ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
65°
Partly Cloudy
H 80° L 51°
  • cloudy-day
    65°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 80° L 51°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 80° L 51°
  • cloudy-day
    71°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 81° L 55°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Takeaways from the first hearing in Congress on election meddling by Russia
Close

Takeaways from the first hearing in Congress on election meddling by Russia

Takeaways from the first hearing in Congress on election meddling by Russia

Takeaways from the first hearing in Congress on election meddling by Russia

The House Intelligence Committee held the first public hearing on questions involving actions taken by Russia to interfere with the 2016 elections in the United States, as both parties used starkly different strategies as they asked questions of the heads of the FBI and National Security Agency about that probe.

Here are some of the highlights:

1. FBI confirms Trump-Russia investigation for the first time. Many had long assumed that the FBI was investigating meddling by Russia in the 2016 U.S. elections, but today was the first time that it had been publicly announced by the FBI Director. “Our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations,” Comey said. But the FBI Director said that he had been authorized by the Justice Department to confirm that the U.S. does have a counter intelligence probe of Russia. And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and the Russian Government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” Comey added.

2. FBI and NSA reject Trump “wiretap” tweets. Adding their voices to those of top members in both parties on the House and Senate Intelligence committees, both FBI Director Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, said that they had found no evidence to support the March 4 tweets of President Trump, which charged that he had been subjected to wiretaps by President Obama. “I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Director Comey told lawmakers. There was no ambiguity involved.

3. The White House doesn’t back down on Trump “wiretap” tweets. Just a few hours after the FBI Director bluntly said there was no evidence to back up Mr. Trump’s charge that he was wiretapped during the Obama Administration, the Trump White House refused to back down from the charge. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said there was still time for more information to come out from the investigations of the House and Senate Intelligence committees, so there was no reason to say the President had been wrong in making that claim.

4. Republicans focus not on Russia but on leaks. Republicans used most of their time in this first public hearing to zero in on who leaked information about top Trump aide Michael Flynn, and his conversations with the Russian Ambassador to the United States. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) pressed the heads of the NSA and FBI repeatedly on who knew about incidental collection of Flynn’s phone calls, and who might have leaked them, naming a number of Obama Administration officials as possible suspects. The White House then used that hearing exchange to seemingly make the case that former President Obama might even have been the source of the information. It was another new theory from the White House – that did not seem to have any evidence behind it.

5. One Republican drills down into Russia efforts. While many of her colleagues focused on leaks, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) – who did not support President Trump during the election campaign – pushed for examples from the FBI and NSA on what the Russians actually did to upset the U.S. elections, and how it was different from the past. “We never saw in previous Presidential elections information being published on such a massive scale that had been illegally removed,” said the NSA chief. FBI Director Comey said it was almost like the Russians didn’t care if their actions were uncovered. “They were unusually loud,” Comey said, labeling the Russian intrusions, “very noisy.”

6. Comey admits the FBI kept Congress in the dark. In his testimony, FBI Director Comey said the counter intelligence investigation into Russian election meddling began back in July, but that Congressional leaders were not told of it before the elections – or even immediately after Election Day. “Why was the decision made not to brief senior Congressional leadership until recently,” asked Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). “Why was that decision made to wait months?” Comey said it was because of the “sensitivity of the matter.” Asked who made that decision, Comey indicated it would have been made by the head of the FBI Counter Intelligence division.

7. Republicans grumble about Comey’s “no comments.” Members of both parties tried repeatedly to get Comey to respond to hypothetical questions that might shed some light on the investigation, but didn’t get far. “I’m not going to answer,” Comey said. “I’m not going to comment,” he said when asked about a number of different people that Democrats wanted to talk about. Rebuffed a number of times in a quest for information, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) bluntly told the FBI chief that his reluctance to discuss the probe was only helping Moscow, by putting a cloud over U.S. democracy.

8. Democrats use the hearing to lay out broader questions. While Democrats did go after the Russia-meddling matter with much more direct gusto, they also had clearly decided to use this hearing to put a number of matters on the table, to make sure they were aired to a broader audience. For example, the top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), used a chunk of his opening statement to refer to matters in the ‘Steele Dossier,” which emerged just before the election, a document that some had said was all false. But the fact that it received more attention today made others wonder whether parts of it had been verified along the way.

9. Not just the Trump tweets, but the British Intel story as well. Not only did today’s witnesses completely reject President Trump’s assertion that he was wiretapped in 2016, but the head of the National Security Agency also ridiculed the story – promoted last week by the White House – that British Intelligence had been used by the Obama Administration to wrongly monitor Trump Tower as well. Asked directly if the NSA had asked the British GCHQ to monitor Trump, Admiral Mike Rogers did not mince words. “No sir,” Rogers said. “Nor would I.” Rogers went on to say that agreed with other assessments that such a plan would be “ridiculous.”

10. Another finger pointed at Wikileaks. While U.S. Intelligence has never publicly spelled out why it feels that Wikileaks is directly connected to Russia, there was no doubt left today that the FBI Director and others fully believe there is a link. Asked how leaked emails and more were delivered to Wikileaks, FBI Director Comey said there was an intermediary, a “cut-out” as he described it, to send information to the website, which many U.S. officials believe is nothing more than a front for Russian Intelligence. Still, others will rightfully point out that no direct links have been shown – but there is a lot of smoke.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • So how does Oklahoma compare to the rest of the U.S. on identity theft. The simple answer. Not great. WalletHub says we ranked 39th out of 51, including the District of Columbia. They looked at a number of metrics including the rate of identity theft per capita and the average amount of money lost per incident. The best advice, they say: have strong passwords, use two-step verification where it's available, and get credit monitoring. Sites like Credit Karma and WalletHub itself offer it for free. You can read more about it here.
  • Cheers to the holidays. A UK-based distillery has just the decorations you need to get through the tough days of Christmas with the family: liquor-filled ornaments.>> Read more trending news Lakes Distillery is offering clear glass ornaments filled with either whisky, gin or vodka. The baubles, as they are called, run about $26 each or you can get a six-pack for about $46. The ornaments are only available in the UK, but for those who are more DIY-minded, Insider suggests finding ornaments that can be filled and a liquor of choice to fill the tree with the spirits of Christmas.
  • Police are still sorting out all of the details of an attempted theft at the Gadget Company Wednesday afternoon near 15th and Boston. Investigators on the scene say the attempted shoplifter was trying to steal a Yeti cooler. The employee chased after the suspect and shots were fired.  No word on any injuries or possible charges.  The suspect was able to get away in a white or gold Honda Civic.  
  • Chick-fil-A customers in six regions will soon be able to feast on some fiery new additions to the chicken restaurant’s menu. >> Read more trending news Officials with the fast-food chain announced Monday that they will be testing two new items at select locations: Spicy Chick-n-Strips and a Grilled Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich. The Spicy Chick-n-Strips are available now in three-count and four-count entrees for a limited time at participating restaurants in Philadelphia, Central Texas and South Texas. The Spicy Chick-n-Strips can also be ordered for catering at select locations. According to Chick-fil-A officials, the strips are a combination of the Spicy Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich and the original Chick-n-Strips. Select stores in Orlando, St. Louis and Knoxville, Tennessee, will offer the Grilled Spicy Deluxe Chicken Sandwich, which comes “marinated in a spicy seasoning and is served on a new, toasted multigrain brioche bun with Colby-Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato,” according to a Chick-fil-A news release. The sandwich is served with a new cilantro lime sauce. Chick-fil-A will consider customer response to the test items to determine whether to add them to the menu permanently. >> Related: Chick-fil-A tests large family style meals “We’ve heard from our customers how much they love our current spicy menu offerings, so we’re really excited to give them even more spicy flavor options to enjoy,” said Kanika Patrick, manager of menu development at Chick-fil-A. “We hope our guests in the test cities will try the new Spicy Chick-n-Strips and Grilled Spicy Deluxe Chicken Sandwich and let us know what they think – their feedback will help us determine whether or not we will roll out the new entrees nationwide in the future.” >> Related: World's biggest Chick-fil-A with 5 floors, rooftop deck to open in 2018
  • The Nielsen company, which has long measured viewership of television programs, now says it has a way to collect and widely spread details about how many people watch programming produced by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. Nielsen announced its new service on Wednesday and said that eight television networks and studios, including ABC and NBC, have subscribed to it. Even with Amazon’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” winning an Emmy for best drama last month, the number of people who actually watch the program has remained a mystery. Since 2014, Nielsen has been able to count viewership of streamed programs but reported it only to the companies that stream them. The companies, led by industry behemoth Netflix, have largely kept that information a secret. Now, Nielsen will be able to measure viewership of streamed programs through an audio signature that does not require any action by the programmers to activate it, said Brian Fuhrer, Nielsen’s senior vice president of product leadership.