This post has been updated.
For anyone hoping Monday would be the day Republicans finally repudiated President Trump’s wiretapping claim once and for all and started deeply probing Russia’s alleged Trump advocacy, the morning’s events were sorely disappointing.
From the very start of the House Intelligence Committee’s first public hearing on Russia and the 2016 election, it became clear that Republicans were offering a message very much in lockstep with the one being put forward by the White House — up to and including on the wiretapping claim.
Hours after FBI Director James B. Comey made clear that no evidence existed to back up President Trump’s claim that he had been the subject of a wiretap ordered by Barack Obama, White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about it. His answer, put plainly, didn’t make much sense.
Senate hearings can be boring. They can stretch for hours, seemingly never ending.
But sometimes, they provide little moments that make the whole room burst out laughing.
That's what happened Monday after the Senate Judiciary Committee took a short break, a few hours into opening statements at the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.
James B. Comey isn't one to abuse the term “fake news.” Just doesn't seem like his style. But there are concrete reasons the FBI director does not scream, yell or tweet about inaccurate reports — reasons he explained Monday in a congressional hearing.
“I've read a whole lot of stuff, especially in the last two months, that's just wrong,” Comey said. “But I can't say which is wrong.”
After losing a presidential election it thought it had in the bag, the Democratic Party is still very much in soul-searching mode. While progressive members of the party have been extremely vocal that the party should shift to the left, a quieter, moderate section of the party is urging caution in that move. F ormer senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) recently hosted a gathering of moderate Democrats in Denver to find a way to insert themselves into the Democratic-rebirth conversation. The Fix talked to Begich after the gathering. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
On Monday, unsubstantiated claims that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during last year's presidential campaign, substantiated claims about Russia's meddling in the U.S. election to help Trump win, and cloudy claims about Trump associates' ties to Russia all came to a head.
FBI Director James B. Comey began his testimony at Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearing by saying that he couldn't discuss the details of the ongoing Russia investigation. And he emphasized — repeatedly — that none of us should overanalyze anything on which he declined to comment.
FBI Director James B. Comey made one thing abundantly clear Monday: There is zero evidence that Donald Trump or Trump Tower was wiretapped during the course of the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I have no information that supports those tweets,” Comey told House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), confirming that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department had found any evidence of the alleged wiretapping after a very close look.
This post has been updated.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has it backward. He thinks press access is about him.
On his just-completed trip to Asia, Tillerson allowed only one journalist, Erin McPike of the Independent Journal Review, to travel with him. And when McPike asked in a weekend interview whether Tillerson would permit a fuller press corps to accompany him in the future, the former ExxonMobil chief executive said decisions will depend on “my needs.”
President Trump is tweeting again.
Monday morning featured a House Intelligence Committee hearing at which Trump's own FBI director, James B. Comey, disputed Trump's claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped him — and weighed in on other big Russia questions. But in advance of that, Trump took to Twitter to offer a red herring.