Congress rubbishes Trump's Obama bugging claim

Ruben Ruiz
March 20, 2017

On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee will give FBI Director James Comey his first opportunity to publicly address President Donald Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama secretly wiretapped his phones in New York's Trump Tower.

Trump himself Wednesday that when he claimed the Obama administration had "wiretapped" him during the campaign, he was basing his conclusions on news reports.

Slack pointed out that GCHQ could not have spied on Trump because the United Kingdom and the USA are both members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, and under "the Five Eyes pact, we cannot use each other's capabilities to circumvent laws".

Spicer was visibly flustered as reporters pressed him on Trump's charges, given that there is bipartisan consensus among intelligence leaders that there is no basis for his claims.

A White House official confirmed that Darroch and the British prime minister's national security adviser, Mark Lyall Grant, expressed concerns to both Spicer and Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster.

Republicans in Congress also said Trump should retract his claims. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

"As I told you last week about the issue with the president talking about tapping Trump Tower, that evidence still remains the same, that we don't have any evidence that that took place", Nunes told reporters.

Over in the House, Mr. Nunes has begun a similar inquiry into the Kremlin's behind-the-scenes attempts to influence the presidential election in Mr. Trump's favor.

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This comes despite President Trump on Wednesday hinting at more evidence coming forward sometime in the next two weeks.

President Trump accused his predecessor of wiretapping Trump Tower, citing press reports. The president said he'd learned about the alleged wiretapping from news reports referencing intercepted communications, despite the fact that he and his advisers have publicly denounced stories about government agencies reviewing contacts between Trump associates and Russians. They say they're asking for the total number of Americans whose names were mentioned. He added that if you are taking President Trump's tweets literally - which he advised people not to do - then "clearly the president was wrong".

"All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television", Trump said during Friday's news conference.

Burr is the committee's Republican chairman; Warner is its ranking Democrat.

On Monday, the House intelligence committee will hold its first open hearing on its Russian Federation investigation.

If that had occurred, he said, he would "absolutely" have been told that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had sought and received a court-ordered warrant to tap under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Nunes also says the committee is tussling with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence over whether the committee will be allowed to have the computer technology needed to go through CIA evidence about Russia's interference in the election.

Other reports by GizPress

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