As you know our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations. Especially those investigations that involve classified matters, but in unusual circumstances where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so as Justice Department policies recognize. This is one of those circumstances.
I've been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our current intelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. And 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. As with any counter intelligence investigation this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed. Because it is an open ongoing investigation and is classified, I can not say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining.
At the request of Congressional leaders we have taken the extraordinary step, in coordination with the Department of Justice, of briefing this congress's leaders, including the leaders of this committee in a classified setting in detail about the investigation. But I can't go into those details, here.