WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The FBI is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with a covert Russian operation to interfere in November’s general election, FBI Director James Comey told Congress Monday — and he refuted the president’s claim that his predecessor wiretapped his communications.

Comey’s testimony was delivered to the House Intelligence Committee Monday, revealing the Trump campaign was the subject of a U.S. counterintelligence investigation, a revelation that could shadow the Trump presidency.

The FBI director also dealt a blow to the president’s credibility when he said he “has no information that supports” Trump’s allegation from two weeks ago that President Obama ordered surveillance of his communications in Trump Tower during the campaign. Only courts grant permission for electronic surveillance, Comey told lawmakers, and “no individual in the United States can direct electronic surveillance of anyone.”

However, Comey did not say that no Trump associate was ever picked up by American surveillance. He declined to comment on matters relating to surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the FBI to eavesdrop, with a court order, on people they suspect are agents of a foreign power.

With the director of the National Security Agency sitting by his side, Comey began the hearing by revealing in his opening statement that the FBI was in the midst of a counterintelligence investigation into the Russian campaign to hack, leak and promote bogus news stories. Part of that investigation, he said, would examine whether the Trump campaign coordinated with that effort.

Comey said he was not permitted to disclose further details about the probe. Normally, Comey said, the FBI doesn’t confirm or deny investigations, but it can make exceptions in cases of major public interest. He did not say how long the investigation might last, but counterintelligence experts have said investigations can sometimes take years to reach a conclusion.

The Russian campaign was intended to target the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help Trump, the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies have concluded. It was also designed to sow chaos and undermine American democracy — something many experts say it has succeeded in doing.

Before the hearing, Trump argued in a series of tweets that “the Russian story” was “made up” by Democrats, and not a topic for serious inquiry.

Trump and his White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, referenced commentary that was broadcast on Fox News alleging that Obama had asked a British intelligence agency, GCHQ, to eavesdrop on Trump. Over the weekend, the top civilian at the National Security Agency called that claim “errant nonsense.”