Federal Bureau of Investigation probing Russian interference in United States polls

Ebony Scott
March 21, 2017

Comey testified that United States intelligence agencies were agreed that Russia's aim evolved into an effort during the election to aid Trump over Clinton.

FBI "is investigating the alleged Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and 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".

Speaking during a congressional hearing, James Comey also took the rare step of confirming that his agency was investigating whether the Trump election campaign had coordinated with Russian Federation over a computer hacking campaign created to hobble his rival Hillary Clinton.

FBI Director James Comey confirmed the ongoing investigation on the first day of a congressional hearing into Russia's well-established meddling in the US election, and into its efforts to rig the outcome in Mr. Trump's favour.

FBI Director James Comey said on Monday that his agency was investigating potential ties between President Trump's campaign and Russian efforts to influence the election.

COMEY, when asked if he was aware of collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation, beyond the findings of the report: "It's not something I can comment on".

Rogers said under questioning from the top Democrat on the committee that there was no information that the Obama administration requested the British surveillance agency GCHQ to conduct eavesdropping on Trump, as stated in a Fox News report that has been cited by the White House. In fact, Comey said during the hearing that Putin clearly wanted Clinton to lose.

Republicans pressed Comey on his investigation into leaks of classified information to the media, and the FBI director repeatedly said he could not publicly comment on the veracity of leaked information.

Trump tried to put the attention on leaked classified information, rather than the information itself.

Comey resisted being pressed on what Russian Federation would have gained from such an arrangement. The public wants to know that Russian Federation didn't interfere with one of the cornerstones of our democracy - a free, honest election.

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Comey did say earlier in the hearing, however, that there is no evidence that Russian meddling resulted in changes of any vote tallies. Officials investigating the matter have said they believe Moscow had hacked into Democrats' computers in a bid to help Trump's election bid.

The hearing, which also featured testimony from National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers saw Democrats highlight publicly available information about links between Trump associates and Russian Federation.

He said the investigation had been under way since July and but he could not say how long it would take. "They'll be back", Comey warned Monday.

"We'd have sent up a much larger flare", he said.

"I can not say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining".

Rogers, meanwhile, warned that the USA needs to continue to learn lessons from Russia's information operations and harden defenses to prevent and deter Russian Federation from future attacks.

Rogers said the USA must continue efforts to increase cybersecurity across all of government.

"I think that was a fairly easy judgement for the (intelligence) community", he said. "I don't think we traditionally would have thought of election infrastructure as critical".

Ever since Trump was inaugurated on January 20, there have been questions and rumors about links between members of Trump's campaign and the Russian government. In addition to numerous public radio programs, he has reported for Reuters, PBS NewsHour, The Diplomat, and The Atlantic.

Sean Carberry is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence. He has reported from more than two-dozen countries including Iraq, Yemen, DRC, and South Sudan.

Other reports by GizPress

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