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Trump Wiretapping Claims Dominate Intelligence Hearing

20 March 2017

Based on "everything I have up to this morning - no evidence of collusion", by Trump's team and Moscow, Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News.

Schiff said he expects FBI Director James Comey, who will testify Monday about the probe into Russia's interference in the United States presidential election, will definitively put an end to Trump's allegations.

"The one crime we know that's been committed is that one: the leaking of someone's name", Mr Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Fox News on Sunday. But no credible evidence has emerged to support those claims, and the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said last week that they have seen nothing that supports the allegation.

On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing, which will include testimony from Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Democratic Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Congressman Adam Schiff, appearing on the same program, said the allegations of wiretapping is completely untrue.

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Mr Nunes said the leak was the only crime the panel had seen so far, with no evidence to support the President's claims of Barack Obama-led wiretapping during the 2016 election, increasing pressure for Mr Trump to explain or back off his repeated assertion.

Still, the shifting explanations of meetings a year ago between Trump aides, among them Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Russians, including Moscow's ambassador to the U.S., the fact that the first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had to resign after not being forthright about such contacts, and the President's own praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, have kept the speculation alive.

"If it's just 100 coincidences, let the world know that is what it is, and let's move on", but if there is more to the contacts and a "convergence of political and financial ties", then those ties need to be "investigated fully", Swalwell said.

He is one of several of Trump's associates alleged to have held private talks with officials in Moscow.

Todd also asked Collins about the president's explosive, yet still unverified claim that President Obama ordered a wiretap of his phones at Trump Tower during the election. However, he said, that only applies if Trump literally meant he was wiretapped.

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"I'll give you a very simple answer: No", he said.

"I think that was a fairly easy judgment for the (intelligence) community", he said.

Identities of Americans who show up in USA surveillance against foreign targets are generally concealed, but can be unmasked by intelligence agencies in certain circumstances. He drew parallels to Watergate and McCarthyism and said Obama was a "Bad (or sick) guy!" for ordering surveillance of his NY residence - allegations the former president quickly denied through a spokesman.

The wiretap accusation also triggered the diplomatic row with another ally, as Trump and aides cited a report by Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano that Obama asked a British intelligence agency to tap Trump. He said that there is "circumstantial evidence" of collusion.

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"We do know that the I.R.S., for example, targeted citizens" groups who spoke out in defense of the Constitution, who spoke out against Obama, ' he said. I would characterize it this way at the outset of the investigation: there is circumstantial evidence of collusion. "And that's why, as we go through this review and investigation, it has to be bipartisan".

Trump Wiretapping Claims Dominate Intelligence Hearing