President Donald Trump spent Monday's hearing of the house intelligence committee watching proceedings on television, and providing a live commentary on Twitter.
But what do his tweets mean?
FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia. pic.twitter.com/cUZ5KgBSYP— President Trump (@POTUS) March 20, 2017
Trump suggests here that Comey may have briefed Obama on the Flynn case.
The tweet was in response to Trey Gowdy’s grilling of Comey at the house intelligence committee about who could have leaked classified documents about phone calls former national security adviser Michael Flynn made to the Russian ambassador.
The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process. pic.twitter.com/d9HqkxYBt5— President Trump (@POTUS) March 20, 2017
Trump’s administration is at pains to stress this: whether or not there were attempts by the Russians to destabilise the election, they did not actually hack the election itself – ie: there was no meddling with ballot boxes or vote counts.
But Trump got it wrong in this tweet.
The two men did not say that Russia did not influence the electoral process. Rather, they said there was no evidence that the election processes – ballot boxes etc - were compromised.
Instead, Comey said that Russiadid try to influence the electoral process - he said they engaged in a "multifaceted campaign" to undermine US democracy.
NSA Director Rogers tells Congress unmasking individuals endangers national security. pic.twitter.com/jTwjPINvNh— President Trump (@POTUS) March 20, 2017
Trump tweets this to show that the leaking of classified material damages national security, because it means conversations cannot be treated as confidential.
FBI Director Comey says classified leaks to the media have been “unusually active” recently. pic.twitter.com/WumDJSqaFA— President Trump (@POTUS) March 20, 2017
Trump has been enraged about the leak of information relating to his administration – ranging from the details of a conversation with Mexico’s president, in which he joked about sending the US army in to Mexico, to details of classified investigations. He has said that the “leakers” must be found and punished.
FBI Director Comey admits Obama’s White House had ability to “unmask” American citizens. https://t.co/gIo6it9NcQ— President Trump (@POTUS) March 20, 2017
Comey is asked about the “unmasking” of citizens – the eavesdropping of their conversations. He says that it is possible the FBI listens in to people, but it is not their intent.
Trump tweets this because he wants to show that he could have been listened to accidentally – because he was speaking to someone that the intelligence services were targeting, such as the Russian ambassador.
Trump is correct about this: there is as yet no evidence that the Trump campaign staff "colluded" with Russian officials.
He is apparently hurt by the seeming implication that he did not win the election fair and square.
READ MORE ABOUT:
- Donald Trump
- NSA (National Security Agency)
- FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
- White House
- Show more