ON THE ATTACK

Trump Tries to Gaslight Comey Hearing

© Jonathan Ernst / Reuters,© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a rally at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX31807

President Donald Trump’s official @POTUS Twitter account blasted out video clips from Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the U.S. election, complete with captions that, at best, obfuscate what was actually being conveyed during the hearing. In one of the tweets, Trump’s team erroneously claims that that FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers said Russia “did not influence [the] electoral process.” The accompanying video clip, however, shows a round of questioning from the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, asking specifically about whether vote tallies were tampered with or changed in certain states where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. Hacking the literal ballot box, though, is different from waging an influence campaign—something that both Comey and Rogers confirmed was carried out by Russia. During the hearing, Comey confirmed in a rare acknowledgement that his agency is probing potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, including whether there was any collusion on election meddling. Additionally, both Comey and Rogers said there was no evidence to support Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that former President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on him.

Asked about Trump's tweet later in the hearing, Comey disagreed with Trump's allegation that the FBI and NSA had said Russia did not influence the electoral process. "It certainly wasn't our intention to say that today. Because we don't have any information on that subject," Comey said when questioned on the claims in Trump's tweet.