FBI director James Comey was questioned for more than six hours by the House intelligence committee on the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s attempts to interfere in last year’s US presidential election. He is testified alongside the NSA director, Admiral Michael Rogers.
Mr Comey, who came under fire during the election campaign for his handling of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s email server probe, was also questioned about allegations that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower.
The FBI director confirmed the agency is probing Russian meddling into the US election, including any potential links between the Trump campaign and the country’s government.
The FBI director said the agency has “no information that supports” tweets from Donald Trump accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping his campaign.
The NSA director said he agreed with the angry statement issued last Thursday by GCHQ, Britain’s electronic surveillance agency, in which it slammed the notion of its spying on its closest ally as “utterly ridiculous”.
In his opening statement, Michael Rogers said that the NSA stood by its earlier report on Russian meddling and its level of confidence in the findings had not changed.
In his opening statements, Republican committee chairman Devin Nunes reiterated his previous public statement that he has seen no evidence Trump Tower was wiretapped.
The Trump administration maintained its position on the allegation that he was put under surveillance as a candidate
We know that Pope Francis was unimpressed with Donald Trump after the pontiff accused the mogul of not being Christian because of his stance on immigration and wanting to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. But is the Pontiff leaning towards Bernie Sanders? The Vermont senator announced with pride on Friday that the Vatican has invited him to speak at a conference about social and economic issues – one of his signature subjects. But it turned out the invitation did not come from Pope Francis himself, so we might have to hold our breath a little longer. The Vatican story was a nice break for Sanders who has spent much of this week trying to explain why he was unable to explain one of his main goals – to break up the banks. Here is our story on what Sanders wants to do.
The Democrats and Republicans are focusing on New York, which holds its primary on April 19. Trump is back in force on Twitter after recovering from his disappointing loss to Ted Cruz in Wisconsin. He reminded people on Friday that running for president is not the only thing he does every day. “So great to be in New York. Catching up on many things (remember, I am still running a major business while I campaign) and loving it!” Read more
The 2016 political circus is travelling to the Big Apple, and some candidates are surviving the move better than others. On Thursday, Ted Cruz got a Bronx cheer from the New York Daily News. “Honey, how do we get out of the Bronx…Take the F-U Train, Ted!” read the paper’s front page, emblazoned with a photograph of Cruz and his wife Heidi. Read more
Donald Trump had a terrible night on Tuesday, although you would not know that from his Twitter feed, which went uncharacteristically dark for hours after it emerged that Ted Cruz had crushed him in Wisconsin, aka the Badger State. Looking beyond the headline results should make the tycoon even more concerned, as his Texas rival has started making inroads into some groups – lower-educated and lower-income voters – that had been fertile terrain for Mr Trump.
The creator of this Trump colouring book may need to add some kryptonite to the superhero image of the billionaire on the cover. As for Mr Cruz’s image, he likes to make a virtue out of the fact that he is anti-establishment (which has inspired T-shirts like this), but the Texan may need to change his tune now that the establishment is coming on board to defeat Trump. Read more
After a 10-day lull in the primary calendar, we are back to the races with Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican primaries in Wisconsin. Over the past week, the parties’ contenders have fought it out in Wisconsin, aka “America’s Dairyland” – a key battleground. Read more
April Fools! These aren’t your real candidates. Oh, wait.
For every 2016-themed April Fools meme dominating the internet, there is yet another reminder that this campaign is very much for real. Read more
Ted Cruz is famous for having almost zero friends in Washington. But the Texas senator seems happy with that situation and is not about to add Donald Trump to his circle even after the New York property mogul visited the US capital to attempt to build bridges with the Republican Party. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, Cruz was asked whether he preferred President Barack Obama or Trump more. Here was his response:
“I dislike Obama’s policies more, but Donald is a unique individual,” Cruz told the comedian. “If I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I’m not confident which pedal I would push.” Read more
It’s the first week since the Iowa Caucus where there has not been a single Republican caucus or primary. And the news cycle has not been kind to Donald Trump.
Just one day after defending his campaign manager against battery charges, Trump has landed himself in fresh controversy after declaring that “there has to be some sort of punishment” for women who have abortions. Read more
The Easter Bunny has been unkind to Donald Trump. On Tuesday his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with “battery” after a reporter alleged that the former state trooper had yanked, and bruised, her arm at a campaign event. Trump defiantly dismissed the claims and urged people to watch the video of the incident, which police in Florida police released after charging Lewandowski.
In a campaign that has made House of Cards seem tame, it transpired that one of the lawyers representing Lewandowski resigned as a top prosecutor in Florida in 1996 after being accused of biting a stripper. Speaking to reporters on his plane, Trump said he had urged Lewandowski to fight the charges. Texas senator Ted Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich, the other Republican contenders, slammed Trump over the case. Read more
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With Republican elders’ anti-Trump battle shifting into desperation mode, party operatives are debating ways of torpedoing the tycoon’s candidacy at the GOP convention this summer.
One former candidate who has been on the wrong end of the establishment’s machinations is ex-congressman Ron Paul, who on Friday took to the airwaves to predict senior party figures would use any means necessary to block a Trump nomination. Read more
Donald Trump’s press conference in Florida today was like a Peter Sellers movie. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who recently quit the race, endorsed Trump and said there were “two different Donald Trumps” – the public persona and the private “cerebral” persona who would be appearing more frequently on the trail.
Asked about this, the cerebral Trump said: “Perhaps there are two Donald Trumps”. But minutes later his alter-ego corrected him: “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps”. Trump likes to shout “Stand up!” to human props at his rallies. Well, would the @realDonaldTrump please stand up! Read more
The Republican debate on Thursday elevated farce to new heights. Donald Trump raised eyebrows when he hit back at earlier innuendo by Marco Rubio about his masculinity.
“He referred to my hands [suggesting that] if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee,” he told the roughly 17m viewers who tuned in to the debate. Read more
Just when you thought the White House race could not get any uglier, Mitt Romney, the patrician former Republican presidential nominee, took direct aim at Donald Trump, the clear GOP frontrunner following Super Tuesday.
Mr Romney skewered Mr Trump, calling him a “fraud” who was unfit to serve as president. Read our story for the full attack, but here is a taster: “There is dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War while John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.” Read more
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For anyone outside Trumpistan who thought the tycoon could never win the Republican nomination, this may be the time to reassess your views. Donald Trump won a sweeping victory on Super Tuesday, taking relatively liberal states such as Massachusetts and Vermont and conservative southern states that included Georgia and Alabama. Read more