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Congress awaits FBI, NSA testimony on Russia-Trump links

The FBI and NSA directors are set to testify on their probes into possible links between Russia and President Trump's campaign. They will also address Trump's unsubstantiated claim that President Obama wiretapped him.

Watch video 00:31

'No evidence' Trump's team colluded with Russia

James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will break his silence at a rare public hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday into Russia-linked meddling in the 2016 US election.

The director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Mike Rogers, is also scheduled to testify. It will be the first time that the two will speak publically about their investigations into the possible links between Russia and US President Donald Trump's campaign.

Several congressional committees in both the House and the Senate have launched investigations into Russia's alleged interference. Although they have been investigating behind closed doors, lawmakers said they would make their probes as public as possible.

Russia denies that it attempted to influence the US election.

Devin Nunes, a Republican representative and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told Fox News on Sunday that there was "no evidence of collusion" between Trump's team and Moscow.

Read: US Congress hearings on Russia could descend into a partisan slugfest

US-Präsident Donald Trump telefoniert mit Merkel und Putin (picture alliance/Marovich/ Pool via CNP/MediaP)

Concerns that Trump and his team may have colluded with Russia cast a shadow over the administration's first two months

National debate

In January, US intelligence agencies took an extraordinary step of publically stating their conclusion that hackers working for Russia broke into the email accounts of senior members of the Democratic Party.

The agencies also said the hackers released embarrassing messages with the goal of helping Republican candidate Trump defeat his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Even prior to the intelligence community's statement, the question of whether Trump and his campaign were coordinating with Russia has dominated the national conversation.

Watch video 25:59

America first: A threat to the world order?

Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was fired last month after he failed to disclose his contacts with Russia's ambassador before Trump took office on January 20.

New information surfaced last week that Flynn was paid $65,000 (60,350 euros) in 2015 by companies with ties to Russia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former Republican senator, recused himself from investigating the Russia meddling allegations after it was revealed that he did not answer accurately during his confirmation hearing when asked about his contacts with Russian officials during the election.

He failed to tell the hearing or disclose on a questionnaire that he had met with Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

No evidence on 'wiretapping' claims

Comey is also expected to discuss Trump's accusation, which he has failed to back up with any evidence, that he was wiretapped by former President Barack Obama's administration.

Trump first announced the unsubstantiated claim in several misspelled tweets on March 4. Last week, he said that "some very interesting items" would be revealed regarding his allegations.

Nunes also told Fox News on Sunday that there was no evidence Trump was wiretapped.

"Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No, but there never was, and the information we got on Friday continues to lead us in that direction," Nunes stressed.

The House and Senate intelligence committees have jurisdiction over the United State's 17 intelligence agencies.

rs/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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