Tapper on Comey hearing: Does smoke indicate fire?

On Monday FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee, publicly confirming for the first time that the bureau is formally exploring the relationship between Donald Trump and Russia, and the role said relationship played in affecting the 2016 US election.

The investigation has been underway since July, Comey confirmed, and is of a criminal nature.

Hours after the hearing, US Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, joined CNN’s Jake Tapper for a live interview, offering his assessment of the day’s proceedings.

“I certainly think that an investigation is warranted, I think the FBI is right to investigate this,” said Schiff, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Asked by Tapper if all the proverbial “smoke” suggesting collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign necessarily indicates “fire,” Schiff cautioned against relying too heavily on any intelligence reports released so far.

“There certainly wasn’t a section of the report that dealt with that,” said Schiff, referring specifically to any conclusive evidence of political meddling. Schiff essentially was making the point that all the evidence hasn’t yet been revealed.

On the issue of whether the information known to date is strong enough, Schiff reminded Tapper that “circumstantial evidence can be very, very powerful.”

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