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Comey confirms FBI is probing whether Trump campaign, Russia coordinated

Whether there are links between the Trump campaign and Russia will form part of a wider investigation into Russia's interference in last year's elections.
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FBI Director James Comey has confirmed the bureau is investigating whether there are any links between President Donald Trump's campaign team and the Russian government.

Comey made the announcement when appearing before a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, saying whether there was "coordination" between members of the Trump campaign and Russia will form part of its overall probe into Russian interference in last year's elections

"I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counter intelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," Comey said, according a clip from NBC News (watch it below).

"That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts," he added.

Allegations of links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign have followed the president before and since his election, with his former aides and appointees coming in for scrutiny.

His campaign manager Paul Manafort resigned last August amid questions over his role in the campaign and his lobbying history overseas, including in Ukraine, where according to CNN, he represented pro-Russian interests.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials told the TV station that Manafort and several other advisers close to the then-presidential nominee were in "constant" contact with Russians known to U.S. intelligence during the campaign – a claim that Manafort refutes.

And in February, Trump's National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn resigned, shortly after it emerged that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his contact with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., and after the Justice Department informed the White House he could be subject to blackmail, as NBC reported.

However, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told ABC News he had seen "no evidence" of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government up to the point he left his office on Jan. 20.

Trump has maintained throughout that the allegations of links between his campaign and Russia are a distraction from the leaking of classified information to the media – a claim he repeated on Monday via Twitter.

'No wiretap,' but other surveillance 'possible'

In another development during a committee hearing Monday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes debunked a previous tweet of President Trump's that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower, saying there was "no wiretap of Trump Tower."

However, he said it was "still possible" other surveillance of Trump took place.

Comey confirmed the FBI doesn't have any information suggesting that Trump was wiretapped.

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