Trump wiretap claims: White House softens stance on unproven tweets

Posted March 16, 2017

On Wednesday, Republican Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who generally sides with Trump, said that there is no evidence that Trump Tower was wiretapped.

That was the explanation White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave as the White House stepped back on the unsubstantiated claim that former U.S. president Barack Obama bugged Trump Tower during the election run-up. Trump provided no evidence for his claim. FBI Director James Comey is likely to face questions about whether the agency got a warrant to wiretap Trump Tower at a House hearing on Monday.

The White House has asked those committees to also investigate Mr Trump's unverified wiretapping allegations against Mr Obama.

He added in a subsequent tweet: "How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process".

President Donald Trump in an interview with Tucker Carlson today defended his recent claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

Last week, the White House tried to avoid giving further life to US President Donald Trump's stunning and unsupported allegation that former president Barack Obama ordered surveillance of him previous year.

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- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election?

The House Intelligence Community has set a Monday deadline for the DOJ to provide the evidence, a source familiar with the matter has told CNN, and has sent letters throughout the intelligence community this week to obtain records related to Russian Federation. John McCain of Arizona also asked the White House to do the same - if Trump can't produce evidence.

In an interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Schiff said that he doesn't "expect we're going to see any evidence" to verify Trump's claims.

And when WikiLeaks posted new documents claiming to expose surveillance tactics available to the intelligence community, the White House steadfastly refused to confirm their validity, in keeping with long-standing United States policy about keeping spying operations secret.

Stephen Colbert and President Obama's former White House photographer Pete Souza both mocked Kellyanne Conway for her remark about the potential for microwaves to be turned into cameras to spy on Americans.

But the two said they are hoping to make progress on the issues of Russia's interference in last year's election, including how many people linked to the Trump campaign may have been wiretapped in the course of that or other probes.