FBI Director James Comey came in for harsh criticism from a Democratic senator on Tuesday for refusing to confirm whether the bureau is investigating links between President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian hackers.
Appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) that he couldn’t answer any questions on an open investigation.
“As you know, the Russian foreign minister was quoted in various news reports saying that the Russians had had contacts with people associated with the Trump campaign,” Wyden began. “Now that may or may not be true … My question to Director Comey is: Has the FBI investigated these reported relationships and, if so, what are the agencies finding?”
“I would never comment on investigation whether we have one or not in an open forum like this,” Comey said. “I really can’t answer one way or another.”
“Will you provide an unclassified response to these questions and release it to the American people prior to January 20?” Wyden pressed, referring to Trump’s inauguration date.
“Sir, I will answer any question you ask, but the answer will likely be the same as I just gave you. I can’t talk about it,” Comey replied.
That was when Wyden unloaded on Comey
“I will tell you that I think the American people have a right to know this,” he said. “And if there is delay in declassifying this information and relaying it to the American people, releasing it to the American people. That doesn’t happen before January 20, I’m not sure it’s going to happen.”
Comey has previously been criticized for announcing an investigation on emails he claimed were associated with Hillary Clinton, 11 days before the election which is believed to have influenced some voters.
Watch the video below via Mediaite: