The White House pushed back against the revelation that the FBI is investigating potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, downplaying the investigation and the role that certain advisors now under scrutiny had in Trump's campaign.
“Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday when asked about the FBI inquiry.
Spicer noted that top Republicans in Congress who were briefed on the intelligence said they haven't seen evidence of collusion, and James R. Clapper, former President Obama's director of national intelligence, recently said he had not either
A smiling and confident Judge Neil Gorsuch talked of his family, his Colorado roots and his love of fly fishing in his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, steering clear of the partisan controversy over President Trump and the Republicans’ snub of Judge Merrick Garland, the nominee of President Obama.
Gorsuch said he had an earnest and idealistic view of judges, saying they had a duty to faithfully follow the law, without regard to politics or ideology. Sometimes, he said, judges are “described as politicians in black robes,” he said, adding he would quit and “ hang up the robe” if he thought that were true.
He said that in his decade as a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver he had participated in deciding 2,700 cases, and 97% of those resulted in unanimous rulings. “I was in the majority in 99% of the cases,” he added.
President Trump tweeted Monday that FBI Director James B. Comey and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers had testified to a House Intelligence Committee hearing that "Russia did not influence electoral process."
When asked at the hearing about the tweet, which came from the White House official account, Comey swiftly knocked it down.
Most of it is bad news for the Trump administration.
1) Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that not only was the FBI investigating Russian interference in the campaign but he also dropped this bombshell: FBI agents are probing potential "coordination" between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. This investigation could lead to criminal charges.
In Moscow, Kremlin loyalists took a dim view of Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Sergei Markov, a Moscow-based political analyst and a former lawmaker with the ruling United Russia party, said that the aim of the hearings “is not to allow [President] Trump to improve ties with Russia.”
“Very serious circles in the U.S. think that they can’t let Russia become a great power, that Russia should be pressed, pressed, pressed,” Markov said in an interview. He said Trump was attempting "to let Russia have its own sphere of interests," but that effort had prompted accusations "that everything around Trump is related to Russia and betrays the U.S.”
Two of the nation's top counter-intelligence officials stood by the U.S. intelligence assessment in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin's government sought to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election.
Under questioning from Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said nothing has changed since they issued their Jan. 6 report on Russian interference in the election.
The report found that senior Russian officials, including Putin, wanted to undermine the U.S. democratic process, hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump's campaign.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Monday that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, poses a threat to Roe vs. Wade and the right to abortion.
The ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein noted that Trump had promised to appointed “pro-life” justices who would overturn Roe vs. Wade.
This debate “is not theoretical,” she said, addressing Gorsuch at the start of his confirmation hearing. The abortion right “allows women and their doctors to decide what is best for them and their kids, not politicians."