James Comey testifies about the White House, Russian hacking and Trump's wiretapping claims

The FBI director broke tradition by confirming publicly for the first time that the agency's investigating Russia's attempt to influence the election.
4:28 | 03/20/17

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Transcript for James Comey testifies about the White House, Russian hacking and Trump's wiretapping claims
tonight and we begin with that high drama on capitol hill. Major revelations about the white house. Russian hacking and those claims about wiretapping. FBI director James Comey in an extraordinary move, confirming publicly for the first time that the agency is investigating Russia's attempt to influence the election and possible links to members of president trump's campaign team. Director Comey also breaking his silence 16 days after the president's explosive tweets, confirming there is no proof that president Obama ordered wiretaps at trump tower. But despite Comey's statement, the president is still standing by his claim. ABC's senior justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas starting us off from Washington tonight. Reporter: Tonight, stunning revelations from the FBI director. I have been authorized by the department of justice to confirm that the FBI as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Reporter: James Comey finally going public and confirming there is an ongoing investigation now in its seventh month into Russia's meddling. Including possible collusion by trump's associates. 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. Reporter: It took 30 minutes to get to the other elephant in the room. Comey refuting trump's accusations that he was wiretapped by president Obama. Director Comey, was the president's statement that Obama had his wires tapped in trump tower a true statement? I have no information that supports those tweets. And we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The department of justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the department of justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets. President Obama could not unilatly order a wiretap of anyone? No one could. Reporter: Disputing that tweet, quote, Obama had my wires tapped in trump towers. But testimony focused on Russian meddling. Finding it was in part in animosity to one candidate. Putin hated secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was he had a clear preference to the person running against the person he hated so much. Reporter: Comey saying they made no attempt to cover their trail. It was almost as if they didn't care they knew what they were doing or they wanted us to see what they were doing. They will be back in 2020. They may be back in 2018. Reporter: Much of the emphasis on disclosures about former security adviser, Michael Flynn's conversations with the ambassador. One Republican all by pointing fingers of the previous administration. Would director Brennan have direct access to his name? Some circumstances, yes. Would Susan Wright have access to his name? I think -- yes. In general, and any other national security adviser would. Reporter: But unlike today's disclosure, the FBI director refusing to say whether those leaks are also under investigation. I can't, but I hope people watching know how seriously we take leak of classified information, but I don't want to say we're investigating it, and I'm sorry I have to draw that line. I think that's the right way to be. Reporter: Comey acknowledging his extraordinary testimony. Our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations. Especially those investigations that involve classified matters. Reporter: But he is the same FBI director who brought disclosures of Hillary Clinton's e-mail investigation that some Democrats feel derailed her campaign. And Pierre joins us live tonight. Pierre, we now know there were two investigations during the election. One involving Hillary Clinton and her e-mails and one involving trump associations and it's an going. Why did it take so long for Comey to speak on it? Reporter: There was so much interest that they had to acknowledge there was an ongoing investigation.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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