In a historic first, on March 20 the directors of two of the United States’s most powerful intelligence agencies directly refuted the statements made on the Twitter account of a US president.
During an open House Intelligence meeting around Russian interference into the 2016 US elections, FBI and NSA directors James Comey and Mike Rogers were read Trump tweets from the committee.
Both directors unequivocally stated there was no evidence to support Trump’s claim his properties were wiretapped by then-President Barack Obama ahead of the election. After Trump’s allegations on March 4 were widely mocked, the Trump administration doubled-down on their claim despite the lack of evidence and even said the reports originated with “the failing New York Times”.
While under oath, Comey also told the committee that the FBI was “investigating the nature of any links” between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election.
Towards the end of the five-hour committee meeting, a member read a Tweet that Trump made during the hearing claiming he had been exonerated from the Russia collusion allegations. Both Comey and Rogers reacted with surprise. Credit: Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence via Storyful