trump’s ties with Russian authorities.

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