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       Probing possible Russia links to Trump campaign: FBI chief
 
         Posted on :00:30:09 Mar 21, 2017
   
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       Last edited on:00:30:09 Mar 21, 2017
         Tags: Probing possible Russia links to Trump campai
 
WASHINGTON: In a rare disclosure, the FBI chief today confirmed that the agency was probing Russia's meddling in last year's presidential polls, including possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
 
Testifying before the powerful House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey said the decision to confirm the ongoing investigation is rare as the agency as a matter of policy does not confirm any ongoing investigation.
 
However, the Department of Justice in larger public interest has given its consent to do so in this case, he said. "I have been authorised by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counter-intelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," Comey said.
 
"That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts," he said.
 
Comey, however, refused to divulge any details of the ongoing probe.
 
Acknowledging that the work was very complex, the FBI Director said that there is no timeline to complete this investigation. "I can promise you we will follow the facts wherever they lead," he said.
 
"As you know, our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations, especially those investigations that involve classified matters. But in unusual circumstances, where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so. This is one of those circumstances," he said.
 
In his opening remarks, Congressman David Nunes, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence alleged that the Putin regime has a long history of aggressive actions against other countries, including the outright invasion of two of its neighbours in recent years as well as its brutal military action in Syria to defend the Assad regime.
 
But its hostile acts take many forms aside from direct military assaults, he said.
 
Nunes alleged Russia has a long history of meddling in other countries' election systems and launching cyber attacks on a wide range of countries and industries.
 
The Baltics and other Russian neighbours have long decried these attacks, but their warnings went unheeded in far too many nations' capitals, including our own.
 
"The fact that Russia hacked US election-related databases comes as no shock to this Committee, which has been closely monitoring Russia's aggression for years," Nunes said.
 
Joining Nunes, the Ranking Member Congressman Adam Schiff said last summer at the height of a bitterly contested and hugely consequential presidential campaign, Russia, a foreign adversarial power, intervened in an effort to weaken US democracy and to influence the outcome for one candidate and against the other.
 
The direction in this regard was issued by "its autocratic ruler Vladimir Putin, in order to help Donald J Trump become the 45th president of the United States," Schiff alleged. 
 
"The Russians successfully meddled in our democracy and our intelligence agencies have concluded they will do so again. Ours is not the first democracy to be attacked by the Russians in this way. Russian intelligence has been similarly interfering in the internal and political affairs of our European and other allies for decades," Schiff said.
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       WORLD
Next Article: Indian-origin man charged with murdering 1-yr-old in London, arrested
 
 
WORLD HEADLINES
Doval's visit key to ease Sikkim standoff: Chinese analyst  
Engage in direct dialogue: Pentagon tells China, India  
16 Afghan police killed in US strike  
Baghdadi still alive: US Defence Secretary  
Britain's SC gets first woman president  
Greece: Two killed in massive earthquake  
French singer Barbara Weldens dies on stage  
Linkin Park's lead singer Chester Bennington 'found hanged'  
Russia to supply T-90S tanks to Iraq  
White House reporter breaks rules, live-streams briefing  
China blocks WhatsApp's images, videos; censors texts too  
Pak summons Indian envoy over ceasefire violations along LoC  
'US concerned over Chinese military build-up in Asia-Pacific'  
No red carpet for Trump: London Mayor  
British man drives auto-rickshaw across UK for Indian charity  
7.7-magnitude quake hits off Russia: US scientists  
Iranian newspapers break hijab taboo in tribute to Maryam Mirzakhani  
Amid row with India, Chinese Army holds live-fire drill in Tibet  
Jadhav's mercy petition to be judged on merit: Pakistan army  
Erdogan warns to cut off heads of traitors  
Pak's top general accuses India of targeting CPEC  
US House imposes conditions for defence funding to Pak  
To boost defence ties with India, US house clears over $600 bn bill  
'Anonymous letter' threatens Pak-China relationship  
Men carry out five acid attacks in London in 70 minutes  
 
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