tv FBI Director Says Hes Investigating Any Links Between Trump Campaign and... CSPAN March 20, 2017 12:14pm-3:23pm EDT
committee here in washington to represent our states' farmers, foresters and ranchers. but the real contributions to our state agriculture proudness can be traced back to folks like ray and buck, men who spent their lives enhancing the industry that is so vital to louisiana. congratulations once again for being inducted into the louisiana agriculture hall of distinction. it is an honor that is well deserved. thank you, mr. speaker. i yieldack. the speaker pro tempore: th gentleman from louisiana yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house n recess until 2:00 p.m. today. >> the house rules committee will prep the republican's health care law replacement bill
this wednesday and debate and votes rex spected thursday. we'll go back now live to the house intelligence committee hearing from f.b.i. director james comey and n.s.a. director mike rogers on russian tampering in the november elections. miss swule: moreover, isn't it also true according to the emol ewe meant clause of the united states constitution, a person holding any office of profit or trust cannot accept gifts or payments from a foreign country, and doesn't the d.o.d., department of defense, prohibit retired military officers from taking any consulting fees, gifts, traveling expenses, honorary and salary from a foreign government, including commercial zwrentjent prizes owned by our controlled by a foreign government like r.t.? director comey: not something i can comment on. miss swule: can you speak whether or not the emoluments clause will apply to someone like mr. flynn?
director comey: i can't. iss swule: -- miss sue well: i find it hard to believe that given the emoluments clause does apply to retired officers like mr. flynn. i can't believe he would take money from the russian government in violation of the united states constitution. believe such violations worthy of a criminal investigation by the f.b.i. what level of proof do we need for us to have a criminal investigation by the f.b.i. of mr. flynn? director comey: i can't comment on that. ms. sewell: shouldn't the american people be concerned -- i think it's hard for us to fathom that he would know that he should have disclosed that he received $35,000 as a part of a speaking engagement to r.t., the russian us -- russian-u.s.
anti-propaganda outlet. director comey: i can't comment on that. ms. sewell: my final question is there flynn working as an agent of foreign power. following on mr. himes' line of questioning, aim correct the foreign agents registration act requires that individuals who lobby on behalf of a foreign government must register with the united states government? director comey: i believe that's correct. i know i keep saying i'm not an expert. the reason i'm saying that is i don't know exaly how they define things like lobbyinin the statute. but as a general matter, if you're going to represent a foreign government here in the united states, touching our government, you should be registered. ms. sewell: isn't it true just november, 2016, mr. flynn was dorkwork as a foreign work that principally benefited the government of turkey yet he didn't report it until just last week? director comey: i can't comment on that. ms. sewell: isn't it true mr. flynn was reportedly paid over
half a million dollars for this work? director comey: same answer. ms. sewell: isn't it true that the trump white house on at least two occasions was asked by mr. flynn's lawyers whether he should report that work, the work he was doing on behalf of the turkish government, and yet the administration didn't give him any advice to the contrary? do you know anything about that? director comey: i have to give you the same answer. ms. sewell: i know you cannot discuss whether any investigations are ongoing with u.s. persons. and i respect that. i think it's important that the american people understand the scope and breadth of what in public, open source press reportings of mr. flynn's actions that led to his resignation. and while we can't talk about whether there are an investigation, i believe that we here at hpsci, at the house permanent select committee on intelligence, must put those facts in the public domain, and they are, one, that mr. flynn lied about his communication
with the russian ambassador. secondly, that mr. flynn lied about taking money from the russian government. and thirdly, that mr. flynn at a minimum did not disclose work as an agent of a foreign power. and that the white house did not help in this concern. so, gentlemen, it's clear to me that mr. flynn should be under criminal investigation. and i know you cannot comment. but i believe it is my duty as a member of this committee to comment to the american people that this -- his engagement of lying and failu to disclose really important information in context with a foreign ambassador do rise to the level of disclosure. to me criminal intent. i say this to say that the american people deserve to know the full extent of mr. flynn's involvement with the russians and the extent to which it influenced the 2016 election. i believe our democracy requires it. thank you.
i yield back to my ranking member. >> the gentleman's time has expired. recognize myself for 15 minutes. mr. comey and mr. rogers, you both said that the russians had -- they favored donald trump, this election, you made that change from the beginning of december it was not that they were trying to help donald trump, but that changed by early january. mr. conaway talked about that. do russian -- director comey: i don't agree with that. i might misspeak earlier. we didn't, we at the fibfifpblet i don't know anybody on the i.c. team. chairman nunes: at some point the assessment changed from going just trying to hurt hillary clinton know they were trying to hell help donald trump get elected. that was early december as far as i know. and then by january you had all
changed your mind on that. director comey: that's not my recollection. director rogers: that's not mine either. chairman nunes: do russians historically prefer republicans to win over democrats? director comey: i don't know the answer to that. chairman nunes: did the russians prefer mitt romney over barack obama in 2012? director rogers: i don't know that we drew a formal conclusion. chairman nunes: did the russian prefer if john mccain in 2008 over barack obama? director rogers: i didn't see that. chairman nunes: don't you think it's ridiculous that to say the russians prefer russians over democrats? director comey: i hope i didn't hear you say that. we don't know if those particular races.
i'm not qualified enough -- chairman nunes clont wouldn't it be preposterous going back to ronald reagan and all we know about maybe who the russians would prefer that somehow the russians prefer republicans over democrats? director rogers: i'm not going to discuss in a classified reporting version we did, there was some analysis. i remember this did come up in our assessment on the russian piece. i'm not going to discuss this -- chairman nunes: mr. king. mr. king: i would say on that, without going into the classified section, that -- indicating that historically russians have supported republicans. and i know that language is there. to me puts somewhat of a cloud over the entire report. it seems toined kate the direct -- let me just say this for the record. i know what your answer is going to be.
on march 15, former acting director of c.i.a., who was acting director under president obama, and put on the record i have had differences with mike in the past, he was asked about the question of the trump campaign conspiring with the russians. his answer was, there's smoke, but there is no fire at all. there's no little campfire. there's no little candle. there's no spark. do you agree with him? director comey: i can't comment, mr. king. r. king: admiral rogers? director rogers: i'm not going to comment. mr. king: you talk about leaks and important it is to stop thefment i haven't seen such a sustained period of leaks, going back to december when not the intelligence committee, but "washington post" was told the conclusion of the report. number one. what it was going to be.
we have situations in "the new york times" where they talk of meetings, they talk about transcripts, they talk about conversations. there was one in particular spoke about trump campaign individuals meeting with russian intelligence agents. and again director comey, don't know if you can comment on this, but the white house chief of staff said that day or the next day that mr. mccabe from your office went to him at the white house and told him that story was b.s. is there any way you can comment on whether or not mr. mccabe told that to anyone? director comey: i can't. but i can agree with your general premise. leaks have always been a problem. i read over the weekend subject from george washington and abraham lincoln complaining about them. i do think in the last six weeks, couple of months, there's been at least apparently a lot of conversation about classified matters that's ending up in the
media. a lot of it is just dead wrong. which is one of the challenges because we don't correct it. but it does strike me there's been a lot of people talking or at least reporters saying people are talking to them in ways that have struck me as unusually active. mr. king: i fully understand the edia as fascination with intrigue, which faction at the white house is trying to out do the other. that's all -- to me that's all legitimate. that goes with the game. but if you're talking about leaking classified information, if you're talking about leaking investigations, you stated today there is an f.b.i. investigation going on. if "the new york times" can be believed, i think it would have to be somebody from the f.b.i. who is telling them about these purported meetings which mr. mccabe said was b.s. with russian intelligence agencies. somebody was familiar with that investigation spoke to the "new york times." i use that as an example. also, one where there is a small
universe, i think january 6 when yourself, admiral rogers, director brennan, and general clapper went to trump tower to meet with president trump. the media reports are that at the end of that meeting, director comey, you presented president-elect trump with a or of the now infamous famous does yay. don't know how many people in the room, but within hours that was leaked to the media, that gave the media the execution or rationale to publish almost the entire dossier. does that violate any law? you were at a classified briefing with the president-elect of the united states and had to be a very, very small universe of people who knew you handed him that dossier and leaked out within hours. are you making any effort to find out who leaked it? do you believe that that constituted a criminal violation? director comey: i can't say, mr. king. except i can answer in general. any unauthorized disclosure of
classified conversations or documents is potentially a violation of the law and a serious, serious problem. i spent most of my career trying to figure out unauthorized disclosures where they came from. it's very, very hard. oftentimes it doesn't come from the people who actually know the secrets. it comes from one cop out, people who heard about it or told about it. and that's the reason so much information reports to be accurate classified information is wrong in the media because people heard about it. didn't hear about it right. but it is an enormous problem whenever you find information that is actually classified in the media. we don't talk about it because we don't want to could be firm it. i do think it should be investigated aggressively and if possible prosecuted so people take as a lesson this is not ok. this behavior can be deterred and it's deterred by locking people up who have engaged in criminal activity. mr. king: obviously admiral rogers was in the room. were there any other people in
the room that could leak that out? this is an unmasking of names you have 20 people in the n.s.a. and people in the f.b.i., this is four people in a room, the president leekt of the united states. i don't know who else was in that room. that was leaked out seemed within minutes or hours of you handing him that dossier. it was so confidential if you read the media reports you actually handed it to him separately. i'm saying it's a small universe of people that would have known about that. it is a disclosure of classified information. if you don't start with investigating leaks. that would be one place where you could start to narrow it down. director comey: i can't comment because i do not ever want to confirm a classified conversation with a president or president-elect. i can tell you my general experience. it often turns out there are more people who know about something that you expected. first both because there may be more people involved in the thing that you realize.
not this particular, but general. more people have been told about it or heard about it or staff briefed on t those echos are my -- on it. those echos are my experience are shared with reporters. mr. king: could you tell us who else was in the room that day? director comey: no. i'm not going to confirm there was such a conversation because i might confirm something that was in the newspaper. mr. king: can you tell us who was in the room? director comey: i'm not confirming there was a conversation. in a classified setting i might share more, but aim not going to confirm any conversations with either president obama or president trump or when president trump was the president leekt. mr. king: can you tell us who was in the room for the briefing ou gave? director comey: my talking about who was in the room. i'm not going to help people who did something that isn't authorized. mr. king: we know the four of you went to trump tower.
director comey: how do we all know that, though? mr. king: you can see the predicament we're in. director comey: i get t but we're duty bound to protect classified information both in the first -- when we get it and then to make sure we don't accidentally jeopardize classified information, but what we say about something that appears in the media. mr. king: if they are listen, i would advise them we'll ask them the same questions next week. mr. chairman, i yield back. chairman nunes: mr. lobiondo is recognized. mr. roib: thank you, mr. chairman -- mr. lobiondo: thank you, mr. chairman. admiral rogers, thank you for your service, thank you for being here. understanding that where both of you have been saying about the classified nature of the investigation, the classified nature of the topics we're talking about, can you give us the ndication of when we
committee in a classified setting know something from you? ould we have ongoing director comey: i can't commit to updates. i have briefed the committee as a whole on aspects. i briefed in great detail the share and ranking. i can't predict or commit to updates. as your work goes on we're in constant touch with you. we'll do the best we k but i can't commit to that as i sit here. mr. lobiondo: as the house intelligence committee and the senate intelligence committee are conducting our bipartisan investigations, and looking wherever it may lead with individuals or circumstances, if you through the f.b.i. investigation come across a circumstance with an individual
or a situation, would we be made aware of that under normal course of business? director comey: not necessarily. but it's possible. mr. lobiondo: ok. can you either director comey or admiral rogers tell us what we are doing or what we should be doing to protect against russian interference in future elections or any meddling with our government, or for that matter, ny state-sponsor iranians, north koreans, chinese with any meddling they may be doing? admiral rogers: first i think a public discussion and acknowledgement of the activity is a good positive first step because it shines a flashlight on this. it illuminates a significant issue we all have to deal with. there's a variety of ongoing efforts both within the
government as well as the private sector in terms how do we harden our defenses. we need to have a discussion about just what, for example, does criticaling infrastructure mean in the 212st crensni i don't think we would have thought of an election infrastructure. we view critical infrastructure as something that generated outsit, aviation, finance. i don't think we traditionally thought about it and the informational dynamic. that's a challenge for us. coming ahead. continued partnership between the elements within the government as well as in the private sector. that's the key to the future to me. mr. lobiondo: just for the record, i also had a whole list of specific questions about individuals and/or circumstances that don't want to be repetitive and have you say i can't comment on them. but i would anticipate when we move to classified session that this committee will be able to explore some of those situations
in a little more depth. i have a couple of other uestions about the russian intervention, but i don't have enough time to get into it right now. you could give me a couple minutes when we get to the next round. -- if you can he describe the elements of the -- russia's activity measures in the campaign in the 2016 election, we have only got 35 seconds, but that's the first thing i want to get into about exactly what they were doing if you can tell us anything about that. admiral rogers: we saw cyberused. we saw the use of external media. we saw the use of disinformation. we saw the use of leaking of information much of which was not altered. we saw several, if you will, common traits we have both seen over time as well as i would argue the difference this time
was that the cyberdimension and the fact that the release of so much information they had extracted via cyber is a primary tool. mr. lobiondo: in this setting can you talk to us at all about what tools they used? admiral rogers: i'm not going to go into the specifics of how they executed the hacks. i apologize. mr. lobiondo: we'll try to get into that in classified. thank you. mr. nunes: the gentleman yields back. mr. schiff is recognized for 15 minutes. mr. schiff: thank you, mr. chairman. just had a couple of follow-up questions. director comey, can you tell me what an fs-86? director comey: it's the standard background clearance form that all of us who are hired by the federal government want to have access to classified information fill out. mr. schiff: would someone who is an incoming national security advisor have to fill out an fs-86? director comey: i think so. mr. schiff: would that sf-86
require that the applicant disclose any payments received from a foreign power? director comey: i think so. the form is the form. i think so. and foreign travel as well. mr. schiff: i make a request through you to the justice department or whatever i.c. component would have compusscusted toy of mr. flynn's fs-86 i make a request that be provided to the committee. i yield now to mr. carson. mr. carson: thank you, ranking member. i'd like to focus my line of question of russia's abuse towards ukraine. in march, 2014, russia illegally annexed the ukrainian territory of crimea, beginning a conflict which has effectively yet to be resolved. admiral rogers, can you please briefly describe as you understand it, sir, how russia took crimea.
admiral rogers: i would argue the insertion of military force. they occupied it. removed it from ukrainian control. mr. carson: we have heard terms like little green men and hybrid warfare. can you please explain how these relate to russia and ukraine? admiral rogers: on the ukraine side what we saw was over time rather than the kind of overt kind of activity, we saw such a degree on the cry tea mea side, what we saw was a much bigger effort on the influence and the attempts to distance russian actions from any potential blowback to the russian state, if you will. thens the use of the little green men. surrogates in military unmarked military uniforms. the flow of information. the provision of resources to support the simple separation of the ukraine.
mr. carson: has russia returned crimea back to ukraine? admiral rogers: no. mr. carson: do they have intentions do? roy -- rip they publicly indicated they will not. mr. carson: why do they care about ukraine? admiral rogers: this is a primary national interest for them in their view. on the immediate periphery of the you shall russian state. mr. carson: am i right, sir, they see it as part of the oader objective to influence and impact and russia's desire for self-determination? admiral rogers: yes. i think that's part of it. mr. carson: the u.s. and rest of the world saw the annexation for what it was. crime. shortly after russia invaded, the united nations essentially declared it a crime in a nonbinding resolution. in our own government, recognizing the seriousness of the event instituted new
sanctions against russia, is that right, sir? admiral rogers: yes, sir. mr. carson: this was a time where much of the world was united. russia invaded another country and illegally annexed its territory. as we all stood shoulder to shoulder with ukraine. one person who didn't see it that way, however, was president donald trump. on july 30, in an interview with abc news, mr. trump said of putin, i quote, he's not going to ukraine, ok. just so you understand. he's not going to ukraine, all right. end quote. admiral, hadn't putin already gone into ukraine two years before and hadn't left? admiral rogers: we're talking about that crimea and influence in the ukraine generally, yes, sir. mr. carson: he still hasn't left, correct, sir? admiral rogers: we're starting to get into technical questions whether the russians are physically in the ukraine, is it surrogates, the crimea is a clean example. they outright invaded with armed
military force and annexed t mr. carson: are they effective still in ukraine? admiral rogers: they are certainly supporting the ongoing effort in ukraine to split that contry. mr. carson: we'll get back to mr. trump. first tell me what would it mean to russia and to putin to have sanctions lifted? miral rogers: clearly easing of economic impact, greater flexibility, more resources. mr. carson: according to nato aalcy, the russian economy shrunk by as much as 3.5% in 2015 and had no growth in 2016. in big part because of bern sanctions. especially those -- of western sanctions. especially those of oil and gas industry. we're talking about a loss of over $135 billion. just in the first year of sanctions. that's a huge sum of money. and sanctions aren't meant to push their economy over a cliff but to put long-term pressure on putin to change his behavior.
putin himself said in 2016 that sanctions are severely harming russia. so we know they have had success in putting pressure on the kremlin. admiral, what would it mean geopolitically? would it help legitimateate russia's illegal land grab? admiral rogers: sir, i'm not in a position to talk broadly about the geopolitical implications. we have stated previously from an intelligence perspective we tried -- we have tried to outline the policymakers the specifics of the russian invasion in crimea. the specific of the continued russian support to separatists in the une crane. the russians' continued attempt to pressure and keep the ukraine week. -- weak. mr. carson: would it help cleave the united states from her allies? admiral rogers: if we remove the sanctions? mr. carson: there's a lot at stake here for russia. this is big money. big strategic implications.
if they can legitimate mate their annexation of crimea, what's next? are we looking at new iron curtain descending across eastern europe? most in our country recognize what is at stake and how the united states as the leader of the free world is the only check on russian expansion. so back to mr. trump and his cohort. at the republican convention in july, paul mannaforth, carter page, and trump himself changed the republican party platform to no longer arm ukraine. so the same month that trump denied putin's role in ukraine, his team weakened the party platform on ukraine. and as we have and will continue to hear, this was the same month that several individuals in the trump orbit held secret meetings with russian officials. some of which may have been on the topic of sanctions against russia or their intervention in
ukraine. this is no coincidence in my opinion. in fact, the dossier written by former mi-6 agent christopher steel allegation that trump agreed to sideline russian intervention in ukraine at a campaign issue with is effectively a priority for putin. there is a lot of the dossier that's yet to be proven, increasingly as we'll hear, allegations are checking out. and this one seems to be as accurate as they come. in fact, there's also one pattern i want to point out before yielding back, mannaforth, fired. page, fired. flynn -- fired. why? they were hired because of their russian connections. they were fired. however, because their connections became public, they were effectively culpable. but they were also the fall guys. so i think after we hear mr.
quigley's line of questioning, we might guess who could be next. mr. chairman -- mr. ranking ember, i yield back. mr. schiff: i yield the balance to representative speier. ms. speier: thank you, ranking member. thank you, gentlemen, for your service to our country. i think it's really important as we sit here that we explain this to the american people in a way that they can understand it. why are we talking about all of this? my first question to each of you is, is russia our adversary? mr. comey? director comey: yes. ms. speier: mr. rogers? admiral rogers: yes. ms. speier: do they intend to do us harm? admiral rogers: they intend to ensure, i believe, they gain advantage at our expense. ms. speier: director comey? director comey: yes. i want to be -- harm can have many meetings. they are an add ver sayry they
want treecies us, oppose us, undermine us in lots of ways. ms. speier: one of the terms we hear often is hybrid warfare. i would like to give a short definition of what it is. it blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare, and cyberwarfare. the aggressor intends to avoid attributions or retribution. would you say that russia engaged in hybrid warfare in its effort to undermine our democratic process and engage gage in our electoral process? director comey. director comey: i don't think i would use the term warfare. you would haven't to have experts. they engaged in a multifaceted campaign of active measures to undermine our democracy and hurt one of the candidates and hope to help one of the others. admiral rogers: i agree with the director.
ms. speier: thank you both. i actually think that their engagement was an act of war. an act of hybrid warfare. that's why the american people should be concerned about it. in terms of trying to understand this, i think of a spider web middle. rantula in the the tarantula in my view is putin who is entrapping many people to do his bidding and to engage with him. and i would include those like roger stone and carter page and michael can puteo and wilbur ross and paul manaforth and rex tillerson. i would like to focus first on rex tillerson in the three minutes i have here. he was the c.e.o. of exxonmobil. in 2008 he said that the likelihood of u.s.-russia
businesses was in fact a poor investment. that russia was a poor investment cly massachusetts that was in 2008. in 2011, he closed a $500 billion deal with an oil company. the c.e.o. of that company is he a confidant of president putin. second most powerful man in russia. and probably a former k.g.b. agent. the deal gives exxon access to the black sea and the cara sea and siberia for oil development. he gets minority interest in exxon in texas and the gulf. rex tillerson calls him a good friend. in 2012 mr. tillerson and him go
on a road show here in the united states to talk about this great deal that they had just consummated. also in 2012, there is a video of president putin and mr. tillerson toasting champagne at the deal. and in 2013 mr. tillerson receives the russian order of friendship. and he sits right next to president putin at the event. my question to you, director comey, is, is it a value to president putin knowing what you know of him and that his interests in doing harm to us, is it of benefit to mr. putin to have rex tillerson as the secretary of state? director comey: i can't answer that question. ms. speier: admiral rogers? admiral rogers: ma'am, i'm not in a position to answer that question.
is speier: in 2014 igor sanctioned and he laments he'll no longer be come to the united states to motorcycle ride with mr. tillerson. could you give me an understanding of what are some of the reasons that we impose sanctions? director comey. director comey: on him? ms. speier: just in general. director comey:, again you have to ask an expert from my general knowledge it's to punish activities that are criminal in nature, that involve war crimes, that involve violations of u.n. resolutions, or united states law in some other way. t's to communicate and enforce foreign policy interests and values of the united states of america. that's my general sense. but an expert might describe it much better. ms. speier: admiral rogers? admiral rogers: i would echo the director's comment. it's also a tool we use to
attempt to drive and shape the choices and actions of others. ms. speier: in the case of igor who was sanctioned by the united states in part to draw attention to the fact that russia had invaded crimea, it's an effort to try and send a very strong message to russia, is that not true? director comey: i think that's right. admiral rogers: yes, ma'am. ms. speier: with that, mr. chairman, i'll yield back for now. mr. schiff: the the gentlewoman from yields back. chairman nunes: i yield 15 minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen. ms. ros-lehtinen: it's never acceptable for any foreign power to interfere with our electoral process this. committee has long been focused on russia's reprehensible conduct, and we will remain focused on the threat emanating from moscow.
i agree with you, director comey, when you say this investigation that is ongoing, we follow the facts wherever they lead on a bipartisan level and there will be no sacred dows. -- cows. there are many important issues at stake as you gentlemen have heard. there is bipartisan agreement on the danger of illegal leaks and our ability to re-authorize important programs upon which our intelligence community relies. but i want to assure the american people that there's also bipartisan agreement on getting to the bottom of russian meddling in our election, which must remain the focus of this investigation and yours. admiral rogers, i agree in what you said that a public acknowledgement of this foreign meddling to be a problem is important as we move forward. and following on congressman
lobiondo's questions and based on this theme, i'd like to ask you gentlemen if you could describe what if anything russia did in this election that, to your knowledge, they did or didn't do, in previous elections . how was -- were their actions different in this election than n previous ones? admiral rogers: i say the biggest difference from my perspective was both the use of cyber, the hacking as a vehicle to physically gain access to information to extract that information, and then to make it widely publicly available without any alteration or change. director comey: the only thing i add is they were unusually loud in their intervention. it's almost as if they didn't care we knew what they were doing or that they wanted us to see what they were doing. it was very noisy. their intrusions in different
institutions. miss rointrante: -- ms. ros-lehtinen: what specifically based on this loudness did the f.b.i. or n.s.a. do to prevent or counter is russian active measure we read about in the intelligence community assessment. as loud as they were, what did we do to counter that? director comey: among other things, we alerted people who had been victims of intrusions to permit them to tighten their systems to see if they couldn't kick the russian actors out. we also as a government supplied information to all the states so they could equip themselves to make sure there was no successful effort to affect the vote. there was none as we said earlier. and then the government as a whole in october called it out. and i believe it was director clapper and then secretary jay johnson issued a statement saying this is what the russians are doing.
ms. ros-lehtinen: the loudness to which you refer. perhaps they were doing these in other elections but not doing it as loudly. why do you think that they did not mind being loud and being found out? director comey: i don't know the answer for sure. i think part, their number one mission is to undermine the credibility of our entire democracy enterprise of this nation. so it might be that they wanted us to help them by telling people what they were doing. their loudness in a way would be counting on us to amplify it by telling the american people what we saw and freaking people out about how the russians might be undermining our elections successfully. that might have been part of their plan. don't know for sure. ms. ros-lehtinen: -- admiral rogers: i agree with director comey. the big difference to me in the past was while there was sishe activity, we never saw in
previous presidential elections information being published in such a massive scale that had been illegally removed both from private individuals as well as organizations associated with the democratic process, both inside government and outside the government. ms. ros-lehtinen: this massive amount and this loudness, now that it's become public knowledge, now that we have, perhaps, satisfied their thirst that it has become such a huge deal, do you expect their interference to be amplified in future u.s. elections? do you see any evidence of that in european elections? or do you think this public acknowledgement would tamper down their volatility? director comey: maybe i'll just say as initial matter, they'll be back. they'll be back in 2020. they may be back in 2018. and one of the lessons they may
draw from this is they were successful, because they introduced chaos and division doubt cord and sewed about the nature of this amazing contry of ours and process. it's possible they are misreading that as it worked. we'll come back and hit them again in 2020. i don't in a moment admiral rogers: i fully expect them to continue this level of activity because i -- our sense is they have come to the conclusion that it generated a positive outcome for them. in the sense that calling into question democratic process, for example, is one element of the strategy. we're working closely. we, our f.b.i., we're working closely with our european allies to assist them to aid themselves, france and germany for example, about to undergo significant national leadership elections over the course of the next two months. ms. ros-lehtinen: in terms of the european elections, what have you seen or any information
that you could share with us about the russian interference. admiral rogers: you see some of the same things we saw in the u.s. in terms of disinformation, fake news, attempts to release of information to embarrass individuals, you're seeing that play out. to some extent in european elections right now. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. chairman. chairman nunes: mr. turner is recognized. mr. turner: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. comey, admiral rogers, thank you for being here today and for your -- what appears to be attempts at being forthcoming with the committee. i also want to thank the chairman and the ranking member schiff. this is a bipartisan effort. i think as you have looked to what this committee is undertaking, everyone wants answers and everyone wants answers to all of the questions being asked because this does go to such an important issue concerning our elections. admiral rogers, i'll begin with
a question to you concerning the foreign intelligence surveillance act. admiral, as you know the foreign service -- foreign intelligence surveillance act provides the circumstances or the authority under which the intelligence community may collect or intercept the communication of a foreign person located outside the united states, as mr. comey has indicated, a person who is covered under a fisa court order. with mr. rooney and mr. gowdy you discussed the minimumization procedures under the foreign intelligence surveillance act. and those procedures are supposed to protect the privacy rights of u.s. citizens. specifically, it's geared toward the communications of those who may be inadvertently or incidentally collected as a result of the intelligence community's lawful collection of communications of others. mr. rogers, is the intelligence community required to cease
collection or the interception of communications if the result of the collection or interception includes the communications of an incoming u.s. administration official, the president-elect, or the president-elect's transition team? admiral rogers: it depends under what authority -- as i said early on. there is a series of questions we go through. criminal associated activity? does the conversation deal about threats to u.s. persons? breaking of the law? so there's no simple yes or no. there is a series -- mr. tunner: is there any provision that requires you to cease collection? that is my question. are you under any circumstances required to cease collection if the collection results in the either inadvertent or incidental collection of an incoming u.s. administration official, the president-elect, or the president-elect's transition team? admiral rogers: purely on the basis of exposure -- want to make sure i understand the question. mr. turner: are you required to cease f you are undertaking a
lawful collection under the act of a person or individual, either because they are a foreign person located outside the united states or the person you are collecting against is a subject of a fisa court order, if incidental to that collection or inadvertently the collection results in the collection of communications of an incoming u.s. administration official, the president leebt, or the president-elect's transition team, are you required under the minimumization procedures to cease collection? admiral rogers: not automatically. mr. turner: the answer is no, correct? the reason why this is important is because intuitively we would all know that incoming administration would have conversations with those that the intelligence community may be collecting againster at by making phone calls to them or receiving phone calls to them. . the minimumization procedures that is used to collect the privacy right of americans do not inherently include a
prohibition of the intelligence community incidentally or inadvertently collecting the communications of an incoming administration? admiral rogers: yes, sir. mr. turner: director comey, are you -- do you know if director clapper was ever briefed then- president obama concerning the possible inadvertent or incidental collection or interception by the u.s. intelligence community of any communication of members of the incoming trump administration? director comey: that's not something i can comment on. mr. turner: and then why not, mr. comey? director comey: it might involve classified information and might involve communication with the president of the united states. both of those grounds i can't answer it here. mr. turner: have you talked about this with president obama -- director comey: i don't remember. it may have with the chair and ranking.
i don't know with the full committee. mr. turner: we have to refresh your memory on those conversations then. mr. comey, did president obama ever acknowledge to you of having been briefed concerning possibly inadvertent or incidental collection or interception by the intelligence community of any communications of members of the incoming trump administration? director comey: i have to give you the same answer, mr. turner. mr. turner: well, mr. comey, the first question related to whether mr. clapper briefed the president of the united states -- and we'll be certainly following up with him. he will be appearing before us next week and we'll be directing the question to him also. r. comey, are you aware of any evidence that general flynn, prior to the inauguration, ever communicated to the russian government, or a russian government official that the trutch administration in the future would release, rescind or reverse u.s. sanctions against russia or ever made any
offer of a quid pro quo for releasing, rescinding or reversing sanctions against russia, are you aware of any evidence? director comey: it's not something i can comment on, mr. turner. mr. turner: why is that? director comey: i am trying not to talk about anything about a u.s. person or that might rule in or rule out things we are investigating. i am trying to be studiously vague here to protect the integrity of the investigation. please don't -- as i said at the beginning, please don't interpret my no comment meaning this or meaning that i just can't comment. mr. turner: mr. comb ear, threw statutes, guidelines and procedures concerning what does it take for the f.b.i. to open up a counterintelligence investigation into a u.s. citizen. it is not subject to discretion. you can't just say, well, let's go look at somebody. you have to have a basis. you have now informed us that you opened a counterintelligence investigation into the trump campaign, members of the trump campaign concerning russia in july of 2006.
we're trying to get a picture of what will take it to tip over an investigation. now, previously people have said there have been individuals who acontinueded a meeting with russian officials -- who attended a meeting with russian officials, a member who is paid to attend a conference, a picture that was taken, traveled to a foreign place. there are many people, both in all of our administrations and sometimes certainly members who left congress who would qualify for that, what is the tipping point? i mean, it can't just be that. don't you need some action or some information besides just attending a meeting, having been paid to attend a conference, a picture was taken, or travel to a country before you are opened for investigation by the f.b.i.? director comey: the standard is, a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe that an american may be acting as an agent of a foreign power. mr. turner: the reason we are
struggling with this, mr. comey, we have the statements of mr. clapper, there is no evidence of conclusion with russia. and he just left the intelligence community. and as you are aware, we now sit, because as you said, admiral rogers, the russians wanted to put a cloud over our system. and mr. comey, by your announcement today, i mean, there is now a cloud that undermines our system. there is a cloud that -- where we're sitting with mr. clapper who was obviously in a very important position to know who stated to us there's no evidence of conclusion and you will not give us evidence or give us any substantive evaluation of it. we now sit with this cloud. it's important. mr. chairman, i have few ditional questions mr. schiff: i recognize representative jackie speier. ms. speier: thank you, mr. schiff. again, let's go back to this tarantula web.
in 2014 lerson started to lobby the united states government, asking them to shift or lift the sanctions. now, in his confirmation hearing he said, as he said, i have never lobbied against sanctions personally, to my knowledge, exxonmobil never lobbied against sanctions. and yet there is lobbying reporting that shows exxonmobil actually paid over $300,000 to lobbyists in 2014, and that mr. tillerson visited the white use five times in 2014 and treasury with secretary lew seven times. is there something disconcerting about a u.s.
c.e.o. attempting to undermine the sanctions imposed by our government against another country for acts that we find to be disadvantageous to the world order, director comey? director comey: that's not a question i can answer for a variety -- i can't be asked that. ms. speier: ok. how about this, then? is it disconcerting to you as he director of the f.b.i. that a u.s. c.e.o. would say publicly that he is very close friends with president putin and has had a 17-year relationship with him? director comey: that's not a question i can answer. ms. speier: would that raise a red flag? director comey: that's not a question i can answer. ms. speier: admiral rogers? admiral rogers: ma'am, lots of
american corporations do business with russia. i have no specifics. i am not knowledgeable on this. i can't comment on it. ms. speier: let me talk about michael can puteo, a p.r. -- caputo, a p.r. professional, conservative radio talk show host. in 1994 he moved to russia and there he was working for the agency for international development. he was fired from that job because he refused to follow a state department position. he then opened a p.r. firm in moscow and married a russian woman. he subsequently divorced her and in 1999 his business failed. roger stone, a mentor to him, urged him to move to florida and open his p.r. firm in miami which is exactly what mr. caputo did. and then in 2000, he worked
improve rom media to putin's image in the united states. prone we know who gas media? do you know, director? director comey: i don't. ms. speier: well, it's an oil company. in 2007 he began consulting the ukrainian parliamentary campaign. there he met his second wife. so i guess my question is what possible reason is there for the trump campaign to hire putin's image consultant? any thoughts on that, director comey? director comey: no thoughts. ms. speier: admiral rogers? admiral rogers: likewise, ma'am. ms. speier: do you know what michael caputo is doing for the trump effort today? admiral rogers: i have no idea. director comey: i won't talk about u.s. persons.
ms. speier: all right. let's move on now to carter page. carter page was the founder of global energies, an investment fund. he has only one partner and that partner is serge, the former executive of a russian, state-owned, gas prom oil company. before that from 2004 to 2007 he worked for merrill lynch in moscow. in march of 2016, then candidate trump referred to carter page as his foreign policy advisor to the "washington post." he was day page said an advisor on russia and energy. but then subsequently candidate trump says he didn't know him. on september 26, he takes a leave of absence from the then page and
publicly supports a relationship with russia, criticizes u.s. sanctions and nato's approach to russia. and says he's divesting his stake in gas prom. he criticizes the u.s. sanctions, praising in an article in global policy and then rebuked the west for focusing on so-called annexation of crimea. in july of 2016, he gives a graduation speech at the new economic school, denies meeting with the prime minister christopher steele, in his dossier, said he met with igor session, offering a 19% interest in brosnef. it becomes the biggest transfer of power to private ownership.
now, carter page is a national to trump.dvisor do you believe that -- why do we -- i guess, again, here's another company that had sanctions imposed upon it. could you, again, clarify why we impose sanctions on companies? director comey: admiral rogers did it better than i. admiral rogers: i apologize, i don't remember the specifics of my answer but i'll stand by my answer. director comey: which was excellent. ms. speier: all right. i think at that point i will yield back, mr. chair. mr. nunes: -- mr. schiff: i now yield to mr. quigley. mr. quigley: gentlemen, thank you for your service. thank you for being here. we talked a little bit about
the russian playbook, extortion, bribery, false news, disinformation. they all sound very familiar, correct? if you talk without thinking about anybody in the united states, just generally the russian playbook and how it's worked in particularly eastern europe and central europe, a lot of it involves trying to influence individuals in that country, correct? admiral rogers: yes. mr. quigley: so what we've talked a little bit today seems to be sort of a black and white notion of whether there was conclusion. colusion. but does someone trying to succeed a collusion. oes it have to involve collusion? director comey: there are
people called co-optees not knowing they are dealing with ealingts agents of a foreign power and think they are doing something for a friend, business associate, not realizing it's for the foreign government. it can happen. it's quite a frequent technique? mr. quigley: does it include things where the actor doesn't necessarily know what they're doing is helping that other government? director comey: kekt exactly. mr. quigley: what are instances, examples what that might include in a generic sense in europe? director comey: oftentimes, a researcher here in the united states may think they're dealing with a peer, researcher in a foreign government and not knowing there that researcher is either knowingly or unwittingly passing information to a foreign adversary of the united states. mr. quigley: and can you explain and elaborate how this sort of problem defining what
collusion, the implicit collusion? director comey: it's not a legal term of art and not what i have used today. we are trying to find coordination between -- mr. quigley: implicit or complicit? director comey: i guess implicit -- i would think of it knowing or unknowing. you can do things to help a foreign nation state, as i said, without realizing you are dealing with. you think you are helping a buddy who is at a university in china and what you are doing is passing information to the chinese government. it's unwitting. explicit is, no, i am sending this stuff to this researcher in china and i'm doing it because i want to help the chinese government and i know he's hooked up with the chinese government. mr. quigley: admiral rogers, can you give us examples what you witnessed in your career? admiral rogers: sometimes u.s. individuals will be approached by other individuals connected
with foreign connections who will misrepresent what -- not a researcher. they will assume an identity. i want you to think i am actually working for a business, exploring a commercial interest, those kinds of things, create a relationship and turns out there is no commercial interest. they are acting as a -- director comey: and romance can be a feature. someone dating someone to create a close relationship and the u.s. government thinks they are in love with this person and vice versa and that person is an agent of a foreign power. classic example. mr. quigley: would you describe t as naive acquiescence. director comey: i don't know what that means. admiral rogers: i don't know what that means. mr. quigley: you are going with it without understanding in your mind, you are being naive with the issue? admiral rogers: i can see that at times. mr. quigley: ok. going on to things that you probably can't comment upon
which is of equal concern. know ll at this point mr. sessions' testimony before the united states senate saying he wasn't one who had this contact with the russians and then there was the amended -- i guess -- testimony in which he acknowledged, i believe, to such testimony. first was in july during the convention and then later in september afterwards. all the while that the issues that we are talking about today, the hacking, the dumping of materials were taking place and certainly someone in the position of senator sessions being aware of this perhaps would have remembered these conversations or might have mentioned, asked the russian ambassador to knock it off. but apparently none of those things happened or at least he didn't remember those happened.
unfortunately, what we're reading now is that there was a third meeting as early as april of last year in washington, .c., a meeting which candidate trump was president and the russian ambassador was president. at some point in time, this goes well beyond an innocent -- under the best of circumstances , oh, i forgot that sort of thing or that doesn't count, when you correct your testimony in front of united states senate, you're still under oath and you are swearing to the american people what you're saying is true. the third time is well beyond that and is quite simply perjury. as we look at this as we go forward, gentlemen, i ask you take that into consideration. this is far more than what we have talked about just in the general sense, did the russians hack or not, and the scope of
this to a concerted effort and plan to lie to the american public about what took place and what the motivations were beyond this process. again, i thank you for your service and i yield back to the anking member. mr. schiff: i yield to mr. swalwell of california. mr. swalwell: thank you, director comey and admiral rogers. director comey, you served time time in a courtroom as a prosecutor. i wonder if you remember the instructions that are read to juries every day, if you think someone lied significantly in this case you should consider not believing anything that would necess? director comey: yep. that's familiar to me. mr. swalwell: your testimony at the very beginning was that president trump's claims that former president obama had wiretapped him is false? director comey: i had said we have no information that supports them. mr. swalwell: thank you. with respect to donald trump, do you remember the other instruction relating to
truthfulness of a witness or defendant, if a defendant makes a false or misleading statement related to the charged crime knowing the statement was false or intending to mislead, that conduct may also show he or she were aware of their guilt? director comey: yep, familiar to me. from my distant past. mr. swalwell: i want to talk about the kremlin playbook and there are a number of ways that a foreign adversary can seek to influence a person. do you agree with that? director comey: yes. mr. swalwell: financial? director comey: yes, that can be one. mr. swalwell: romance, compromise? director comey: correct. mr. swalwell: setting up a compromise? director comey: sure. to execute a compromise. mr. swalwell: how about capturing a compromise, meaning you have surveillance and you stumble upon that and -- director comey: and they use that to try to coerce you, yes, that's part of the playbook.
mr. swalwell: i'll yield back to the chair. mr. schiff: the gentleman's time has expired. we will go back to mr. turner. mr. turner: thank you. i want to go back to the issue of admiral rogers indicated that the goal of the russians is to put a cloud on our system, to undermine our system. and i would think certainly today, mr. comey, with your announcement of an investigation that the russians would be very happy with that as an outcome because the cloud of their actions and activities continues and will continue to undermine until you are finished with whatever your investigation is currently in the scope of. i want to go back to the issue, how does one open an investigation. again, i am a little confused by some of the things that we hear as to the basis of an investigation. now, mr. comey, if an individual attends a meeting with a foreign leader, is that enough to open a counterintelligence investigation?
director comey: without more that somebody met with somebody, no. mr. turner: without more than, if they had their picture taken with a foreign leader, is that enough? director comey: depend upon where they were, who took the picture. mr. turner: assume they are in the foreign country and in that foreign leader's government offices or facilities, if they're having a picture taken with them, is that enough to open a counterintelligence investigation? director comey: it would depend. mr. turner: on what? because i'm saying if it's just a picture. because i can tell you certainly there are lots of people who have had lots of pictures. is it enough that a person has just had their picture taken with a foreign leader at the foreign leader's government official offices or place of residence? director comey: the reason i said it depends, did the person sneak over to the foreign country and meet them clandestinely, was the picture revealed something else about the relationship? it's hard to answer. mr. turner: let's say it's not
clandestine, let's say it's open, the person has attended an event that's gone over to meet with the foreign person, foreign government official and is at their foreign government official facility or their official residence and has a picture taken and has no intention of covertly being present with the foreign person, is that picture enough to open a counterintelligence investigation? director comey: tricky to answer hypotheticals. i think my reaction to that, that doesn't strike me as enough. i know your next question will be deeper into hypos. mr. turner: this is pretty straightforward. what if you're paid to attend a conference in a foreign country and you're paid to attend that conference, not directly by the foreign government, but nonetheless, payment does occur for you to attend a conference? we know president bill clinton attended many such conferences and spoke and received payment.
is receiving payment by attending to speak at a conference -- it's not covert, it's open -- they're intending to speak at a conference, they are paid, is that enough to open a counterintelligence investigation? director comey: i can't say as i sit here. it would depend upon a lot of different things. mr. turner: if you had no other information or evidence other than the fact they attended, is that enough for you, for the f.b.i. to open a counterintelligence investigation of a private u.s. citizen? director comey: i can't answer the hypothetical because it would depend upon a number of other things. mr. turner: i limited it would be to no other things. i would say the only information you had was they attended an event which they paid which was a conference, which was not covert, is that only sufficient information to open an investigation against a private u.s. citizen? director comey: who paid them, did they disclose it, what did they discuss when they were there, who else was sitting with them? there's lots and lots of other
circumstances that make that seemingly easy hypo hard to answer. mr. turner: let's say they traveled to a foreign country and openly traveled, is traveling there enough? director comey: just traveling around the world, no. mr. turner: i am very concerned, mr. comey, about the issue of how an investigation is opened and how we end up at this situation once again where . clapper, director of the national intelligence, when he left there was no evidence of collusion and yet as admiral rogers said, we're sitting now where the russians' goal are being achieved causing a cloud or undermining our election process. so i certainly hope that you take an expeditious look at what you have undertaken because it affects the heart of our democracy.
mr. comey, i have a question, again, concerning classified information. now, i know that if i attend a classified briefing and i receive classified information and i go and tell someone that classified information, if i leak it, i release it, that i've committed a crime. but what if someone goes to a classified briefing, walks out of that briefing and openly lies about the content of that briefing? because it's unclear to me what happens then. it's important because as you know, this committee and certainly both of you gentlemen have handled a lot of classified information and the tly, more recently purported classified information is put out in the press "the washington post,," the new york times" has that information. some ow and i know that of that information is not true.
if they come out and lied about that classified information, have they committed a crime? director comey: it's a really interesting question. i don't think so. if they did was lie to a reporter, that's not against the law. if they've done it -- i don't want to break anybody's hearts with that -- but that's not against the law. it is not -- and the reason i'm hesitating is. i can imagine a circumstance where it's part of some broader conspiracy or something but just that false statement to a reporter is not a crime. mr. turner: and i just want to underscore that for a second because i agree with you. i think it's no crime. and so every reporter out there that has someone standing in front of them saying, oh, i'm taking this great risk of sharing with you u.s. secrets besides them purporting to be a traitor, are committing no crime if they lie to them. so awful these news articles that contain this information that we know is not the case are being done so at damage to the united states without risk of a crime.
and my next aspect of your question to you, mr. comey, is this. what is the obligation of the intelligence community to correct such falsehoods? some of the information we read in "the washington post" and "new york times" is extremely false and incendiary and condemning of people and our whole system. what is it to be that source and say i can't release the classified information but i can tell you it's not that? director comey: it's a great question, mr. turner. there is a whole lot out there that's false. i suppose some of it could be people lying to reporters. more often than not is people who act like they know when they don't know because they are not the people who actually know the secrets. they're one or two hops out and they're passing on things they think they know. there is -- we had not only no obligation to correct that, we can't. because if we start calling reporters and saying, hey, this thing you said about this new
aircraft we've developed, that's inaccurate, actually. it's got two engines. we just can't do that because we'll give information to our adversaries. it's very frustrating. we can't start down that road. if a reporter misreports the contents of a bill that's being debated in congress or a policy, we can call them and say, hey, you ought to read it more carefully. you missed this or missed that. we can't do that with classified information. it's very frustrating because i have read a lot of stuff, especially in the last two months, which is wrong and i can't say which is wrong and to those reporters. mr. turner: mr. comey, if you could help me i would greatly appreciate it. you come into a classified briefing with us and you tell us perhaps what something that is absolutely false, it really shouldn't be classified because you're telling us it's not true. but yet we can't go tell it's not true because you told us in a classified setting. is there a way we can at least have some exchange as to what's
not true so the american people don't listen to false stories in "the washington post" and "new york times" that we all know if that's not true that would be helpful. director comey: i'd love to invent that machine because we can't. where do you stop that on that slope? mr. turner: false is false. director comey: when i don't call "the new york times" you don't got that wrong, bingo, they got that right. it's an enormously complicated endeavor. we have to steer clear of it entirely. mr. turner: one last question. we read in the press that vice president pence publicly denied that general flynn discussed sanctions with russia. i'm assuming you saw those news reports. did the f.b.i. take any action in response to the vice president's statements? director comey: i can't comment on that, mr. turner. mr. turner: mr. comby "the new york times" reported in february that general flynn was interviewed by f.b.i. personnel? director comey: i can't comment on that, mr. turner. mr. turner: mr. comey, i don't have any additional questions
but i thank you both for your participating. for , i thank the chairman this. mr. wenstrup: thank you, gentlemen, for being here. i appreciate your endurance in this effort today. one question. how long has russia and the soviet union being interfering or attempting to interfere with our election process? admiral rogers: in the report we previously talked about we have seen this kind of behavior to some degree attempting to nfluence outcomes for decades. mr. wenstrup: going back to the soviet union? admiral rogers: not to the same levelness but the basic trend is there. mr. wenstrup: i want to know what goes into a counterintelligence investigation. last week i spoke at an event
with the atlantic council. the iraqi ambassador was there. unbeknownst to me. he comes up to me afterwards and introduces and said he'd like to meet with me. this is not theoretical. this is real. will i be in trouble or under investigation if i meet with him? director comey: this is the slope i try to avoid going down with mr. turner, dr. wenstrup. i don't think i should be asking hypotheticals? mr. wenstrup: i'm asking in vens because i want to -- advance because i want to know if i meet with him and be under investigation or not and i don't think that's an unrealistic question. director comey: i get that. the f.b.i. does not give advisory opinions. if you're asking in your particular case, i can't do that. mr. wenstrup: so you'll tell me afterwards? director comey: no, i'll never tell you. mr. wenstrup: well, you might. somebody might. somebody might tell the press, right? and that's where i'm going next. what can i discuss?
what am i allowed to discuss? what triggers the investigation is really what we are trying to get to? in general. maybe not with the iraqi ambassador but what about with the russian ambassador or what are my obligations? do i need to advise someone that i'm meeting with them? do i have to discuss the agenda before i meet with them? just so we're clear. this is really what it's coming down to is a lot about what we're talking about. you know, so i don't think it's unnecessary or ridiculous for me to ask that. so in intelligence reporting if the identity of a u.s. ficials is disseminated, those on an as needed basis or need to know basis, does that lead to a counterintelligence investigation of that individual? in general, if a u.s. official is in this report and it's disseminated, does that lead to an investigation of the individual? director comey: not in general. not as a rule, no.
it would depend upon lots of other circumstances. mr. wenstrup: next, i want to go to the article from february 14 in "the new york times" which we are all familiar and you may not be able to answer any. it cites four current and former officials. do you know the identity of those four officials? director comey: i am not going to comment on an article. mr. wenstrup: ok. well, it's not necessarily on the article but ok. do you know for a fact that the four current and former american officials provided information for this story? director comey: i have to give you the same answer. mr. wenstrup: ok. with or without an investigation going on, has anyone told you they know who leaked the information? or who leaked any information on russian involvement in the u.s. elections or russian involvement with the trump election team? director comey: i am not going to comment on that. mr. wenstrup: is it possible that "the new york times" misrepresented its sourcing for this february 14 article,
possible? director comey: i can't comment on that. mr. wenstrup: is it possible that "the new york times" was misled by individuals claiming to be current or former american officials? director comey: i'll give you the same question, dr. wenstrup. mr. wenstrup: can i ask why you can't comment? director comey: a number of reasons. i am not confirming the information in that article is accurate or inaccurate. because i am not going to get in the business of -- we talked about earlier -- mr. wenstrup: ok. let me ask you this. director comey: there are other reasons. that i'm also not going to confirm whether we're investigating things. so if i start talking about what i know about a particular article i run the risk of stepping on both of those land mines. mr. wenstrup: one more question before the time is up and we'll come back to me. i am curious. is it possible and nothing to do with this article, is it possible that a so-called source to a media outlet may advocate? a russian
nothing to do with this story, per se. just, is it possible that a russian surrogate could actually be the source that a newspaper is relying on? director comey: in general, sure. somebody could always be pretending somebody they're not. mr. wenstrup: thank you. i yield back at this time. mr. nunes: thank you. mr. schiff is recognized for 15 minutes. mr. schiff: just a couple follow-up questions and i'll yield to mr. quigley for something -- director comey: can i ask the estimated time? i am not made of steel so i might take a quick break? mr. nunes: would you like to do that now? i think we want to keep going until members ask their questions. director comey: just a quick rest stop. mr. nunes: we'll break for about 10 minutes.
>> house intelligence committee hearing on russian tampering in the november elections taking a brief break, about a 10-minute break. it will be the first one of the hearing. we will continue with testimony from f.b.i. director james comey and n.s.a. director admiral mike rogers when they return in just a couple moments. by the way, if you missed any of the hearing, it started this morning at 10:00. we will reair in its entirety tonight starting at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. also, you can go to our website to watch it, go to c-span.org and type in the house intelligence committee in the search bar. there are a couple of tweets from president trump's official accounts. this tweet, f.b.i. director comey refusing to deny he briefed president obama on calls made by michael flynn to russia. also this, n.s.a. director ogers tells congress unmasking
>> once again, we're live on capitol hill as we're hearing from f.b.i. director james comey and n.s.a. director admiral mike rogers. this hearing looking into russian interference in the november elections. short break here, but they will be back in just a couple of moments. we'll have live coverage here on c-span. while we wait, here's a look at some of the testimony from earlier today from f.b.i. director comey. director comey: i have been authorized by the department of justice to confirm that the f.b.i., 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. because it is an open ongoing investigation and is classified, i cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining. at the request of congressional leaders, we have taken the extraordinary step in coordination with the department of justice of briefing this congress' leaders, including the leaders of this committee in a classified setting in detail about the investigation. but i can't go into those details here. i know that is extremely frustrating to some folks, but it is the way it has to be. with respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed to him by the prior administration, i have no information that supports those tweets.
and we have looked carefully inside the f.b.i. the department of justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the department of justice and all its components. the department has no information that supports those weets. >> the president accused mr. obama and presumably the f.b.i. of engaging in mccarthyism. as you understand the term mccarthyism, do you think president obama or the f.b.i. was engaged in such conduct? director comey: i am not going to try and characterize the tweets themselves. all i can tell you is we have no information that supports them. mr. schiff: were you engaged in mccarthyism, director comey? director comey: i try to not engage in any isms whatsoever, including mccarthyism. mr. schiff: the president's second stated quote, do you think -- turned down by a court earlier, a new low, unquote.
director comey, can you answer the president's question, would it be legal for president obama to have ordered a wiretap of donald trump? director comey: i am not going to characterize or respond to the tweets themselves. i can tell you in general, as admiral rogers and i were just saying, there is a statuary framework in the united states under which courts grant permission for electronic surveillance, either in a criminal case or national security case. based on a showing of probable cause, carefully overseen. it's a rigorous, rigorous process that involves all three branches of government and it's one we've lived with since the late 1970's. that's how it works. mr. schiff: so no individual in the united states can direct electronic surveillance of anyone. it has to go through an application process. director comey: ask a judge. the judge can then make the order. mr. schiff: so president obama could not unilaterally order a wiretap of anyone? director comey: no president could.
>> that testimony from earlier today during this hearing, and we will continue with live coverage shortly. we should also let you know that the u.s. house will be gaveling in for legislative debate beginning at 2k p.m. members expected to consider 11 small bills, mostly dealing with the department of homeland security. also, the house rules committee will be preparing the republicans' health care law replacement bill on wednesday. debate and votes on that expected on thursday. live coverage of the house, of course, right here on c-span. we should also let you know that happening right now on our companion network c-span2, it's the first day of the hearings for president trump's nominee to the supreme court, judge neil gorsuch. that hearing began at 11:00 this morning. again, live coverage right now on c-span2.
mr. nunes: call the hearing back into order after a brief recess. want to get on with questions. i am going to yield 15 minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. schiff. mr. schiff: director comey, just a couple follow-up questions before i pass it to mr. quigley to put something in the record. you have been asked a number of questions, is it enough to open an investigation if someone travels or enough because they have their photograph taken or enough they attend a conference. i imagine you get so many leads , so many people writing to you with information that they're convinced shows a crime that if
you investigated everything everybody sends you would be squandering your investigative resources in a way you can't afford to do. my understanding, and correct me if i'm wrong, in order for you to open an investigation, you need to see credible information or evidence that someone has either committed a federal crime or become an agent of a foreign power, is that an accurate understanding? director comey: that's a fair statement. as you said, mr. schiff, we have to also choose which we get a lot of referrals, which ones align with the threats that the f.b.i. is trying to prioritize because we have limited resources. schiff she exactly so. even when those criteria are met, that enough -- in and of itself may not be enough because you have so many other cases you need to investigate and you have to prioritize? director comey: correct. mr. schiff: i also want to ask you. you mentioned it wouldn't be appropriate for you to be telling reporters that stories
they are writing are accurate or inaccurate when they may involve an investigation. that's not an appropriate thing for you to do. director comey: correct. especially if the story involves classified information. mr. schiff: and that's because you would be disclosing classified information potentially in what you're confirming or by rebutting a story that was inaccurate, you may be suggesting other stories contain classified information are then accurate? director comey: correct. mr. schiff: now, it's inappropriate for you to be batting down inaccurate stories. would you also agree it's -- if it's inappropriate for you to be batting down inaccurate stories, would you also agree it's inappropriate for the white house to be asking the f.b.i. to be rebutting stories they don't like? director comey: that's one i don't want to answer, mr. schiff, because i don't want to talk about communications within the executive branch. i can speak for the f.b.i. that's not something the f.b.i. can or should do.
mr. schiff: and if you were appearing before the senate for confirmation and they asked me as director of the f.b.i. if you were asked by the white house to refute or acknowledge press stories they liked or didn't like, what would you tell the senate in your confirmation hearing? would that be appropriate for your office? director comey: i would figure out what was the right thing for the f.b.i. to do and then do that thing. mr. schiff: and that right thing would be not in the business of confirming or denying stories about classified information? director comey: correct. that's the right thing for the f.b.i. mr. schiff: let me recognize mr. quigley for purposes of entering something in the record. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. ranking member. i remind one said, under a free and restrained press can expose deception in government. i respectfully ask to enter a march 8 article entitled "jeff sessions likely met russian ambassador a third time." mr. schiff: i now yield to mr. swalwell. swal wahle thank you to our ranking member and thank you to our director and admiral
rogers. director, would you agree that the f.b.i. when considering a counterintelligence investigation views contacts between u.s. persons and, say, russia differently than it would view contacts u.s. persons between france and germans? director comey: yes, correct. mr. swalwell: to land on russia's radar on someone they might recruit, would you agree being a business person a prominent business person something that would be attractive to them? director comey: could be. might depend what industry you are in. mr. swalwell: could also being a politician something that is attractive to them? director comey: sure. mr. swalwell: how about somebody that does business with russians, would that be attractive to them? director comey: could be. depend upon other things as well. mr. swalwell: and we were starting to discuss this. efforts to recruit include investing in a u.s. person, is that correct? director comey: efforts by
russia in their trade craft, that can be one of the ways which they cultivate a relationship, sure. mr. swalwell: if you are a u.s. person with a business, investing in your business or being a partner in some of your endeavors? director comey: lots of different ways someone could try establish a relationship. mr. swalwell: going back to compromise, could we assume any prominent u.s. person traveling to russia would probably be covered by russian surveillance? director comey: depends on how you define prominent. they have an extensive surveillance of foreign visitors because no matter who you are you ought to assume it. whether it's true in reality it's hard to answer. admiral rogers: i agree. mr. swalwell: and russia is attempting to recruit and persuade individuals we discussed before just as foreign adversaries are, because they want to get something out of them, right? director comey: right. mr. swalwell: if that person is
ever in position of power, they could be in a position to influence policy in the united states? director comey: to influence policy or supply them with information that's useful to them, maybe other purposes. mr. swalwell: now, with respect to your counterintelligence investigations, would it be important for you if you were concerned that a u.s. person had financial entanglements with a foreign adversary to see that person's tax returns? director comey: that's a hypothetical. i really want to avoid answering but the answer is it would depend, really. it would depend on a whole lot of circumstances. mr. swalwell: that would be one of the pieces of evidence you would consider looking at? director comey: maybe. maybe. you might be able to get the picture you need from other financial records that are more readily available. mr. swalwell: you are aware, director, president trump has refused breaking with tradition of the past 40 years to show the american people his tax returns? director comey: it's not
something i want to comment on. i am aware of it from the media. mr. swalwell: now, russia also in their efforts to recruit individuals and develop individuals preying on or following someone's financial distress is also an avenue they may pursue, is that right? director comey: potentially if it offers an avenue for leverage on someone. mr. swalwell: director, would you consider six bankruptcies that an individual may have as being a point of leverage? director comey: i can't say. i don't know. mr. swalwell: and director, you are aware that president trump has had six prior bankruptcies? director comey: it's not something i am going to comment on. mr. swalwell: and director, when your agents are conducting a counterintelligence investigation with respect to a foreign adversaries and their efforts to recruit or cooperate with a u.s. person, would you look at the u.s. person's travel to that country? director comey: as part of evaluating whether there is an
elicit relationship, yes, sure. mr. swalwell: and are you familiar that president trump has traveled at least three times to russia? director comey: that's not something i am going to comment on. mr. swalwell: are you aware his son, donald trump jr., has traveled at least six times to russia? director comey: same answer. swal wahle donald trump has said a -- mr. swalwell: donald trump has said a number of times he has nothing to do with russia. and i want to ask you, director, if you're familiar with deutsche bank and its $300 million loan to donald trump and his organization? director comey: it's not something i am going to comment on. wahle swal director, are you a-- mr. swalwell: director, are you aware that deutsche banked has been fined by new york state for failing to stop the corrupt transfer for $10 million out of russia? director comey: i think generally from press accounts. mr. swalwell: so an individual's association with a bank that has had dealings with russian money laundering, that would be something that would be a red flag for a
counterintelligence investigation, i would assume? director comey: that's a hypo i don't want to answer. mr. swalwell: director, would a u.s. business person who is associated with a foreign adversary having tenants in their office building that do business with that foreign adversary, would that be a red flag that a counterintelligence agent look at? director comey: i can't answer that. mr. swalwell: are you aware in trump tower where two tenantseses -- tenants who ran a high stakes illegal gambling ring that was run out of trump tower? director comey: same answer. mr. swalwell: are you aware of the prosecutor? director comey: same answer. mr. swalwell: are you aware that u.s. attorney was recently fired? director comey: yes. mr. swalwell: by the president of the united states? director comey: i don't know who fired him. i know from press accounts that he was asked to leave. >> we will leave this hearing now for live coverage of the house for legislative work.
the hearing itself will continue live on c-span3 and online at c-span.org. the house coming in for the start of debate on a number of homeland security related measures. live coverage of the house. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. eternal god we thank you for giving us another day. send your spirit upon the members of this people's house to encourage them in their official tasks. as the members approach the votes they are making in the days to come, may they be imbued with courage and leadership that looks to the health and vie brancy of our great nation. assure them that that the fulfillment of their responsibilities, you provide the grace to enable them to be faithful in their duties and the
wisdom to be conscious of their obligations and fulfill them with integrity. may we be faithful stewards not only of your creation but also your desire that all people would be free from whatever inhibits them to be fully alive. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson. mr. wilson: everyone, including our guests in the gallery, are invited to participate. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today with the sad -- with a saddened heart for my friend and comrade sergeant shaun t. anderson, a veteran and highly decorated police officer, who was shot as he saturday evening attempted to arrest a rape suspect. sergeant anderson died as he lived, in honorable service. the people of his state,
louisiana, and his city, baton rouge, wearing the uniform of my sid de and friend, sheriff gotroau. mr. speaker, there are 435 members of this esteemed body. we wear a small badge upon our lapel to acknowledge our service to the citizens of the country we love. mr. higgins: one million of us across the country wear another badge resembling this one, various shapes and colors. we are the thin blue line. en we lose a brethren or sistren, we place a mourning band upon our badge.
over the course of the last decade, it's been difficult to remove my mourning badge because we wear them for seven days. never quite self able to get the mourning band removed from the badge that i ear. my soul and my heart delivers unto my lips constant prayer for he family of my brother, sergeant anderson, for his fellow deputies, his community, nd indeed, for our nation.
.ur job begins with an oath that oath is not an oath of allegiance to a sheriff or a chief or a marshal. it's an oath of allegiance to the constitutional principles that our badges represent. his last nderson gave life's blood in service of all of us. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. higgins: i thank you, mr. speaker, for allowing me to honor my fallen comrade and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina eek recognition? without objection. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, on february 12, a historic change of command ceremony was held for
the national guard 51st police battalion, lexington high school math teacher major erica perry became the first female commander of this battalion. major perry comes from a military family with both her father and grandfather servings in the united states military. she was commissioned as a military police officer in 2001 and became a platoon leader in the 133rd police company in 2003, being deployed to iraq. a recent article detailed, quote, during her years in the national guard, perry served in iraq and afghanistan and on the home front during times of crisis like hurricane matthew. she appreciated the l.h.s. administration's support of her military career through her 19 years at the school. congratulations to the university of south carolina men's and women's basketball teams on their victories last night. securing their place in the
ncaa's sweet 16 as one of the few universities to have teams in both tournaments simultaneously. go gamecocks. god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: mr. speaker, incorrigible little kim and his minions are rattling their sabers once again. while u.s. south korean military exercises were under way, north korea launched four land-based missiles. they traveled over 600 miles. north korean army bases are purposely positioned to strike u.s. bases in japan and south korea. it's time to put an end to north korea's mischief making. the u.s. is hope -- the u.s.'s
hopeless appeasement policy with north korea has not worked. in 2008 the administration removed the warmonger from the state sponsor of terrorism list with little kim's promise to stop their nuclear weapons program. well, guess what. kim jong un lied. we must return north korea to where it belongs, the state sponsors of terrorism list. senator cruz and i have filed legislation to do just that. real sanctions and blocking financial transactions are necessary. the united states cannot underestimate the war prone lunacy of kim jong un. he needs a clear message from america to leave us alone and leave our allies alone. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, congressman judge poe. for what purpose does the congressman from nebraska stand? without objection.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in recognition of national agriculture week and the farmers and ranchers who have made nebraska's third district the top producing agriculture district in the country. one in four nebraska jobs is tied to agriculture. the hard work and innovative practice it is of our producers have made our state a leader in feeding the world. mr. smith: for too long the heavy hand of the federal government has threatened agriculture's future. thankfully we have seen important victories under the trump administration including the beginning of the end for the e.p.a.'s dangerous watts of the u.s. role or wotu. nebraska's farmers and ranchers are committed stewards of our natural resources and take many steps to keep our water resources clean. president trump ordered a reset on wotus, agreeing farmers and ranchers deserve better than having washington bureaucratting controlling water puddles and irrigation ditches on their land. as founder and co-chairman of
robust whistleblower provisions we educate our folks on, part of the whistleblower track is they can bring information to the appropriate committee and congress. >> are both of your agencies capable of handling accusations such as that that may be brought to your attention? > yes. >> knowing that, i find it hard to justify any classified information that is leaked. i 40e7 you find those guys and i hope you crack them on the head. as a former air force guy, i think those guys are arrogant and i think they're cowards. they won't stand up and make their case, they won't use the legal process. they hide behind some "new york times" reporter and without showing who they are or actually showing the information they have, they make these accusations and leak this information and i say i hope you find out who they are and hold them accountable and we should. for one thing, to disincentivize
it from happening again because it happens far too often. i know you both agree with me on that. i'd like to shift quickly if i could to the integrity of the report which the previous d.n.i., when he determined along with your acquiescence, i might add, both of you that russia developed a clear preference for mr. trump. this is a huge deal. i mean, think about the story, the american people have been told and some believe that our president was elected maybe because of the influence of the foreign government. and i love you guys you know that i defend you. we respect what you do. but i do need to make this point they feel intelligence community is not perfect, is it? >> not perfect? >> yes. >> certainly not. i can speak for me, i mean , he might be perfect? mr. stewart: i'll allow you to nswer the same question. >> i am not perfect. mr. stewart: that's not a
criticism, it's just human, we make mistakes, even agencies make mistakes, including meaningful mistakes, mistakes with clear implication for policy. as has been indicated, there's a difference in level of confidence. mr. comey, off higher degree of confidence in this report, than you do, mr. rogers? mr. rogers spst different level of confidence on one specific judgment but a concurrence overall in that judgment. mr. stewart: but that one judgment is a very important part of the report. in fact, to make the last point, this is an important point, i think. that is the difficulty of determining motive. i mean, we can go back, we can look at fact well, can look at what happened, we can often determine who did it. who they did it with. when they did it. but to determine motive, you've got to crawl inside someone's head. and that's much, much more difficult. in fact, quoting from the preamble in this report, talking about a leader's intentions, it
says this objective is difficult to achieve when seeking to understand complex issues in which foreign actors go to extraordinary lengths to hide and obfuscate their activities. once again, we're trying to determine motive, which is very different, very difficult. do you agree with that, determining motive is one of the most difficult challenges when it comes to an intelligenceagecy sis? >> i do, mr. stewart. i should emphasize that mr. rogers said earlier, we made no judgment on whether the russians were successful in any way influencing the lech. that's not in the report, we didn't opine on it. mr. stewart: i understand that. but we're looking at russian activities and making a conclusion of why they did that. in this case, that they preferred one can dat over the other. i was in moscow last august. came home and did some media interviews and and talked to some folks and said, they're going to mess with our elections. that wasn't based on intelligence analysis or any
information, it was just based on history. i was always asked, who do they want to win? i said then, i don't think they care. i don't believe they could determine who would win and as we saiding they just want to break down the foundation. they want to break the trust in our institutions. they want to take away that faith we have in our electoral process. by the way this intelligence community agreed with us. with me on that analysis. for a long, long time. up until december. and then suddenly they didn't. that was when the president asked for this report and he asked for it cob concluded very quickly and then the analysis changed entirely. and it went from no, no, no, they don't really care, to, no, no, they want mr. trump to win. i think there's another plausible explanation which is what i want to talk about in the few minutes i have remaining. let me begin by asking you, do you think the russians expected secretary clinton to win the election? >> yes, as of august, certainly,
august, september. mr. stewart: mr. roggers? >> yes. mr. stewart: mr. comey, you indicated as of august, september. do you believe they ever came to a conclusion that, you know what, mr. trump is going to win? mr. comey: no, the assessment of the intelligence community is early on they thought he might have a shot. they wanted to mess with our election, hurt our country in general they hated her, secretary clinton, wanted to harm her, thought they might have a chance to help mr. trump and then later concluded that mr. trump was hopeless and they would focus then on just trying to undermine secretary clinton, especially with the european allies. mr. stewart: so up until summer, through the fall, they believed secretary clinton would win? mr. comey: i think the assessment was, late in the summer, based on the polling a lot of people were reading, mr. trump didn't have a chance and they shifted to focusing on
trying to undermine her. mr. stewart: if you were to tell me, and i know you didn't, but if anyone told me they concluded mr. trump was going to win, i'd say they were nuts. every media organization, every political organization, every government organization, last fall, thought secretary clinton would be the next president of the united states. mr. comey: i think the russians agreed. mr. stewart: absolutely. this is the point, it's such a fine line, but how can you know for certain if the russians were motivated by hurting the person they thought , in fact, fully expected, was going to be the next president of the united states and comparing that with the motive that's kind of a hail mary pass, maybe this guy has a shot, let's try to help him get elected. those motives would be, and that's again coming back, my original point. determining motives is very difficult. you have to either have very direct information or you have to be able to get inside
someone's head and figure out what is driving them. knowing the russians expected secretary clinton to win, would you see that some of those things they have done would be consistent with undermining her presidency, not necessarily because they thought mr. trump was going to win and wanted to help him? mr. comey: i think it's two closely related sifeds the same coin. to put it in a metaphor, i hate the new england patriots and no matter who they play, i'd like them to lose, so i'm at the same time rooting against the patriots and hoping their opponent beats them because there's only two teamsen the field but with the -- what the intelligence community concluded was early on the hatred for ms. clinton was all the aalong. when mr. trump became nominee, there was a sense of, it would be great if he could win, but we have to hurt her. then it shifted to, he has no chance, let's foe couns hurting her. >> i acknowledge the challenge at times about trying to
understand intent. but the level of -- we're not going to go into specifics, but the level of source, the multiple sources we had, which were able to independently corroborate the judgment, there's a reason we were high confidence in everything except one issue, to include the intent. mr. stewart: i understand. i spent some time out at c.i.a. last week, went with the staff as best we could to the 2,000-something pages and not many people did. so. people are casting, you know, aspersions and not making effort to go out there and actually look at that. but i'm telling you, having done that i think a reasonable person could say what i've said here today. that there is another element to this. this that there is another, as you said, mr. comey, another side of the coin. this is a very, very difficult, in my opinion, thing to say with high levels of confidence which is why once again the intelligence community isn't
perfect sometimes. and we do make mistakes. mr. chairman, i yield back, i'd like to come back for just a few minutes if we could after. >> the gentleman yields back. >> just a couple of questions. director, you were asked about director clapper's comments, i think your response indicated that they were correct as far as the unclassified intelligence assessment goes. mr. comey: i understood the question to be about the report itself. >> the unclassified intelligence assessment doesn't discuss the issue of u.s. person coordination with the russians. i assume that's because at the time of the report in january of this year, that was under an investigation that you have now disclosed is that right? mr. comey: that's correct. the counterintelligence investigation was the investigation. there's nothing in the report about coordination or anything
like that. it's a separate responsibility of the f.b.i. to try and understand that, investigate it and assess it. >> so we shouldn't read mr. clapper's comments as suggesting that he takes a different view of whether you had sufficient -- sufficiently credible information and evidence to initiate an f.b.i. counterintelligence investigation? >> i don't know exactly what he meant. all i can say is what the fact is which we just laid out. there's the report, then there's our investigation. >> and the report doesn't cover the investigation. >> correct. >> mr. himes. mr. himes: thank you, mr. schiff. in my original questions to you, i asked you whether the intelligence community had undertaken any sort of study to determine whether russian interference had had any influence on the electoral process. i think you told me the answer was no. mr. comey: correct. >> we said the u.s. intelligence community doesn't do reporting on u.s. political process or u.s. public opinion.
mr. himes: thanks to the modern technology in front of me, i've got a tweet from the president that says, nmple s.a. and f.b.i. tell congress russia did not influence the process. that's not correct? >> i haven't been following twitter while i'm sitting here. mr. himes: it says, the n.s.a. and f.b.i. say they did not influence. the tweet has gone out to 16.1 million, the tweet, the n.s.a. and f.b.i. tell congress russia did not influence the electoral process is that accurate? mr. comey: let me tell you what we understand, what we said is, we've offered no opinion have no view, no information on potential impact because it's never something we looked at. mr. himes: it's not too far of a logical leap to conclude that
the assertion that you have told the congress that there was no influence on the electoral process is not quite right. mr. comey: it wasn't our intention to say that today. we don't have any information on that subject. that's sm not something that was looked at. mr. himes: admiral rogers, before i yield back, there's another tweet that says n.s.a. director rogers tells congress unmasking individuals endangers national security. my understanding was as a member of the committee that there is a lengthy and pesk process for the unmasking but that it does not inherently in and of itself -- >> the comment is designed to address the leaking of such information but again i have not read what you're saying to me so i'm not in a position to comment on it. mr. himes: thank you. i yield back to the ranking member. >> mr. castro. mr. castro: thank you. thank you, gentlemen, for your service to the nation and for your testimony today. i want to turn to the christopher steele dossier, first mentioned in the media
just before the election and published in full by media outlets in january. my focus today is to explore how many claims within the dossier are looking more and more likely as though they were accurate. first let me ask you, can you describe who christopher steele is? mr. comey: not going to comment on that. >> are you investigating the claims made in the dossier. >> not going to comment on that mr. castro: the reputation of the officer as a former britter intelligence officer is important. this is not someone who doesn't know how to run a source and not someone without contacts. the allegations it raises about president trump's campaign aids, kecks to russians, when overlaid with known established facts and timelines are very revealing. so let's begin. in general, as my colleagues have discussed before, is it true that a large number of oligarches and wealthy businessmen in russia have profited from their continuing
close relationships or ooperation with the kremlin? >> could you say that one more time sir? >> have oligarches and wealthy folks profited from connection to the kremlin? >> yes. mr. castro: and there are no free lunches in russia, if you get wealthy under putin it's because you support putin and support him. >> i would assume there's some advantage but the level depends. mr. castro: putin never just trust he verifies. as a former k.b. fwrlt -- k.g.b. man he wants to keep co-tabs on the wealthiest citizens, especially those who could pose a challenge to him. >> i assume he maintains knowledge of the centers of influence in risch.
mr. castro: is it likely the kremlin would accept or trade favors, intelligence, from foreign figures about russian oligarchs or wealthy businessmen living abroad? >> is it possible, yes, but again it depends on the particulars of the situation. i don't know that i ewould make a flat statement. mr. castro: but it's a possibility. >> it's a possibility. mr. castro: the dossier seems right on these points. a quid pro quo relationship seems to exist between the trump campaign and putin's russia. a july 25 entry says they were receiving information about russian oligarches and their families in the united states. one entry states, trump and his circle have accepted regular flow of intelligence from the kremlin, including on his democratic and other political rivals, unquote. which is something for something. a july 30 entry likewise states that, quote a source close to trump campaign confirms regular
exchange with the kremlin has existed for at least eight years, including intelligence being fed back to russia on oligarches' activities in the united states. is it generally true that moscow actively seek and supports whether through the kohl goorks undeclared intelligence officers sympathetic officers abroad whether through political back or a combination of the two? >> generally, this is a tactic, generally it's a tactic we have seen over time but again, i would caution us, we're talking about very specific cases, theoretically here and i'm not prepared to get into any specifics. >> i know that my colleagues touched upon this i think it's important in the context of christopher steele's dossier to bring it up again. so my question is, is it likely or plausible that the russians might seek out americans for
moscow's purposes? >> it is one of the focuses of our counterintelligence mission to understand the ways in which they try to do that. that's at the corps of their intelligence gathering, to try to co-opt, recruit americans to give them information. >> so the dossier states in an entry dated august 10, 2016 that a kremlin official involved in u.s. relations, unquote, suggest that moscow might offer assistance to, quote, sympathetic u.s. actors. does this sound like a plausible tactic out of the russian playbook? >> not going to comment on that, mr. castro. >> ok. let's get even more specific. among the u.s. actors this kremlin official mentioned carter page and michael flynn, whom my colleagues have already discussed at length and which the dossier describes as, quote, examples of successes by the kremlin official. we know carter page went to moscow on july 7 to give a speech to the new economic school. we're in possession of a slide deck from his speech there and
we know carter page obtained approval from trump campaign luan douse e time key, citing campaign official j.d. gordon. let me ask you another question with respect to somebody else. is it correct that the president of russia is a former member of russian intelligence and of ime aide and confidant putin. >> not going to answer that, mr. castro. mr. castro: the dossier states that during page's visit to moscow he met with the president offering, quote, page and trump's associate the brokerage of up to 19% stake in rusnet, with page confirming that if trump were elected u.s. president sanctions on russia would be lifted and although fortunately the white house hasn't been so naive as to unilaterally lift sanctions on russia, it was widely reported that on january 27 of this year,
ruznev sold a 19.5% stake in ruznev in what reuters called one of its biggest privatizations since the 1990's. furthermore, reuters reported, quote, public records showed the ownership of the state includes a cayman islands company whose beneficial owners cannot be traced. what a coincidence. is this the subject of your investigation? one of the subjects of your investigation? >> same answer. mr. castro: ok. >> meaning i'm not going to comment. mr. castro: i understand. let's move to wiki leaks for a moment who played such a prominent role in the 2016 election. as has been established before and reestablished at this hearing, wikileaks was an unwitting pawn and at maximum, a co-conspirator in publishing stolen d.n.c. and democratic official's emails. do you agree this was done in order to offer moscow some
measure of separation as to mask its hand in having hacked and stole then data in the first place but be so it could still have it publicly posted to inflict damage on the clinton campaign? >> edge that's fair. >> yes. mr. cast low: an entry from july 19, 2016, in the dossier states that a trump associate knew that the kremlin was using wikileaks in order to maintain, quote, plausibility deniability of its involvement. three days after this entry, wikileaks carries out the kremlin's wishes and publishes upwards of 20,000 stolen d.n.c. emails and 8,000 associated email attachments. and the rest, as they say is history. another entry dated august 17 has carter page and a russian associate discussing wikileaks, publishing emails in order to swing supporters away from clinton, to trump. again, from a september 14 entry
of the dossier, quote, kremlin has fourth compromising material on clinton in form of emails and considers disseminating after parliamentary elections in late september. on october 7, wikileaks publishes john podesta's hacked emails. so the coincidences keep piling up. let's turn in the few minutes i have remaining again to paul manafort, as a followup to mr. himes' questioning. paul manafort was a major part of the trump campaign, including serving as chairman, strategist before departing in disgrace in august of 2016. it's also established the fact that paul manafort was a longtime official advisor to pro-russian ukrainian leadership. is he a subject in your investigation. >> not going to comment on that. >> all right. mr. castro: can you describe to
he american people the russian concept -- >> it's a technique they use to gather information on people that may be embarrassing and use it to coerce cooperation. mr. castro: have you known instances where that has been successfully leverage? >> yes, i believe our counterintelligence division has encountered it a number of times? mr. castro: does that include places like hotels that are wired for video? >> i don't remember enough about particulars to say but in theory, sure. mr. castro: thank you, i yield ack. mr. schiff: i recognize mr. eck. mr. heck: admiral rogers, before i get into my main body of my remarks i want to go back to your earlier comment about that there is no evidence to indicate that there was a successful
russian hacking of voter results or tabulations. what i did not hear you say is whether or not there had been any attempts to hack into lection systems of any kind. >> i can answer that because the f.b.i.'s responsibility is in the united states. we saw no indication of that we w efforts to penetrate voter registration databases but no efforts aim at the vote itself. mr. heck: but you did so efforts to penetrate registration rolls? >> correct. mr. heck: did you see any other attempts, it's a highly decentralized system and as a consequence, then secretary of homeland security jay johnson indicated that election systems should be -- should become part
of our system for security. >> their efforts were aimed at voter registration systems in different states, sometimes there's a private vendor, sometimes it's state but that's where it was focused, not on the vote itself, vote machines, vote tabulation, vote transmission, that we've seen. mr. heck: thank you. i yield back to the ranking member. mr. shitch: time has expired. let me go to mr. turner. mr. turner: there have been a lot of statements made up here as opposed to questions. we don't certainly feel the need to clarify all of them but there is one aspect that does need to be clarified, because it's also involved both of your testimonies. there's been discussion up here concerning the statement -- statements by james clapper and rather than do the conjecture as has been made, i'm going to read it. chuck todd said, let me ask you this, does intelligence exist that can definitively answer the following question, whether there were improper contact
tweens the trump campaign and russian officials? james clapper said, we do not include any evidence in our report. i say our, that's n.s.a., f.b.i., an c.i.a., with my office and the director of national intelligence, that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the trump campaign and the russians. there was no evidence of that included in our report. chuck todd followed up, i understand that. but does it exist? james clapper answered, not to my knowledge. so the text is not merely related to the report. i yield back. mr. schiff: mr. croft is recognized. mr. croft: thank you for being here today. start with director comey. despite your express dis-- expressed disdain for the new england patriots, i think that tom brady would probably like to express his gratitude for the f.b.i.'s assistance in recovering his stolen super bowl
jersey, so i'll do that on his behalf new. >> if i'm honest with myself, the reason i don't like the patriots, they represent sustained excellence and as a giants fan, that drives me crazy. >> director comey, are you familiar with an article, july 18, 2016, from "the washington post" entitled trump campaign guts g.o.p.'s anti-russia stance on ukraine? >> i'm not familiar with that, i don't remember it. >> i ask unanimous consent to add this to the record. just for your edification, there's an allegation that at a national security platform, they -- trump staffers wrote an amendment to an amendment that tripped calling for defensive weapons and replaced it with language -- softer language, calling for appropriate assistance. are you familiar with a story in the washington examine every
titled how pundits got key parts of the trump russia story all wrong. are you familiar with that? >> i don't think i am. >> i ask unanimous consent to put that in the record and i'll go to some of the meat of the story. are you aware of an allegation the rump staffers gutted platform? are you awear of -- >> i'm willing to comment on whether i've seen different things in the media, i don't want to talk about anything yopped that. >> safe to say you're not awea of the final platform contained all the original platform plus amendment. >> i don't want to comment. >> ok. then i'll go through, i know that you're limbed on what you can comment on. i'll go through the meat of this. mr. crawford: reading from the platform, it says, quote, we will meet the return of russian belligerence with the same
resolve that led to the collapse of the soviet union. we will not accept any territory change in eastern europe imposed by force and will use all appropriate measures to bring to justice the practitioners of assassination. does that sound like a pro-russian or pro-putin statement in your assessment? >> that's not for me to comment on. mr. rawford: further it se -- mr. crawford: further it says, we support maintaining or increasing sanctions unless and until ukraine sovereignty are restored. we also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of the ukraine and greater coordination with nato defense planning. again, that sounds like fairly clear language in their relationship to russia. would you agree? >> same answer, mr. crawford. mr. crawford: thank you. the final language, i'll get to here in a second. there was an amendment but the
final language regarding that plank of the platform with regard to national security relating to russia, it says, quote, we support, maintain and if warranted increasing sanctions together with our allies unless and until ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restore. we also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of the ukraine and greater coordination with nato defense planning. to me that sounds fairly clear and straightforward that that's not conducive to a putin administration. would you agree? >> same answer, mr. crawford. mr. crawford: it's also important to note that that platform was adopted in coordination with and concert with the trump administration as they met at the convention and they went through the platform process. the trump campaign condemning kremlin belligerence and calling for sanctions against russia as
i indicated in the section of -- text of that platform, for refusing to accept any territorial change imposed by force in ukraine or elsewhere and pledging to aid ukraine's armed forces. so i bring that up just to highlight and note the fact that none of that appears to be pro-putin or pro-russian language. >> mr. crawford, will you yield back to me? mr. comey, i know you're not going to comment on this, i hope you'll take this back to your investigators. there seems to be the line out there there that somehow the republican party watered down its platform and that's not true. that didn't happen. and in fact, what happened is, is that the platform was actually increased, increased its certainty and against what the russians were up to and it actually amend the plat form to make it stronger than what it initially was. so you know, i know there's a
lot of circumstantial evidence out there about all these supposed people that knew the russians but the reality is, and remains the case, the republican party had a very strong platform that was against the russians and it was increased in its strength, not decreased like has been reported. i know you won't comment but i hope that at least you will provide to your investigative team so that we can at least get this off the table. will you take this -- mr. crawford: sure. -- >> sure. mr. nunes: sorry, mr. crawford. mr. crawford: would you like to make a comment about the new england patriots before we move on? >> i'm a chicago bears guy, born and raised. mr. crawford: are employees of the intelligence community agencies required to disclose
business with foreign nationals? >> yes. broadly. although i'd be the first to admit not all foreign national interactions are the same. interactions with the british are in a very different place than other countries, for example. mr. crawford: to your knowledge are elected officials required to disclose contact with foreign nationals? >> i don't know what the specifics are, because clearly in many jobs, interaction with foreign counterparts is part of your job. i interact with foreign counterparts as does director comey in the course of our duties. >> are campaign members required to disclose contact with foreign nationals? >> i don't know. >> are private citizens required to disclose? >> i don't know. mr. crawford: is it customary for transition teams, for transition team members to meet with foreign nationals to your knowledge? is that customary?
>> it's an area quoff any knowledge of. mr. crawford: has it happened before? >> i've never been part of a transition team. mr. crawford: are transition team members required by law to disclose interactions with foreign nationals? >> i apologize, i don't know the law there. mr. crawford: i yield back to the chair. mr. schiff: ms. stefanik is recognized. ms. stefanik: broadly, when the f.b.i. has any open counterintelligence investigation what are the typical protocols or procedures for notifying the d.n.i., the white house, an senior congressional leadership? >> there is a practice of a quarterly briefing on sensitive cases to the chair and ranking of the house and senate
intelligence committees and the reason i hesitate is, thanks to feedback we've gotten, we're trying to make it better and that involves a briefing of the department of justice, i believe the d.n.i., and the -- some portion of the national security council at the white house. brief them before congress is briefed. ms. stefanik: it's quarterly for all three? senior officials and the white house? >> i think. so that's by practice, not by rule so we're trying to tweak it in certain ways. ms. stefanik: since you confirmed there is a counterintelligence investigation currently opened and reference that it started in july, when did you notify the d.n.i., the white house, or senior congressional leadership? >> congressional leadership sometime recently, they were briefed on the nature of the investigation in some detail, as
i said. obviously the department of justice have been aware of it all along of the d.n.i., i don't know what the d.n.i.'s knowledge of it was, we didn't have a d.n.i. until mr. coats took office and i briefed him his first morning in office. ms. stefanik: just to drill down on this. if the open investigation began in july and the briefing of congressional leadership only occurred recently, why was there no notification prior to the recent, the past month? >> i think our decision was, it was a matter of such sensitivity that we wouldn't include it in the quarterly briefings. >> so when you state our decision is that your decision? is it usually your decision what gets briefed in quarterly updid dates? >> it's the decision of the head of the counterintelligence division. ms. stefanik: and why was the decision made not to brief senior congressional leadership until recently when the
investigation had been open since july, a very serious investigation, why was that decision made to wait months? >> because of the sensitivity of the matter. ms. stefanik: stepping back more broadly, in the case of russia, we know that cyberhacking is just one tactic that's typically part of a broader influence or information warfare campaign and we know the russian government is ready and willing to employ hacking as but one of many tools in their tool kit to obtain information for use against the united states. is there any evidence that russia tried to hack other entities associated with the 2016 presidential campaign in addition to the d.n.c. or clinton campaign operatives? >> yes, many others. ms. stefanik: can you specify those others? did it include the r.n.c. or any other campaigns of candidates in the primaries either democrats or republicans?
>> what we cab say in an unclassified setting, there were efforts to penetrate organizations associated with the republican party, and that i think that's what we said in the report and that there were not releases of material taken, hacked from any republican associated organization. ms. stefanik: but the hacking, the use of cybertools, it was done to both parties? >> correct. ms. stefanik: taking a further step back of what's been in the news recently, i'm referring to the yahoo! hack, the yahoo! data breach, last week the department of justice announced it was charging those tied with connections in the yahoo! data breach. was this done for intelligence purposes? >> i can't say in this forum. ms. stefanik: press reporting reports yahoo! hacking targeted
journalists and dissidents, do you know what they did with the information they obtained? >> same answer. ms. stefanik: ok, i understand that. how did the administration determine who to sanction as part of the election hacking? how familiar with that decision process and how is that determination made? >> i don't know. i'm not familiar with the decision process. the f.b.i. is factual input, i don't recall -- i don't have any personal knowledge of how the decisions made about who to sanction. ms. stenanic: what is the nmple s.a. and f.b.i. doing to keep americans safe, to keep campaign entity, to keep any entity associated with a major campaign safe from aggressive russia cybermeasures used in this last election? >> we continue to maximize the insights generated about activity. this started with the n.s.a. gaining access in the summer of
015, we became aware of that activity, shared it with our f.b.i. teammates. that continues, we try to make sure the insikets we generate are shared with our law enforcement teammates who interact with the private sector. we're trying to work broadly across the u.s. government to increase cybersecurity as you heard ongoing discussions about what's the role of the voting infrastructure in the united states in terms of critical infrastructure, do we need to bring that within the critical infrastructure framework, i know that topic has been ongoing for some period of time. >> that's right and just making sure we are sharing information when we get it, that someone is being hit. but more importantly that we're showing people what we've learned from this cycle so they can tighten up. >> thank you. it seems to me in my first line of questioning the more serious a counterintelligence investigation is, that would seem to trigger the need to update not just the white house,
the d.n.i., but also senior congressional leadership. you stated it was due to the severity. i think moving forward, it seems that the most severe and serious investigations should be notified to senior congressional leadership. with that, thanks for the lenience, chairman. >> that's good feedback, ms. stefanik. the challenge is, sometimes we want to keep it fight within the executive branch. if we're going to brief congressional leaders, we have to brief inside the executive branch so we have to figure out w to do that in a good wayle mr. nunes: we may need to update oh the law on that. r. schiff is recognized. mr. schiff: do the russians favor weapons to ukraine? >> no.
mr. schiff: they would oppose such an idea, would they not? >> they have been opposed to it to date. mr. schiff: i can tell you that e idea of providing lethal weapons to ukraine, including senator mccain and many member os of this ecommittee, there was an effort at the convention to strengthen the platform by including a provision that would provide lethal defensive weapons to ukraine. that was defeated. the campaign manager for the trump campaign at the time, paul manafort, denied the campaign was involved in defeating that amendment. but the delegate who offered the amendment later disclosed to the press that in fact it was dropped at the insistence of the trump campaign. j.d. gordon a national security advisor for the trump campaign was forced later to admit that in fact he had weighed in against the amendment that would have provided that the u.s. should give lethal defensive weapons to ukraine.
so i would join my chairman in asking you to look into this. particularly since we know that ambassador disleiack attended the convention and if there was communication between the russians an the trump campaign that had any effect of the defeat of the amendment that was in the russian interest, the committee would like to know and we welcome that inquiry. mr. heck. mr. heck: thank you, ranking member. there are a lot of emotions kicking around in this room today. i perceived anger, outrage, subdued somberness. the one i feel overwhelmingly is sadness. we've heard nothing but terribly disturbing evidence of what has happened to our country at the hands of our arguably our greatest adversary. and what's worse, the evidence we've heard so far all seems, all seems to lead to the conclusion that they had help
from the inside. that this was in part an inside job. from u.s. persons. willing american accomplices or terribly naive ones or probably both who helped the russians attack our country and our democracy. we're both still at the early stages of our investigation. we're not indicting anyone. merely laying out some of the evidence and the facts. dirty though they be. sleazy though they be. no matter what, we can safely conclude at this point that never in the modern era has a president and his administration had so many foreign entanglements, entanglements that continue to push american foreign policy away from its core roots, beliefs, interests, and alliances toward unprecedented positions that only putin himself could approve of. how else can we explain the modification to the republican
party platform in such a decidedly pro-russian way? republicans who were always so strong against geopolitical foes like russia, i know my colleagues on this committee take the russia threat very seriously. why wouldn't the people who inhabit the white house? how else can we explain an administration that beats up our oldest allies like australia and britain and our strongest and most act rosanth alliance like nato but never, ever say a bad word about putin. in fact, they say a lot of good words about putin. an administration that we have heard decisively makes up baseless wiretapping charges against a former united states president. equates our intelligence agencies to nazi germany and argues moral equivalence between a repressive authoritarian state with an jab hornet human rights record like russia and our free and open democracy.
yet this administration never, ever outers any criticism of russia. let's be clear, though. this is not about party. it's not about relitigating the election. it's not as if anything we do here will put a president from a different political party in the oval office. so i hope that it's clear that it's about something much more important, and no, it's not about political motivation. to my friend who said and suggested that earlier. this is about patriotism. about something way more important than party. this is about country. and the very heart of what this country is built on which is open, free, fair, trusted elections. we don't take our investigation lightly and i know you don't. indeed, you go through a process to even decide to do that, whether to expend the resources, to begin with credible allegations and reason to
believe that there's something that warrants it. and i no doubt believe that you have talked to lawyers in and out of the prosecution divisions about whether or not this warrants an investigation. i know you don't take this lightly. damning we have seen evidence of what russia did and damning evidence of how they did it. they have use maryland measures, many of which we heard about today. let's recap them. hacking and dumping information to damage or embarrass their enemies. we heard about this with respect to wikileaks and guccifer 2.0. using thiffered party cutouts, oligarches and other ostensibly private individuals to cultivate relationships. we discussed ambassador kisliak. c.e.o. cechin, and of course
vladimir putin himself. we've also heard about russia's e of companies like gasprom, bank of cyprus and a confusing web of offshore shell companies used, it would seem, to hide or launder money. we've also heard russia released disinformation to spread rumors. even know truth objectively, using prop began dan, media outlets, whether directly owned by russia or not, to release such information in order to claim plausible deniability of russia's hands. here again we see wikileaks and guccifer 2.0 but also the use of prop began dan outlets like r.t. and of course the use of u.s. persons of influence. whether through act i co-lution or coordination -- active collusion or coordination or naive act reessence, we don't
yet know the extent to further russia's attempts to undermine our elections and ultimately weaken our democracy obviously that last point we have heard about quite a few individuals in the trump orbit who fell somewhere on that spectrum from mere naivete, disturbing enough if it's a feature of those who are supposed to be running our country and foreign policy, to unwitting russian dupes, to willing blindness to active coordination. this rogues' gallery includes those already fired, roger stone, advisor to donald trump. paul manafort, advisor to donald trump. paul flynn, national security advisor to donald trump. carter page, advisor to donald trump. t the cloud of deep is those in still power, rex tillerson, secretary of state. michael caputo, advisor to
donald trump. jeff sessions and members of the trump family itself. this matters. it's serious. our battleships weren't sunk and our towers didn't collapse mistake, but make no 2016 is a year that we should mark in our calendars. the attack didn't end on election day and it will continue, as you have suggested, unless we all of us in this room stop it. and admiral rogers, you have proudly worn that uniform for your entire career. i am proud of your service and grateful for it, but i would ask you, sir, not even with respect to this specific investigation, to use your own words, as someone who no doubt has been in theater, who's lost brothers and sisters in combat, to explain to me, but more
importantly to the american people, don't assume they know the answer. tell them in your words why we should care about russia's active measures campaign aimed at destabilizing our democracy and that of our allies, in your words, sir, why should they care? admiral rogers: i don't think it's in the best interest of our nation for any external entity to attempt to manipulate outcomes, to shape choices. that should be the inherent role of a democracy. the investigation we're going through i think is a positive in a sense it will help illuminate to awful us, regardless of party, what are the implications here and what does it mean for us? because i think our conclusion in that of the intelligence community here broadly is this, absent some change, this behavior is unlikely to stop. absence some change in the dynamic, this is not likely to
be the last time we will be having these kind of discussions about this activity. i don't think it's in anybody's best interest. mr. heck: director comey, parallel question. again, in general terms, not with respect to the specific investigation you have revealed here today, not asking you to go into specifics on any individuals, but please, explain briefly to me and more importantly to the american public why we should care about russia's use of u.s. persons, of americans helping russia destabilize our democracy. director comey: well, like admiral rogers, i truly believe we are a shining city on a hill, to quote a great american, and one of the things we radiate to the world is the importance of our wonderful, often messy but free and fair
democratic system and the elections that undergert it. so when there's an effort by a foreign nation state to mess with that, to destroy that, to corrupt that, it's very, very serious. threatens what is america, and if any americans are part of that effort it's a very serious matter. so you want the f.b.i. to understand if that's so who did what. i want to be very careful for people to not overinterpret my words. we are not talking about our work. i am not here voluntarily. i would rather not be talking about this at all. but we thought it was important to share at least that much with the committee and the american people and now we are going to close our mouths and answers k to get the because the answers matter. mr. heck: i thank you both for those answers and to your service to our country. i hope we can turn this from a sad event into a positive one. this country has stood up and
fought on behalf of its own health and welfare and that of its citizens and met any number of challenges throughout our nation's history. the worst thing we can do is underestimate the nature of this challenge before us today. with that, ranking member, i would appreciate it if i could yield to my friend from texas, mr. castro, briefly. mr. schiff: mr. castro. mr. castro: thank you. one more question with respect to leaks. i know that's been a big topic of the line of questioning and, of course, as a concern to all of us regardless of political party. but i want to ask you, director, is it possible that some of those leaks could come from not the intelligence community but from members of the white house staff, for example? director comey: sure. it can come from lots of different places. and it's also one of the things that's challenging, as i said, about a leak investigation. you think it's going to be a
small circle but it turns out a lot of people knew about it and echos and told journalists about it. in my experience trying to figure these things out from decades, it comes from places you don't anticipate. mr. castro: the president has berated the f.b.i. and the intelligence community on the issue of leaks and others have berated the intelligence community on the press because of these leaks but i think it's worth considering that it's quite possible that there are folks who have a kind of political munch housein by proxy syndrome where they leak information because they want to be the savior once it blows up. they are all sorts of individuals who serve on political staff and i think we ought to consider the possibility that it's possibly somebody at the white house. thank you. i yield back. mr. schiff: mr. chairman, we yield back. mr. nunes: the gentleman yields back. mr. hurd. mr. hurd: thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for being here and thank you for your
continued service to our country. i learn the value of sitting in one place for a long period of time and listening and today has added to that understanding and i'm going to try to ask questions that y'all can answer in this format and are within your areas of expertise. director rogers, my first question to you, the exploit that was used by the russians to penetrate the d.n.c., was it sophisticated? was it a zero day being some type for those that are watching an exploit that has never been used before? admiral rogers: in an open classified foreign i won't use techniques or procedures how hacks.ecute in their mr. hurd: if members of the d.n.c. had not -- let me rephrase it. can we talk about spearfishing? admiral rogers: sure, in general terms, yes, sir. mr. hurd: spearfishing is
someone that sends an email and somebody clicks on something and that -- admiral rogers: they receive in an email from a legitimate user. they open it up and they'll often click, if you will, on a link, an attachment. mr. hurd: was that type of tactic used in the -- admiral rogers: again, in an unclassified forum i won't answer. mr. hurd: i apologize. director comey, when was the first time the f.b.i. notified he d.n.c. of the hack? roughly? director comey: i think august of 2015. mr. hurd: and was that prior to any of the information being eaked, being sent on -- put on wikileaks? director comey: yes. the first russian directed releases were middle of june of the next year by d.c. leaks and
the guccifer 2.0 persona. a little less than a year. mr. hurd: there was a little over a year of some potential problems of the d.n.c. network and that information getting on -- getting on wikileaks? director comey: yes. mr. hurd: have you been able to -- when did the d.n.c. provide access for -- to the f.b.i. for your technical folks to review what happened? director comey: we never got direct access to the machines themselves. the d.n.c. in the spring of 2016 hired a firm that ultimately shared with us their forensics from their review of the system. mr. hurd: director rogers, did the n.s.a. ever get access to the d.n.c. hardware? admiral rogers: the n.s.a. didn't ask for access.
that's not in our job. mr. hurd: so director, the f.b.i. notified the d.n.c. early, before any information was put on wikileaks and when -- you still have never been given access to any of the technical or the physical machines that were -- that were hacked by the russians? director comey: that's correct although we got the forensics from the pros that they hired which, again, it's best practice to get access to the machines themselves but my folks tell me this was an appropriate substitute. mr. hurd: at what point did the mpany the d.n.c. use share that forensic information to you? director comey: i don't remember for sure. i think june. i could be wrong about that. admiral rogers: the company went public in june of 2016 with their conclusions. director comey: i think it was about the time -- i think it
was a little bit before the announcement but i would say approximately june. mr. hurd: so that was -- how long after the first notification that the f.b.i. did of the d.n.c.? director comey: 10 months. mr. hurd: 10 months. so the f.b.i. notified the d.n.c. of the hack and it was not until 10 months later that you had any details about what was actually going on forensically on their network? director comey: that's correct. assuming i have the dates about right, but it was some months later. mr. hurd: knowing what we know done ould the f.b.i. have anything different in trying to notify the d.n.c. of what happened? director comey: oh, sure. mr. hurd: what measures would you have done differently? director comey: we would have sent up a much larger flair. we'd just kept banging and banging on the door now.
we made extensive efforts to notify. i might have walked over there myself knowing what i know now. but i think the efforts we made, that our agents made were reasonable at the time. mr. hurd: could copy. do you have a ballpark of the number of private sector entities that you have to notify of these types of breaches? director comey: hundreds and thousands. in this case we had to notify hundreds, maybe more than a thousand entities that the russians were hitting at the same time. mr. hurd: admiral rogers, do you have anything to add to that? admiral rogers: no, because as we passed the information to the f.b.i., what started all this was a pretty massive effort on the part of our russian counterparts. mr. hurd: i've said this many times, the outcome of grizzly staff, what the intelligence community refers to the russian hacking, has been the wedge, whether real or perceived, between the executive branch,
the intelligence community and the public, and this is an asymmetrical tool that russians are using in order to destabilize liberal democratic institutions and i think it is important that we do everything we can to review this, which i fully believe federal law enforcement is doing, as y'all tacked to here. i would like to end before yielding back to the chairman that my colleague from california, the ranking member, said in his opening statement, the question most people have is whether we can really conduct this investigation in the kind of thorough and nonpartisan manner that the seriousness of the issues merit or whether the enormous political consequences of our work will make that impossible. and he adds, the truth is, i don't know the answer. i do. we must. the american people demand this. the future of our democratic institutions demand it, and i'm glad we have two people like y'all involved in this.
mr. chairman, i yield back my time to you. mr. nunes: the gentleman yields back. mr. gowdy has a follow-up. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i want to thank you and ranking member schiff for having this. mr. chairman, you were talking about russia far before it became -- long before it became fashionable. you referred to russia as possibly our greatest national security threat post-9/11, and as you know, chairman, i come from a state with a fellow named graham who is also no fan of russia. director comey, admiral rogers, people in your line of work are incredibly respected. both your current line of work and the work that you came from. and people in my line of work are not. and there's a reason. the justice system is respected, and the political process is not. so this is -- while this
hearing is important, what's really important is what you do after this hearing, and i want you to go find every single witness who may have information about interference, influence, motive, our response, collusion, coordination, whatever your jurisdiction is, wherever the facts may take you, though the heavens may fall, go do your jobs. because nature abhors a vacuum and right now you can't answer most of the questions, either by policy, by law or because the investigation has not been complete. therefore, a vacuum exist which people in my line of work are more than happy to fill. so i need you to fill. i need you to do it with all deliberate speed. but director comey, i think it's also important for my fellow citizens to take note why the system you come from, the one i come from is respected and this system that i'm in now is not.
what is hearsay? director comey: information you don't know of your own personal knowledge but learned from someone else. mr. gowdy: it's an out-of-court -- director comey: i was trying to be a little less lawyerly. mr. gowdy: we'll go with your answer. and it is almost never admirable in court. how about anonymous sources? when you were in the southern district, could you ever call an anonymous source to testify in one of your proceedings? director comey: no. mr. gowdy: you couldn't even use hearsay unless there was some widely accepted exception. and what i heard this morning, in some cases it's quadruple hearsay. so it would never -- a newspaper article would never, ever be admitted as evidence in a courtroom. so the system we respect would laugh you out of court if you came in armed with a newspaper article. but in the political process that's enough.
let me ask you this. cross-examination. why are you able to cross-examine witnesses in trial? why do we have a right to confront witnesses? director comey: it's inbeded in our constitution. t's the crews bill to get -- crucible to get the truth. mr. gowdy: to test and to probe and to challenge, to test someone's personal exposure to the facts. cross-examination is the best tool that we have. ow do you cross-examine an anonymous source? how do you cross-examine hearsay? i hope you find every single witness you need to talk to and cross-examine every single document. people are counting on you two in your line of work to find the facts. and people are welcomed to draw whatever conclusions they want
from the facts. but when i hear the word evidence as i heard lots and lots this morning -- let me ask you this, director comey. are you familiar of any trials where one witness may have said the light was red and one said the light was green, has that ever happened? director comey: yes. that's why you have a trial. mr. gowdy: does it ever help one bank teller the assailant was 5'10" and the other said was 6'2"? director comey: sure. mr. gowdy: that's evidence. he just can't be both. the light can't be red and green. so the word evidence, while fancy in legal, the reality is you find facts and then the finder of the fact can draw conclusions and inferences from those facts. so i wish you luck as you begin this process. it is all important. the fact that someone may have had a line of questions about leaks does not mean they're not
interested in all aspects of russia and vice versa. the fact they may not have asked questions about leaks doesn't mean they're not interested in them. you have jurisdiction over all of it. so god bless you as you go on this journey for the facts. and people can draw whatever conclusions they want. i hope that you will fill the vacuum that's created when y'all are not able to answer questions. with that i will yield back to the chairman. mr. nunes: the gentleman yields back. mr. comey, this is my final list of questions here. i just want to make sure we get this on the record. do you have any evidence that any current trump white house or administration official coordinated with the russian intelligence services? director comey: it's not a question i can answer. mr. nunes: i figured you were going to say that but i just wanted to make sure we have it on the question. how about counselor to the president, kellyanneconway. director comey: don't overinterpret i didn't want to
comment. i don't want to comment on anybody. mr. nunes: here's the challenge . you have he a announced you have this big investigation but now you got people that are involved in our government that are the secretary of state, for example. these are important players. the longer this hangs out here, the bigger the cloud is. i know you are not going to tell me whether or not you have any evidence but i can tell you we don't have any evidence and we're conducting our own investigation here and if you have some -- if you have evidence, especially as it relates to people in the white house that are working in the white house or the administration, i mean, that would be something that we should really know about and we should know about quickly. if you can't give it until the entire committee, i hope if you can give it to myself and mr. schiff because there's a big gray cloud that you have now put over people who have very important work to do to lead this country. so the faster you can get to the bottom of this, it's going to be better for all americans. director comey: i understand.
thank you. mr. nunes: all right. with that i want to thank the members today and especially our witnesses. it was a long day but i think a good discussion. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]