The months-long investigation into potential ties between associates of President Donald Trump and Russia has taken several pivotal turns just this week. The ongoing, multi-pronged inquiry was confirmed by FBI Director James Comey during a congressional hearing on Monday.
Until now, there has been no public acknowledgement from US lawmakers or the intelligence community of concrete evidence tying Trump or his associates to collusion with the Kremlin. But in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said of the investigation: “There is more than circumstantial evidence now.”
Schiff declined to go into specifics when pressed by host Chuck Todd.
“But I will say there is evidence that is not circumstantial,” Schiff said, “and it is very much worthy of investigation.”
Schiff’s comments echo a CNN report published Wednesday evening that cited unnamed US officials who told the network the FBI has information indicating people associated with Trump may have coordinated with suspected Russian operatives on the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
The information includes “human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings,” CNN reported, citing its sources.
Watch a portion of Schiff’s remarks below:
Russia-related inquiries are underway within the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, the FBI, and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes threw a huge wrench into the matter on Wednesday when he confirmed some information was “incidentally collected” on members of the Trump transition team before Trump’s inauguration.
The revelation came amid Trump’s nearly three-week wiretapping crusade, in which he accused the Obama administration of possibly coordinating with domestic and international entities to surveil Trump and his associates during the campaign. Trump appeared to take Nunes’ unexpected announcement as vindication for his debunked claims.
Several associates of Trump have been at the center of the ongoing Russia investigation, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, and former Trump adviser Carter Page.
The Trump White House has repeatedly denied any untoward involvement with Russia during the election.
Schiff on collusion btw Trump associates and Russians: “I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now” pic.twitter.com/JvPv74ROiM
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 22, 2017
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