by Patrick Goodenough, CNSnews:
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Sunday denied knowledge of any wire-tapping of then-nominee or president-elect Donald Trump – but in an assertion receiving considerably less press attention also stated he had no knowledge of evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Clapper appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” a day after the president alleged on Twitter that President Obama had tapped Trump Tower before the election.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer in a series of subsequent tweets said Trump wanted congressional investigations into Russian activity to be broadened to probe “whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.” Spicer also said the White House would not comment further about the allegations until that happens.
Clapper made two key statements during Sunday’s interview.
First, he said that the agencies he oversaw as DNI – which include the CIA, FBI Intelligence branch and National Security Agency – did not conduct any “wiretap activity” against Trump or his campaign and that to his knowledge no FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order for such surveillance was issued.
He stressed that he could only speak for the intelligence community, not for state or local agencies or for government entities authorized under Title Three of the 1968 “Wiretap Act.”
But Clapper then went on to say that to his knowledge there was “no evidence” of “collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians.”
“We did not include any evidence in our report – and I say ‘our,’ that’s NSA, FBI and CIA, with my office, the Director of National Intelligence – that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that included in our report.”
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