Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Trump Ally: President Was Likely Wrong On Obama Wiretapping Claim

Trump Ally: President Was Likely Wrong On Obama Wiretapping Claim

Whitehouse and Graham both asked the Justice Department last week to provide any evidence that would support Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

"He doesn't really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally", said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary. The department has until March 20th to respond. So now you have to decide, as I mentioned to [the press] last week, are you going to take the tweets literally? "And if you are, then clearly the president was wrong", he said.

"'Wiretap' covers a lot of different things", said Trump in an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson that will air Wednesday evening. The FBI is investigating Trump associates' contacts with Russian Federation during the election, as are House and Senate intelligence committees. "I think there's significant reporting about surveillance techniques that existed throughout the 2016 election".

The president, who appears to have made his allegation in a burst of anger, has asked lawmakers to investigate the claim. In the immediate aftermath of the Trump wiretapping allegations, FBI Director Comey publicly called on the Department of Justice to publicly refute the president's surveillance claims.

The House intelligence committee on Wednesday ordered USA snooping agencies to reveal whether they eavesdropped on any Trump or Clinton campaign personnel a year ago, and if so, whether they illegally "unmasked" any of those people by publicly revealing their communications.

Other congressional committees are also pushing the administration to clarify Trump's claims.

Graham is the chair and Whitehouse the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

The probe originated out of Russia's reported efforts to try to sway the US election. Another hearing will be held March 28 to hear from other witnesses.

The leaders said the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, and the head of the National Security Agency would testify at a public hearing on 20 March.

Schiff said the Intelligence Committee has so far seen no evidence during their probe of Russian influence on the USA election to support Trump's claim.

Identities of Americans who show up in US surveillance against foreign targets are generally concealed, but can be unmasked by intelligence agencies in certain circumstances. And when Trump said Obama, he also didn't mean Obama.

That's the date of the committee's first open hearing on the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible contacts between Trump associates and Russian Federation. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any USA citizen.

Air quotes or no air quotes, Monday was the deadline for the Trump administration to provide Congress with evidence that President Obama had "wiretapped" Donald Trump's phones.

"We've had sufficient conversations and gotten answers that we find to be satisfactory from the appropriate folks", Burr said, when asked to explain why he would not request. Given Sessions' recusal, Rosenstein would take over responsibility for any probes touching the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling if he's confirmed.

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