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Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

The House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is underway.

The key takeaways: FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating possible links and coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russia. He also said the FBI has "looked carefully" and found "no information" that supports Trump's allegation that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower.

Other highlights from Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers:

  • FBI investigation began in July, Congressional leaders only notified recently due to "sensitivity" of investigation.
  • Comey on Russia interference in 2016: "They wanted to hurt our democracy, hurt her, help him," the Kremlin hacked with "loudness" — as if they wanted to be discovered. He noted that there is "no evidence" that Russia manipulated vote tallies.
  • Both Comey and Rogers agree "Russia is our adversary." Comey adds: "They want to resist us, oppose us, undermine us.... They'll be back in 2020, they may be back in 2018."
  • Comey on why Putin liked Trump: prefers working with business leaders, Trump criticized NATO and backed Brexit.
  • Rep. Trey Gowdy grilled Comey about sensitive leaks, and hinted that reporters should face prosecution for publishing them. Comey agreed that such leaks were "a serious crime" but wouldn't say whether FBI is investigating them.
  • Comey calls the recent leaking "unusually active". Much that ends up in the media "is dead wrong," he said, "which is one of the challenges because we don't correct it."
  • Rogers said WH allegations that the UK helped wiretap Trump were "utterly ridiculous," adding it "clearly frustrates an ally of ours."
  • Comey, when asked if he's ever engaged in McCarthyism (per Trump's tweets): "I try very hard not to engage in any -isms of any kind."

Meanwhile, a Senior Trump administration official told NBC's Hallie Jackson: "Nothing has changed. Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm there is NO EVIDENCE of Trump-Russia collusion... Obama's CIA director said so. Obama's Director of National Intelligence said so. We take them at their word."

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.

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