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The Latest: Trump says Dems 'made up' Russian story

FILE - In this March 8, 2017 file photo, FBI Director James Comey speaks in Boston. The first public hearing in a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election opens with a hearing featuring FBI Director James Comey and the head of the National Security Agency. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
FILE - In this March 8, 2017 file photo, FBI Director James Comey speaks in Boston. The first public hearing in a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election opens with a hearing featuring FBI Director James Comey and the head of the National Security Agency. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he walks to the White House after arriving on Marine One, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he walks to the White House after arriving on Marine One, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, March 20, 2017 05:21 am
WASHINGTON — The Latest on a congressional inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election (all times local):7 a.m.

President Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of fabricating allegations of election interference against Russia and creating more "fake news."

His tweets came just hours before a congressional hearing on Russia. The House Intelligence Committee will hear from FBI Director James Comey on whether U.S. officials believe Russia tried to bolster Trump's chances in the election and if there were any connections between Moscow and Trump's campaign aides.

Trump tweeted Monday: "The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!"

A separate tweet referenced James Clapper, the director of national intelligence under President Barack Obama, who has said that Trump's allegation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower is false. "James Clapper and others stated there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it."

Trump also tweeted that the "real story" is the leaking of classified information.

___

3:30 a.m.

A congressional inquiry into Russian interference in the presidential election that has so far unfolded behind closed doors moves into the open with a public hearing featuring FBI Director James Comey.

A hearing Monday before one of several congressional panels probing allegations of Russian meddling, the House Intelligence Committee, could allow for the greatest public accounting to date of investigations that have shadowed the Trump administration in its first two months.

Comey has been invited to testify, along with the director of the National Security Agency, Michael Rogers.

The committee is investigating, among other things, Russian hacking that intelligence officials have said was meant to influence the election. Also of interest to the committee are any connections between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump.

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