President Trump on Monday questioned the Clinton campaign’s alleged Russia ties less than an hour before House Intelligence Committee holds its first public hearing on the Kremlin’s involvement in the 2016 election.
“What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians? Also, is it true that the DNC would not let the FBI in to look?” Trump said in a Monday morning tweet.
FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers are testifying on the issue Monday morning on Capitol Hill. They’ll also be asked about allegations Trump made that President Obama tapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election.
With Trump’s latest tweet, it appears he’s hoping to influence what questions the witnesses will be asked at the briefing, as he tries to turn the attention away from his campaign toward his vanquished rival, Hillary Clinton.
In other tweets Monday, Trump denied that he colluded with Russia during the presidential election — calling the allegations “made up” by Democrats and “FAKE NEWS.”
“James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!” Trump said in a tweet, referring to statements made two weeks ago by the former director of national intelligence during the Obama years.
He added, “The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!”
The former top spy told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on March 5, “We had no evidence of such collusion.”
On Sunday, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) claimed, contrary to Clapper, that there is evidence of collusion.
“I was surprised to see Director Clapper say that because I don’t think you can make that claim categorically as he did. I would characterize it this way at the outset of the investigation: There is circumstantial evidence of collusion. There is direct evidence, I think, of deception and that’s where we begin the investigation,” Schiff said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“There is certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation,” he added.