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House Dems press FBI on Russia, possible link to Trump camp

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    FBI Director James Comey, left, leaves the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington.

WASHINGTON >> House Democrats still seething over FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the election-year inquiry of Hillary Clinton confronted the law enforcement officer over his refusal to say whether the FBI is investigating possible links between President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The contentious, closed-door session Friday reflected the frustration of Democrats who blame Comey’s statements and actions in part for Clinton’s loss to Trump. In July, Comey announced the findings of the FBI investigation that found Clinton’s use of a private email server was “extremely careless” but not criminal. Then, days before the Nov. 8 election, he sent two letters to Congress, one announcing a review of newly found emails and then another saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

The Justice Department inspector general announced this week that he is investigating Comey and the department.

Democrats and Republicans who attended the all-member briefing on Friday with Comey and senior intelligence officials said several lawmakers pressed him in a tense session about his refusal to say whether there is an examination of alleged contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said the meeting was contentious but said Comey handled himself well under difficult circumstances.

“Yesterday morning if you asked me if I thought Comey was at the end of his career … I probably would have said ‘I think so,’” King said. “Now I think he deserves to be reassessed, just by the way he handled himself. I was impressed.”

Clearly frustrated with Comey was Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who was forced to resign as head of the Democratic National Committee after hacked emails surfaced that suggested the party operation favored Clinton over her primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

She confronted Comey, according to a Democrat who attended the briefing. Lawmakers and other congressional officials spoke on condition of anonymity to freely discuss the private meeting.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., repeatedly asked Comey if he had applied a “double standard” in disclosing investigations. Comey has previously said his standard was based on whether there is a need to reassure the public about a possible high-profile probe.

“Do you believe that standard has been met with reference to the possible investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible connections to the Russian government? And if not, why not?” Nadler pressed. The congressman told Comey that he should clarify whether the FBI is investigating, as he did with Clinton’s email probe.

According to Nadler, Comey responded no, he didn’t think it was the same thing and said he couldn’t comment further.

“That’s what got many people in the room frustrated and upset,” Nadler told The Associated Press on Saturday. “He was being very hypocritical.”

A declassified intelligence report released last week said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a hidden campaign to influence the election to favor Trump over Clinton, revelations that have roiled Washington.

Trump and his supporters have staunchly resisted the findings and Trump has leveled a series of broadsides at U.S. intelligence agencies, even though he’ll have to rely on their expertise to help him make major national security decisions once he takes over at the White House next week. He will be sworn in Jan. 20.

After the closed-door session, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters: “The American people are owed the truth.”

“There is a great deal of evidence to say that this is a high – an issue of high interest to the American people,” Pelosi said. “The strength, the integrity of our own democracy. And that for that reason, the FBI should let us know whether they’re making – doing that investigation or not. They’re usually inscrutable, as you saw in the public testimony in the Senate.”

In testimony to the Senate on Tuesday, Comey refused to say whether the FBI was investigating any possible ties between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign, citing policy not to comment on what the FBI might or might not be doing.

“I would never comment on investigations — whether we have one or not — in an open forum like this so I can’t answer one way or another,” Comey told the panel.

Late Friday, the Senate Intelligence Committee announced it would investigate possible contacts between Russia and the people associated with U.S. political campaigns as part of a broader investigation into Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In a statement, Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the committee’s chairman, and Mark Warner, D-Va., the panel’s top Democrat, said the panel “will follow the intelligence where it leads.”

Burr and Warner said that as part of the investigation they will interview senior officials from the Obama administration and the incoming Trump administration. They said subpoenas would be issued “if necessary to compel testimony.”

According to the committee’s statement, the inquiry will include:

— A review of the intelligence that informed the declassified report about Russia’s interference in the election.

— “Counterintelligence concerns” related to Russia and the election, “including any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”

— Russian cyber activity and other “active measures” against the United States during the election and more broadly.

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  • Ugh. Government as usual. I guess that’s one of the reasons that Trump got elected despite all the negatives/worries that he brings. Many folks are tired of the nonsense on the hill. One day, one year they’ll do real work that produces results that is good for the people they serve … or is that wishful thinking ; )

    • Many Republicans now realize what a danger to democracy the tyrant Trump is. He is no conservative and is not really a Republican. His possible intrigue with Russia to manipulate the electorate is treasonous if true.

      • Possible intrigue, if true. You better believe you tone your accusations. The FBI has a dossier on you. Check your phone, lamp shade, black suvs with Government plates, men in suits. You are border line subversive and over the line on psychotic.

      • IRT Allie, on this FBI and Justice investigation, the evidence will behe very interesting. I believe the evidence will expose more of the DNC and Democratic candidates and their supporters.

        • The investigation has nothing to do with Hillary. It involves Trump’s campaign and it’s surrogates communicating with Putin’s Russian agents and operatives, and coordinating Trump’s campaign with the Russian hacking and leaks, and their operations to turn the election in favor of Trump.

        • Vector, stop with the fake news. Put up or shut up. Not one of the leaks was denied by the DNC. More like carelessness and recklessness. Sound familiar? Leaving classified information on Huma’s laptop her husband used to send smut?
          Look out the window. See men in black suits? Check your cell phone. Change your password. Are you under ISIS control? Or, a member of the Communist Party?
          Joke.

    • @ jussayin

      I get what you’re saying about people being tired of government BS. But I suspect that having Trump in office will only increase the amount of discussion. He will always try to push whatever his plan is without discussion, because “I know more than any of them.” And others (including those on his side) will insist on holding hearings, because things do need to be discussed.

      In this specific case, when the FBI director appears to be doing his job inconsistently, there HAS to be briefings and hearings.

  • Just read the 35 page report by the British MI6 intelligence agent. WOW. Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer and campaign adviser, was meeting with the President of Russian oil giant Rosnef, Igor Sechin, in Moscow, in July 2016. Sechin told Cohen that Trump would receive a 19% private stake in Rosneft, if Trump, if President, would lift the sanctions imposed on Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine and then annexed Crimea. Sechin wanted the personal and corporate sanctions on Rosneft lifted because it was destroying their oil exports and income, as well as the Russian economy and devalued the ruble.

    • Other Trump liasons with the Kremlin: Carter Page, Trump’s campaign adviser, met with Russian operatives in Prague, and other EU countries to coordinate the Trump campaign with the Kremlin’s hacking and operational efforts to divide and confuse the American electorate, and leak damaging information about Hillary and the Democrats, and sway support toward Trump in the election. General Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, was seated next to Putin in a Russian TV gala before the election. He, like favorable views of Putin like his mentor Trump.

      • Look out your window. Do you see anything suspicious and out of the ordinary? Anybody move in next door? Van parked outside with dish antennas? It might be to late.

        • Lespark, are you a Russian FSB agent. Your loyalties seem to be with the Russian Putin hackers. Spreading fake news and disinformation to subvert our country and democracy

    • Vector, can you post a link to the MI6 report? I can’t find it.

      I like to read everything out there, real or fake. I used to read every one of a pro-Trump person’s article links, then would respectfully post my comments on those articles’ validity (how fake they were). He/she never responded, and eventually stopped posting article links.

      • I saw the report on Facebook. When you read the article thoroughly and entirely, you will find out how well experienced and adept Putin and his operatives are infiltrating governments and subverting them. Remember, Putin was head of the Russian KGB for decades, and well versed in means and methods to undermine other countries aND their political systems. Insidious and evil is too mild to put it.

        • Thanks, got it. Will read it more thoroughly later. Meanwhile, glancing over it. The “golden shower” storyline is so audacious, it’s either absolutely true or utterly false, if that makes any sense.

          Right about Putin, former head of KGB. He’s ruthless and smart, a deadly combination.

    • Such gullible people; allie and Vector believe everything they read without checking its veracity. WOW. Vector if you even bothered to do a little extra research you would know that Cohen has never been to Prague where the alleged meeting took place. End of story.

    • Its already been Provence that the Michael Cohen mentioned in the fake news is NOT Trump’s lawyer. Stop spreading fake news. Trump nipped this in the bud by asking Cohen for his pasdprt, which showed he never visited Prague.

  • If you really want to know the connection of Trump’s campaign and aides with Russian Kremlin and Putin, read the entire 35 page report by the British MI6 agent, that all our intelligence agencies consider reliable and credible. I read the report on Facebook. Very damaging report to Trump and Putin if this report is read in its entirety

  • It is so funny how the Dems are so caught up in this ordeal, yet, nobody is concerned what kind of impact the video on Trump right before the election could have influenced the other side of things.
    I consider myself neither Dem or Rep, but am mystified by how the media continues to place blame on Trump yet is hypocritical when it comes to how these tapes may have influenced the voters as well.

    • Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, is now leading the coverup campaign of the Russian hacking and leaks, and the coordination of Russian operatives and Trump’s advisers. All of this is documented in the 35 page report

    • Gonegolfin, I’m not sure what side, if any, you are on. Are you talking about the bus video? Are you talking about the FBI director or the news media?

      Yes, the bus video did cost Trump some votes. But it was a real event a fair media should report on. At least half the voters want to know if a candidate is a pu**y grabber. If there were a video of Hillary saying she grabs men’s (or women’s) private parts, I’m sure the real news would have reported it, and she would have lost a few million votes as well.

      Of the two candidates, only one is known to grab private parts, and the media reported it. Only one is known to have used a private server to send State Department emails, and the media reported it. There is no hypocrisy there.

      It’s now clear that Russia’s hacking and use of fake news influenced the outcome of the election.

      The hypocrisy the Dems bring up now is FBI Director Comey’s refusal to mention whether they are investigating Team Trump’s possible ties to the Kremlin. Back in November, just before the election, he announced that they had reopened an investigation of Clinton’s emails—that probably cost her a bunch of votes.

      At that time, many people commented that the FBI is supposed to be discreet, not make those announcements in a way that would have a political effect. He did it anyway, and it did have a political effect. And because he now doesn’t want to comment on a possible Trump-Russia investigation, that is what people believe to be hypocritical.

      • Stop confusing us with your logic and facts. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because Trump won, and in 6 days America will taste Greatness again.

        Trump says we should trust Putin more than the US Intelligence agencies, so we should listen and obey.

        Obama is a weak failed leader but Putin is strong and classy and a great friend of Trump. Why would we criticize a friend, or accuse a friend or investigate a friend?

        Those who can’t just let go of all this hacking and treason nonsense are losers and whiners. We’re going to make a fortune of Russian oil, and by “we” I mean Putin, Trump and his secretary of state, R-exxon Mobile Tillerson – a 3-way bromance worth $billions.

        Give it up, losers, Trump won. He won big. Yippee!

        • “Stop confusing us with your logic and facts.”

          LOL! Right, who needs logic and facts when the greatness of our country is at stake!

          That reminds me of when SNL Trump (Alec Baldwin) complained that the news was making him look ridiculous “by taking everything I say and everything I do, and putting it on TV.”

      • Why are all these Dumbocrats whining about Putin stealing the election and controlling Trump with blackmail?

        What’s wrong with Russia being so close to Trump and his key advisors? This is a good thing. Trump said so, it must be true.

        Trump’s top advisor and senior White House counselor, Steve Bannon, has helped me to recognize the power of Putin and Glory of Russia.

        As Bannon recently said, “I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

        6 more days until Trump and Bannon brings down the Obama-czar’s American state establishment just like comrad Vladimir Lenin did. Big league revolution. Big league victory brings new meaning to the term “Red state”. Big.

        #MAGA? (Make America Go-red Again?)

        See:
        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/22/steve-bannon-trump-s-top-guy-told-me-he-was-a-leninist.html

      • Trump and his campaign had the help of Putin and the Russian FSB to hack into the Republican and Democratic parties and spread disinformation and fake news to support Putin’s approved candidate for US President

  • Me thinks vector imploded with the realization what s/he thought was a NEWS FLASH turned out to be BUZZFEED/CNN FAKEnews SMEAR JOB. That’s why the several day disappearance…sad.
    And now outbursts GALORE….sad.
    You’re not ok…seek help.

    January 20 #MAGA KaaaaBooooooom!

    • That same Buzz feed report by the MI6 agent, was given to Senator John McCain by the British Ambassador to US. Senator McCain believes the report credible enough to open Senate hearings regarding the Russian hacking of the Presidential elections, and the months of communication and coordination between Trump’s surrogates, aides, and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, and with Putin’s Russian operatives, and the President of Russian Oil Giant, Rosneft, Igor Sechin

      • The same MI6 reports credible enough to all 17 US Intelligence agencies, and British Intelligence agencies, that they are in consensus regarding seriousness of what is included in the report, and released the report to President Obama, and PE Trump, and the Senate and Congress

      • The same MI6 report is credible enough to all 17 US Intelligence agencies, and British Intelligence agencies, that they are in consensus regarding seriousness of what is included in the report, and released the report to President Obama, and PE Trump, and the Senate and Congress

        • The same report that included an accusation one of Trump’s people (Cohen) was in Prague for a meeting while he really was (and can prove) he was back in the US? I didn’t vote for Trump but this continued effort to discredit the election and our next president is getting out of control. What the left was all upset about regarding those trying to delegitimize Obama with the birther issues, the left is now basically doing the same thing. Get over it. It is done. Let’s try to make things better instead of keep dividing us. I’m willing to give him a chance to see if he can increase job growth, stabilize the middle class, and restore the US image as a leader, not a follower in the world.

        • Hipatriot, Trump and his surrogates have already and continue to do a wonderful job of divIding us, pitting everyone against each other, and spreading fake news and slander against President Obama, Hillary, the Democrats, the US Intelligence services, against Civil Rights icon and leader, John Lewis, and the press and media like CNN

        • “The same MI6 report is credible enough to all 17 US Intelligence agencies, and British Intelligence agencies, that they are in consensus regarding seriousness of what is included in the report..”

          Who cares. Putin’s attempt to help Trump failed. The proof is the fact that Trump said he won fair and square.

      • Give it up, Vector.

        Trump won. He won. He won. Yippee!

        And since Trump won, anyone who criticizes anything he says or does is a loser and a hater. That means you, Vector

        Trump can do anything… anything he wants, because he won, get it you pathetic lib.

        All hail the great and perfect and powerful Trump.

        He won and he’s rich, and nothing else matters. Nothing.

        And, oh I almost forgot, all hail the magnificent Putin and fantastic Russian KGB. They’re strong classy winner’s too.

        Donald and Vladimir, what a beautiful classy winning team. Trust me, they won big league!

        #MAGA? (Make America Grovel Again?)

        • Vector is a traitor. Once Trump takes the oath of office these so called subversives will be exposed and convicted of treason against America. We cannot allow traitors running amok.

  • The corrupt Democrat Party is grasping at straws trying to find what the heck just happened. In their total incompetence, if they draw up a conspiracy story, they can delegitimize the PE. The MSM is more than happy to cooperate, and keep this fake news alive, but it will back fire on the Dems, like all the polls saying Hillary would win the election, the American voter is much more sophisticated than that.

    • Maipono, the Democratic Party is corrupt, so Russian hacking and collusion with the Trump campaign to rig the election so Trump would win and lift the oil trade sanctions against Russia, is just fine with you. Siding with Putin and the Russians make you no patriot. Corrupt is Trump not divesting his Business Empire, not releasing his tax returns, working in the interests of Putin and the Russians, and not for the country and people he will shortly lead

    • If you believe that the Dem Party is so “corrupt” that even the Russians (our enemies) want to get rid of them, you have been grossly misled by people you consider to be your leaders.

      Russia is an aggressive, covetous country. They want to take over other countries, and they don’t care if they slaughter a few million people in order to achieve their selfish goals. They do NOT want a stronger America that will contest them on Syria and oil deals. They want a WEAKER America.

      It’s a confusing world we live in. There’s a lot of BS-ers all around. The best way around the BS is to figure out how to read through the fake news (on both sides). Good luck.

    • The issue is not Democrats. The threat is from Putin and the Russians, who do not allow any dissent in Russia, with journalists, political opposition, silenced, coerced, assassinated, and diappearing. Is this the direction you want this country head toward?

        • Exactly sarge22. You and I know that nothing the Dumbocrat losers can say changes the fact that Trump is a winner who won the election and that’s all that matters.

          Winners do what it takes to win and Trump will be the winningest POTUS ever, and he’ll just keep bteaking all the rules. That’s what strong classy winners do. They break the rules that pathetic weak losers whine about.

          You and I know America will savor greatness again in 6 days, right sarge22? It might taste like warm urine, but it will be Trump’s greatness.

          #MAGA? (Make America Gargle Again?)

  • My comment is awaiting moderation.

    @ vector
    Sad to see someone implode and running around like a chicken w/o a head screaming to anyone who would listen, trying desperately to make a wrong right in their mind BEFORE they wake up from the nightmare they’re in.
    Vector, wake up, this is reality, PE Trump won the election fair& square, not in your mind, but he will be America’s President this Friday & nothing you or BUZZFEED/CNN/DannoBoy/MillionMonkeys/allie can do to change that.
    I didn’t vote for O and survived 8 years…and I voted correctly based on O’s 8 year record.
    Calling me names won’t hurt me…just makes me see what kind of mind you have.
    Good luck in your endeavor.

    #MAGA

  • The dems are disgustingly desperate with their attempts to have excuses for their defeat blaming everyone else but themselves. They completely refuse to look within their own party and the massive corruption and coverups that have taken place over the past 8 years.

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