FBI head has ‘no information’ backing wiretap claims, confirms probe of possible links between Russia and Trump associates

FBI Director James Comey today said he has “no information” supporting President Trump’s explosive allegations that the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump presidential campaign last year.

During the five-hour hearing, Comey also confirmed an investigation of possible links between Trump associates and Russia, a story line that the president has decried alternately as a “ruse” and “fake news.” Comey also indicated that Vladimir Putin hated Hillary Clinton “so much” that he had a “clear preference” for her opponent.

“With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets,” Comey told the House Intelligence Committee today at his much-anticipated hearing — the U.S. law enforcement community’s first public response to wiretapping allegations that the White House has promoted for more than two weeks.

“And we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets.”

In a series of tweets earlier this month, Trump appeared to accuse President Obama directly of having the Republicans’ “wires tapped” at Trump Tower, likening the situation to “Nixon/Watergate” and calling the former president a “bad (or sick) guy.” Trump and his administration have offered no evidence for the claim — disputed by a spokesman for President Obama and others — but have said that wiretapping could mean a range of things.

When asked whether President Obama could have ordered a wiretap, Comey said, “No president could.”

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., also said that there is no evidence to support such an allegation but added that other Trump associates may have been followed.

“Let me be clear. I’ve been saying this for several weeks. We know there was not a…

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