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Summary

  1. The FBI's director confirms an inquiry into any Donald Trump campaign links to Russia
  2. The law enforcement chief says there is no evidence to support Trump's claim that Obama wiretapped Trump
  3. The Trump administration says 'nothing has changed' and 'there is NO EVIDENCE of Trump-Russia collusion'
  4. The NSA's head strongly denies Trump administration claims that he asked Britain's GCHQ to spy on Trump
  5. Democrats and Republicans, meanwhile, trade barbs at Senate hearing on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Thank you for being with us

    That's all for today, thanks for joining us.

    For the rest of the day, you can keep across the latest developments on the Russia investigation and on the Supreme Court nomination - which resumes tomorrow - in our news stories below.

    FBI confirms Russia probe

    Senators clash at Gorsuch hearing

  2. Trump's approval rating falls

    After a recent bump in popularity, according to the polls, the president's approval rating now appears to have fallen in the last week.

    How today's events play out, we will see.

    You can follow the latest on what Trump is doing, and how his actions are viewed by the American public, on our Trump tracker page.

    How much has the president achieved so far?

    graphic
  3. What a tangled web she weaves

    And one unexpected fact we unearthed today - tarantulas don't grow webs, as one congresswoman learned the hard way when she made a clumsy non-BBC-Earth-approved metaphor.

    View more on twitter
  4. Three Trump claims 'debunked' - Vox

    Vox says several of the president's allegations have today been put to bed.

    1. The Russia story is fake, created by Democrats

    2. President Obama ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower

    3. Britain's top spies helped Obama

    Read the full article 

    The White House takes a different view and said earlier "nothing has changed" with today's evidence.  

  5. 'Big grey cloud hanging over us'

    As the five-and-a-half hour hearing concludes, Republican chairman Devin Nunes summarised the difficulty ahead.

    "Here's the challenge...you've announced that you have this big investigation, but now you've got these people who are involved in our government.. These are important players," he said in his closing remarks.

    "The longer this hangs out here, the bigger the cloud is."

    He seems particularly frustrated that no specific names have been identified and no collusion identified.  

    Nunes asks that if anyone working in the White House or for the Trump administration is found to have contacted the Russians, that the intelligence directors immediately disclose that.

    Republican Devin Nunes (right) with Democrat Adam Schiff
    Image caption: Republican Devin Nunes (right) with Democrat Adam Schiff
  6. 'This behaviour is not likely to stop'

    The witnesses are asked by Washington state Democrat Denny Heck why it would matter that Russia allegedly meddled in the US election campaign. 

    FBI Director Comey says: "When there’s an effort by a foreign nation state to mess with that (US democracy), to destroy that, to corrupt that, it’s very, very serious, threatens what is America. 

    "If any Americans are part of that effort that’s a very serious matter and so you would expect the FBI to understand if that’s so, and if so who did what." 

    NSA chief Mike Rogers says: "This behaviour is not likely to stop, this is not likely to be the last time we have a discussion about this kind of activity."

  7. Meanwhile, in Crimea

    Three years after Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory our correspondent Steve Rosenberg has been to Crimea to hear what people are saying there.

    There's been a lot of talk about Crimea and Vladimir Putin in today's hearing, so it might be helpful to see what things really look like on the ground there.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  8. A tale of two tycoons

    President Trump met Bill Gates at the White House today to discuss foreign aid.

    As they met, it was revealed that the Microsoft founder had yet again topped the list of the world's wealthiest people, according to Forbes.

    Gates' fortune rose to $86bn, from $75bn.

    But it was bad news for Trump, who slipped 220 spots to 544 and must now scrape by on just $3.5bn.

    Forbes said a $1bn fall in his wealth was due to the slow US property market.

    More details here

    Bill Gates
    Image caption: Bill Gates, richest earthling - still
  9. Were Russians successful?

    The FBI director is back from his bathroom break.

    Asked about the Trump tweet below, Comey says intelligence agencies have made no judgement on whether the Russians were successful or not in influencing the US 2016 election.

    View more on twitter
  10. White House reacts to FBI probe

    Spicer says he is not aware of any White House official under investigation by the FBI.

    FBI director Comey earlier refused to be drawn on any names of who might be under scrutiny in the ongoing inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the election.

    View more on twitter
  11. Spicer defends Trump golf-playing

    Spicer is asked why Trump spends so much time at golf clubs when he excoriated Obama for hitting the fairway.

    The press secretary says Trump has used "the game of golf" to advance America's interests, such as his links outing with Japan's PM.

    Spicer is asked to produce other examples of how the president has mixed work with golf. He says the president is entitled to some privacy.

    View more on twitter
  12. Watergate defender: 'Trump has no defense'

    John Dean, a former legal counsellor to President Richard Nixon's White House, is on Twitter and giving his response to today's events.

    He played a role defending Nixon, leading the FBI to call him "the master manipulator of the cover-up". 

    He believes a grand jury should be called for an independent investigation.

    View more on twitter
  13. Manafort had 'limited role'

    Sean Spicer says Paul Manafort, the former chairman of the Trump campaign, played a "limited role for a limited time".

    Manafort was repeatedly mentioned by Democratic lawmakers in today's hearing for alleged Russia intelligence links.

    Twitter wags had fun with Mr Spicer's use of the description "very limited role".

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  14. Breaking'Nothing has changed'

    Of today's FBI and NSA evidence in Congress, Sean Spicer echoes his boss' view that "nothing has changed... there's no evidence of a Trump-Russia collusion".

    A member of the press corps points out that Comey told lawmakers the matter was still very much under investigation.

    "Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things," Spicer retorts.

  15. Catch up: What we learned from Comey

    Video content

    Video caption: What FBI Director Comey said on Trump, Russia and wiretaps
  16. White House briefing begins

    Sean Spicer is at the podium with one of the most difficult jobs in Washington today.

    He will be asked by the press corp why he had accused the British of helping Obama to wiretap Trump Tower before the election - a claim that will be very hard to prove today now that the FBI and NSA directors say there is no proof of any such wiretap.

    So far he's touting praise for Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is taking questions at his first confirmation hearing today.

  17. 'I'm not made of steel' - FBI

    Comey interrupts Congressman Schiff to ask for a quick break.

    "I'm not made of steel," he adds. 

    "Ten minutes?" the congressman offers.

    "That's plenty," the FBI director responds.

  18. Republican plan to 'capture' judicial branch

    Meanwhile, over in the US Senate, the confirmation hearing continues for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

    Illinois Senator Dick Durbin told Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch that his nomination formed part of a Republican party strategy to "capture" the judicial branch of the US government. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Democrat senator criticises Republican tactics in Supreme Court nominations
  19. 'Knowing collusion'?

    Illinois congressman Mike Quigley wants know if collusion requires two knowing parties, or if collusion can be possible when one "actor doesn't necessarily know that what they're doing is helping the other government". 

    The NSA chief says that does happen sometimes, leading Quigley to ask about "naive acquiescence", in which one party should know better.

    "I don't know what that means," spy chief Rogers chuckles when presented with that scenario.