TrumpWatch, Day 59: Pressure Builds Over Wiretaps and Trump-Russia Links


House Intelligence Committee hearings to open with dismissal of Trump wiretap claims but division over extent of Trump-Russia links

Developments on Day 59 of the Trump Administration:

Politics Over Wiretaps and Trump-Russia Links

With the House Intelligence Committee opening hearings on Monday, politicians stake out ground over both Donald Trump’s wiretap claims and possible links between Trump associates and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Republicans and Democrats agreed that Trump’s allegations of surveillance by President Obama, helped by Britain’s electronic agency GCHQ, have no merit. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, said bluntly, “Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No…there never was.” The leading Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, added:

I hope that we can put an end to this wild goose chase because what the President said was just patently false….The wrecking ball it created now has banged into our British allies and our German allies, it’s continuing to grow in terms of damage, and he needs to put an end to this.

But, with FBI Director James Comey to address the committee on Monday, Nunes and Schiff differed sharply over the course of the Trump-Russia investigation by the FBI and other agencies. Nunes said that he had seen no evidence of “collusion” between Trump officials and the Russians — leaving open the question of whether the Trump campaign had knowledge of the Russian interference or tried to cover up contacts — while Schiff asserted that he had seen “circumstantial evidence of collusion” and “direct evidence of deception”.

See Trump’s Russia Scandals Could Get Much, Much Worse

TOP PHOTO: Donald Trump with admirers at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida on Saturday

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  1. There are no Russia Trump links, at least not in terms of any collusion.

    Clapper said there is no evidence and even former CIA director, Michael Morell – who endorsed Hillary and wanted to send Russians home in body bags – had to admit there is no evidence of any links.

    Schiff is again making a complete fool of himself. He is essentially arguing that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. He’s jumping around the argument like a ping pong ball. Evidence of deception does not mean collusion was covered up. Given how toxic the discourse over Russia has become, it’s not surprising that people wanted to deny connections with Russia.

    Schiff asserted that he had seen “circumstantial evidence of collusion” and “direct evidence of deception”.

    Schiff is again twisting words to try and salvage this lame argument and prevent it being put to bed. The Russia conspiracy theory is dead. You now have Steve Colbert doing a sketch mocking Rachel Maddow’s idiotic conspiratorial McCarthyist ramblings, John McCain going postal on the Senate floor accusing his peer of being a Russian agent for opposing NATO expansionism, and Glenn Greenwald eviscerating all hope of anyone ever finding evidence of election collusion between Trump and Russia (without which the entire Russia argument collapses), we’ve hit critical mass. It’s dead.

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