VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged President Donald Trump to be a peacemaker at their highly anticipated first meeting on Wednesday, and Trump promised he would not forget the pontiff’s message. Under clear blue skies, Trump, who exchanged sharp words with the pope during the U.S. election campaign last year, received a tribute from […]
Lawmakers seek FBI, NSA answers on Trump, Russia at rare public hearing
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency will break their public silence on Monday about their investigations into possible links between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign at a rare open congressional intelligence committee hearing.
Representatives Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Adam Schiff, the panel’s top Democrat, have called FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to testify as part of their committee’s probe into allegations that Russia meddled in U.S. elections.
Other congressional committees also are investigating the matter, mostly behind closed doors. But amid a furor over whether Moscow tried to influence the 2016 presidential race on Trump’s behalf, lawmakers said they would make public as much of their probes as possible.
Russia denies attempting to influence the election.
Comey and Rogers are not expected to reveal much in public about the probes, which include information that is classified Top Secret and also separated into different compartments, each of which requires a separate clearance.
But the hearing could become heated as Republicans balance support for their party’s leaders and Democrats vent frustration over Republican congressional leaders’ refusal to appoint a special prosecutor or select committee to investigate.
Trump fired his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, last month after he failed to disclose contacts with Russia’s ambassador before Trump took office on Jan. 20.
Last week, new information surfaced about more than $65,000 that Flynn was paid in 2015 by companies with links to Russia.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator, recused himself from investigating the matter after it was revealed that he did not answer accurately when he was asked during his confirmation hearing about his contacts with Russian officials during the election. He failed to disclose that, as senator, he had met with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
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