President Donald Trump was not at the briefing on Capitol Hill where the heads of the NSA and the FBI knocked down his wiretapping claims, but his shadow loomed large over the proceedings. Midway through, as we reported, the president used his official Twitter account to spin their testimony. Not two hours later, the FBI director responded to that spin in the hearing.
Previously in response to questions from Democratic Congressman from Connecticut Jim Hines, they had reiterated that it was not within their mandate to determine whether or not Russian hacking efforts “influenced” the election. This lead President Trump to declare that the two officials told “Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process” (emphasis addded). Comey was then asked about this tweet and rebutted it.
It’s hard for me to react to that. Let me just tell what we understand the state of what we said is: We’ve offered no opinion, have no view, have no information of potential impact because it’s something we’ve never looked at….
It certainly wasn’t our intention to say that today because we don’t have any information on that subject. That’s not something that was looked at.
The president also highlighted an answer to a question that no one was asking. He retweeted a clip of the witnesses saying that the Russians did not affect the vote tallies. Outside of some of the folks around the Jill Stein recount effort, that was never a concern that people had.
Rather, the concern is focused on the “influence” that these hacking efforts had, along with the spin and misinformation that surrounded these email leaks, such as “collusion” between the Clinton campaign and members of the press or that the DNC “rigged” the election in any way against the Sanders campaign.
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