WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House Intelligence Committee held a hearing on Monday to discuss allegations that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
During the hearing, FBI Director James Comey said he had no information to support claims by President Trump on Twitter that he was wiretapped by Obama.
“I have no information that supports those tweets,” Comey told the committee. He also said he was authorized to say that the Justice Department also had no information to support the allegation.
Most of the hearing was not about Trump but the Russian role in the battle between Trump and Hillary Clinton during the general election. Among those asking questions of Comey was Congressman Mike Conaway of Midland.
Comey told Conaway, “He [Russian President Vladimir Putin] hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was he had a clear preference for the person who was running against the person he hated so much.”
Conaway then said, “Yeah, that might work on Saturday afternoon when my wife’s Red Raiders are playing the Longhorns. She really likes the Red Raiders. But the rest of the time, the logic is that because he really didn’t like Clinton he automatically liked Trump. That assessment is based on what?”
The FBI Director was happy to keep the Red Raider analogy.
Comey said, “It’s based on more than that but part of it is – we’re not going to get into the details of it here – but part of it is the logic. Whoever the Red Raiders are playing, you want the Red Raiders to win. By definition, you want their opponent to lose.”
Comey added, “They’re inseparable. It’s a two-person event.”
Conaway wasn’t convinced that hatred of Clinton equals love for Trump.
Conaway asked, “When did [Putin] decide [Putin] wanted him to win?”
“Logically, when he wanted her to lose,” Comey said.
Comey said at some point the Russians gave up on trying to help Trump win. Instead, the Russians were simply trying to weaken and discredit Clinton.
Conaway asked, “When did they not think she was going to win?”
Comey said, “The assessment of the intelligence committee was as the summer went on and the polls appeared to show that Secretary Clinton was going to win, the Russians sort of gave up and simply focused on trying to undermine her.”
Comey then said, “It’s your Red Raiders – you know they’re not going to win so you kind of hope key people on the other team get hurt so they’re not such a tough opponent down the road.”
Comey obviously didn’t see the Red Raider baseball team sweep the Longhorns over the weekend.
Republicans did not defend Trump’s messages on Twitter but were quick to point that there was no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russian government during the election.
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