Schiff asked Comey to respond to Trump’s first specific claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. The committee’s ranking member read Trump’s March 4 tweet in full:
“Was the president’s statement that Obama had his wires tapped at Trump Tower a true statement?” Schiff asked.
“I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey said. He also said the same was true for the Department of Justice in general — that is, a close examination found no information that supported the claim of wiretapping.
As for the second half of the tweet, “I try very hard not to engage in any ‘isms’ of any kind, including McCarthyism,” Comey said to chuckles.
“No president could” unilaterally order a wiretap of anybody, Comey further confirmed.
Comey Confirms FBI Is Investigating Possible Coordination Between Trump Campaign, Russia
Comey told the committee that he can confirm the FBI is investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, to look for possible coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts to influence the November election.
“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. And 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.
“As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed,” Comey said.
The FBI director noted that he’s not normally able to comment on ongoing investigations, but that “in unusual circumstances where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so.” He said this was one of those cases, and that he was authorized to confirm the investigation existed, but not to provide any other information.