Comey and Rogers dismiss Trump’s wiretapping claims

Justin Salhini

Justin Salhini World Reporter, Think Progress

On Monday, the heads of the FBI and the National Security Agency dismissed President Trump’s accusations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phone lines before November’s election. NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey said there was no evidence of any such wiretap while testifying before the House’s Intelligence Committee.

The Trump administration had also floated a suggestion, originally made by Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano, that Obama had gotten the British intelligence agency GCHQ to carry out surveillance on Trump. When asked if he agreed that the allegation was “utterly ridiculous,” Rogers said he did.

“With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets,” said Comey. “And we have looked carefully inside the FBI.”

Watch:

Despite repeated calls to provide evidence for his claims, Trump has so far refused to apologize or back down. Even fellow Republicans, including Sen. John McCain(R-AZ), have said they don’t know where from where his claims were derived.

“I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the President of the United States could clear this up in a minute,” McCain told CNN’s Jake Tapper last week. “All he has to do is pick up the phone, call the director of the CIA, director of national intelligence and say, ‘OK, what happened?’”

In order for intelligence agencies to monitor a target, a court-issued warrant must be obtained from a secret court.

Trump’s team has been plagued with reports of collusion with the Kremlin. Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Carter Page were all involved with Trump’s campaign and let go after their connections to Russian intelligence or pro-Russian figures in Ukraine were revealed.

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This was reposted from Think Progress.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work