In his opening remarks during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that there remains an "open and ongoing" criminal investigation into the possibility that members of the Trump campaign or transition team colluded with alleged Russian interference in last year's presidential elections.
The intelligence community had previously said that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to bolster Trump's chances and sources had said the FBI was investigating people associated with Trump's campaign for alleged communication with Russian officials during the campaign.
In a tense hearing that had its share of drama and mirth, Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that it was unusual for the FBI to confirm or deny the existence of any investigations, but in circumstances that is in public interest, the bureau sometimes discussed such matters.
"This work is very complex, and there is no way for me to give you a timetable for when it will be done". He says he's authorized by the Justice Department to make the disclosure.
He also disputed allegations that British intelligence services were involved in the wiretapping.
On March 4, Trump claimed in a tweet storm that Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped before his election victory, offering no evidence.
Earlier, the chairman of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Republican Representative Devin Nunes, told the same hearing that the panel had seen no evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign.
FBI Director James Comey, left, and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, testify on Capitol Hill.
Before the hearing Mr Trump took to Twitter, accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates' contact with Russian Federation during the election.
He said Congress instead should be investigating leaks that have harmed his young administration.
True story, captured on TV and on the internet, in real time. "Must find leaker now!"
Beyond announcing that the FBI is conducting an investigation, Comey was unable to provide details of any individuals subject to the investigation or how long it will take to complete, and he repeatedly declined to answer questions, particularly from Democrats, about whether specific individuals in the Trump administration or who worked on his campaign were under investigation. "As with any counter investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed". With gritted teeth, he said that would violate the agreement between the so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence agencies - the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand - not to spy on each other's citizens.
Comey was repeatedly questioned on partisan lines, with Democratic lawmakers bearing down on him about ties between Republican operatives and the Russians, in particular claims by Trump confidante Roger Stone that he was in contact with the Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0.
Additionally, Comey shot down the president's conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election.
And if you think this is an extraordinary use of live-tweeting, you're not the only one.
Putin's vendetta against Clinton stem from her 2011 remarks as US secretary of state alleging widespread fraud in Russia's 2011 parliamentary elections.
Mr Nunes said: "For the first time, the American people, and all the political parties now, are paying attention to the threat that Russian Federation poses". It was nearly as if they didn't care that we knew what they were or that they wanted us to see what they were doing'. "But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated".
Hours before the committee commenced its hearing, Mr Trump preemptively weighed in on the proceedings, saying that it was a political attack meant to undermine his administration.
FBI Director James Comey told a House panel he was breaking protocol in announcing that the bureau has been actively investigating possible coordination between Trump campaign officials and associates and Russian Federation since July 2016. Also of interest to the committee are any connections between Russian Federation and associates of President Donald Trump.