Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has disclosed that the Senate probe of the alleged ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia has yet to turn up any evidence of collusion during the 2016 presidential race. Feinstein's comments arrive after several House Democrats suggested that there was already evidence of collusion.
Feinstein is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating whether members of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign had colluded with Russian intelligence to help sway the election. On May 2, the committee was briefed by the CIA on Russia's alleged meddling, The Daily Caller reports.
On May 3, Feinstein was pressed during an interview with CNN on whether the probe had indeed turned up any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"You don't have to provide us with any classified information," asked host Wolf Blitzer, noting that Feinstein had just been briefed by the CIA. "But do you believe, do you have evidence that there was in fact collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign?”
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"Not at this time," Feinstein said.
The careful wording of the senator's answer either signaled that there was no evidence or that any existing evidence was still classified.
"Well, that's a pretty precise answer," Blitzer responded.
While Feinstein stated that there was no unclassified evidence proving collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the Democratic ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee previously suggested the existence of such evidence.
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On March 22, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California asserted that his committee's probe into Russia's alleged interference in the election had already found compelling evidence of collusion.
"I can't go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now... I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and is very much worthy of investigation," Schiff told MSNBC.
Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, another member of the HIC, went even further in alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
On April 27, Swalwell stated "You don't have to be a lawyer and you don't have to access the same access that we have on the intelligence committee to see evidence of collusion."
The California lawmaker added "There is evidence of collusion."
On May 3, FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The top FBI official declined to offer any updates on the Bureau's investigation into several Trump campaign aides' alleged ties to Russia, USA Today reports.
"We will follow the evidence wherever it leads," Comey said.