For President Trump, the blows kept coming at a congressional hearing Monday.
First, FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that his agency is investigating links between the President's campaign and Russia's interference in the November election.
It was the first time the FBI director publicly confirmed the investigation into ties between Trump associates and Russian interference.
Comey is restricted in how much he can say publicly, and his announcement Monday confirming the investigation into Russian interference and Trump’s connections to the Russians was a break from the usual protocol.
It is unusual for the director of the FBI to publicly disagree with the president on core issues of national importance. As the country’s chief law enforcement officer, Comey’s words carry a weight that will only increase the public attention to Trump’s connections with Russia and lead to further questions about whether Trump’s allies assisted in Russia’s interference in the election.
Comey then contradicted several statements by the White House, including the president's incendiary claim that former President Obama had "tapped" Trump's phone.
“With respect to the President's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior Administration, I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey said. “The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components.”
For the president — who has personally praised Comey — the hearing was the latest setback to his fledgling Administration. Comey's statements are sure to fan the swirling controversy about President Trump's ties to Russia continue to distract from the Republicans' agenda.
Comey's testimony ensures that the controversy over Trump's connections to Russia will continue to dog his tenure as president and slow down the President's efforts in Congress.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment