Trump, White House push back on Russia ties brought up in House hearing

White House pushes back
White House pushes back 02:21

WASHINGTON -- President Trump ignored yet another question about his baseless wiretap claim on Monday at a White House photo op.

But he couldn’t keep quiet on Twitter even before the House Intelligence Committee hearing into Russian election meddling began.

Mr. Trump’s twitter account posted there was “no evidence” of Trump campaign collusion with Russian operatives, calling the narrative “fake news” that Democrats “made up” after they lost the election.

Then during the hearing, Mr. Trump highlighted testimony he said indicated no evidence of Russian meddling influenced the “electoral process.”

A short time later, ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff read the tweet to FBI Director James Comey who was testifying, along with Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency.

Schiff on Russia hearing 02:58

“Is that accurate?” Schiff asked Comey.

“We offered no opinion, have no view, have no information on potential impact because it’s not something we looked at,” he said “It certainly wasn’t our intention to say that today because we don’t have any information on that subject. That’s not something that was looked at.”

The president also noted an exchange between Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy and Comey about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

FBI Director James Comey, left, and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, testify in front of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence AP

“Did you brief President Obama on any calls involving Michael Flynn?” Gowdy asked.

“I’m not gonna get into either that particular case, that matter, or any conversations I had with the president. So I can’t answer that,” Comey responded.

Mr. Trump tweeted “FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia.”

At the White House, Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to downplay the role of Flynn and Paul Manafort, the second of three Trump campaign managers, both of whom were removed from positions for their connections to Russia.

Comey testifies 03:31

“Gen. Flynn was a volunteer of the campaign, and then obviously there’s been this discussion of Paul Manafort who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time,” Spicer said.

Spicer asserted that no evidence has been presented to suggest cooperation between Trump associates and Russian operatives.

“When the people who have been briefed by the FBI about collusion between individuals, the answer is -- continues to be ‘no,’ and at some point, take no for an answer,” he said.

The White House still stubbornly clings to the president’s wiretap allegation even though there has also been no evidence to support that claim.