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FBI finds no wiretap evidence and investigates Trump’s ties with Russia

FBI Director James Comey has spoken publicly about US President Donald Trump’s claims that he was wiretapped, and Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.

On Monday, Comey told a congressional hearing that he had seen no evidence to support Trump’s claims that former president Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump during the 2016 election campaign.

Earlier this month, Trump created controversy when he tweeted several times, accusing Obama of the wiretap. In the tweets, Trump referred to the allegations as “McCarthyism” and referred to Obama as a “bad (or sick)” guy.

Trump provided no evidence for his accusations, and likewise, the FBI has found none.

In addition to the wiretapping investigation, Comey confirmed that the FBI has been investigating possible links between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.

Other US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that resulted in sensitive emails being released. These emails are theorised to have hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign and thus aided Trump’s victory.

It’s likely that Trump’s wiretapping allegations were made as a way to distract from the investigation of Russian interference in the election. Trump’s explosive tweets coincided with Attorney General Jess Sessions’ admission that he had met with Russia’s US ambassador last fall.

At the hearing, the focus shifted from Sessions to Trump confidante Roger J. Stone Jr. It is alleged that Stone Jr. was in contact with a hacker named “Guccifer 2.0”, who is believed to be connected with Russian intelligence.

As is to be expected, Trump unleashed a stream of tweets during the hearing. Tweeting from his @POTUS account, he put his own spin events by asserting that the FBI found no evidence of Russians “changing vote tallies”.

In this case, Trump is guilty of moving the goal posts. The primary allegation is not that Russians hacked ballot boxes, but that they hacked emails to influence people’s perception of the DNC. At the hearing, Comey concluded that the investigation into Russia’s involvement is “open, ongoing and classified”, so it is unclear when we will learn more.

In other news, it appears as if Trump has made the big move from Android to iPhone. The Guardian reports that the president has not tweeted from an Android device for almost two weeks. It could be that he has switched but he might also be dictating his tweets to some (unfortunate) underling.

If he has switched, someone better tell this guy about it because he won’t be too happy.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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