On Twitter, Trump Puts His Spin on Intel Hearing - NBC4 Washington
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On Twitter, Trump Puts His Spin on Intel Hearing

During the hearing, one Democratic House member fact-checked some of Trump's tweets

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    NEWSLETTERS

    FBI Director James Comey said that there was no evidence that phones at Trump Tower were wiretapped. "I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI," Comey said, referring to Trump's tweets that make the wiretapping claim. (Published Monday, March 20, 2017)

    President Donald Trump's official Twitter account, @POTUS, reacted six times on Monday to the testimony of the directors of the FBI and National Security Agency while the pair were in a hearing on allegations that Russia interfered in the U.S. election. 

    Trump didn't respond to FBI Director James Comey's statement that he and the Justice Department could not substantiate Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of him.

    The last of the tweets from @POTUS addressed the bombshell revelation of the hearing: That the FBI is investigating members of Trump's presidential campaign as part of its probe into Russian meddling.

    "FBI Director Comey: fmr. DNI Clapper 'right' to say no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump Campaign. #ComeyHearing," @POTUS wrote.

    Comey Confirms FBI Probes Russia-Trump Campaign Links

    [NATL] Comey Confirms FBI Is Looking Into Possible Russia-Trump Campaign Links

    FBI Director James Comey spoke during the first public hearing of a congressional inquiry into ties between Russia and the U.S. election, including possible ties to the Trump campaign. 

    “The FBI as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Comey said on March 20. “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.” 

    (Published Monday, March 20, 2017)

    But video of the exchange captioned by the Twitter account showed Comey agreeing that Clapper was "right about characterizing the report," meaning the intelligence community's report from January.

    At least two other Trump tweets appeared to misrepresent the answers that Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers gave to members of Congress.

    In the first tweet, the @POTUS account said that "Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia."

    But Comey neither confirmed nor denied discussing briefings with the president, and instead said, "I can't answer that," as the video that @POTUS shared shows.

    That answer was consistent with Comey's testimony throughout the hearing, in which he avoided discussing classified information, information about specific American citizens or information shared with the president.

    And he repeatedly requested that people not read into what information he could not share, including on questions about members of the Trump campaign.

    In the second tweet, @POTUS captioned video by saying that Comey and Rogers told Congress "Russia did not influence electoral process." But the pair only denied that any votes were changed as a result of Russian influence in the election, which has been documented in a report compiled by the United States intelligence community.

    That was one of two tweets fact-checked later on in the hearing. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., asked Comey and Rogers to respond to Trump's tweet about their testimony.

    "We've offered no opinion, have no view, have no information on potential impact because it’s not something that we looked at," Comey said. Rogers agreed.

    Trump's next two tweets showed video of the pair of intelligence officials discussing leaks, which Trump and Republicans on the intelligence committee repeatedly condemned as illegal and dangerous.

    In the fifth tweet, @POTUS wrote "FBI Director Comey admits Obama’s White House had ability to 'unmask' American citizens," referring to the naming of people discussed in classified intelligence. Asked about certain members of the Obama administration, Comey said they would be able to unmask citizens in certain situations.

    Himes asked about that as well — Rogers said he didn't want to comment on the tweet, though he did say, "I assume the comment is designed to address the leaking of such information."

    The White House did not immediately reply to questions about the content of the tweets, if there would be a comment about the FBI's investigation into whether the Trump campaign had links to Russia and Comey's remarks about wiretapping.

    Press secretary Sean Spicer, speaking Monday afternoon, said "there's a lot more to be discussed and looked at" regarding the investigation.

    Trump and his team have been continuously focused on how information about alleged ties between Trump's campaign and Russia have come out. Trump referred to it as "the real story" in a tweet early Monday morning.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to Trump as "the Deflector-in-Chief" in a statement Monday afternoon.

    His "desperation demands answers to our original question: what is Russia's political, personal and financial grip on the Trump Administration? The American people want and deserve the whole truth about the Trump-Russia connection," she said.