President Donald Trump’s habit of tweeting “alternative facts” was put to the test Monday when FBI Director James Comey denied one of the president’s tweets in real time.
Comey testified Monday before a House Intelligence Committee hearing where he discussed wide-ranging topics including Russian interference during the 2016 election, Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones during the campaign, and the recent surge of intelligence leaks.
During the almost six hour session, The White House @POTUS account tweeted that Comey and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers had testified to the congressional panel that “Russia did not influence electoral process.”
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This was clearly not the case. They had said that Russia did not change vote tallies, but also reiterated that the Russians did interfere in the process.
And two hours after the tweet, FBI Director was asked whether the tweet was true:
“It certainly wasn't our intention to say that today because we don't have any information on that subject,” Comey answered, directly disagreeing with the White House.
The President was live and kicking on Twitter before the hearing even started, claiming that “James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia.”
But the main points from Comey's testimony were clear: the F.B.I. confirmed that they were investigating Trump campaign team’s possible ties to Russia’s election interference, and that Obama did not wiretap Trump’s phone.
Not a great day for Presidents on Twitter.