James Comey: There is an active FBI investigation into Russia's efforts in 2016 campaign

The FBI director said that the government is looking into possible Trump connections to Russia

By Jeremy Binckes

Published March 20, 2017 3:05PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

In an explosive statement Monday morning, James Comey, the FBI's director, testified before Congress that his agency is looking into a possible connection between Russia and the campaign of Republican Donald Trump for president.

The remarks, before the House Intelligence Committee, focused on any possible efforts by the Trump campaign to recruit Russia to interfere in the elections, which may have included hacking into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.

Comey's statements don't indicate what the FBI knows about the Trump-Russia connection; nor do they explicitly say that the Trump campaign had any direct connections to Russia.

Below is the full opening statement:

As you know our practice is not to confirm 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. As Justice Department policies recognize, this is one of those circumstances. I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. And 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. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.

Comey told Congress that the FBI investigation had started last year.

Jeremy Binckes

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Dnc Hacking Donald Trump James Comey Russia