Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Senate intelligence panel rejects Trump wiretap claim

Senate intelligence panel rejects Trump wiretap claim

The House Committee holds a hearing Monday with Director of National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey.

Mr Trump echoed comments from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who said the president used the word "wiretap" in quotes to broadly refer to "surveillance and other activities".

A spokesman for the former President dismissed the allegation as "simply false", while legislators from both parties called on Trump to produce evidence of the surveillance or retract the charge.

Despite agreeing there was "no physical wiretap" at Trump Tower Nunes said it was unclear what other surveillance evidence there might be on Trump or any of his associates.

Burr and Warner helm one of the congressional committees investigating ties to Russian Federation by Trump's associates.

A spokesman for May said on Friday that the charge, made on Tuesday by Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano, that the UK's signals intelligence agency GCHQ had helped Obama to wire tap Trump after his victory in last year's USA presidential election, was "ridiculous".

The New York Times article Trump references says the FBI has used intercepted communications in its investigation of several Trump associates and their ties to Russian Federation.

"We don't have any evidence that that took place", Rep. Devin Nunes of California, who chairs the committee, said this week. That really covers, because wiretapping is pretty old fashioned stuff.

He added: "Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election?"

In a rare public statement, Britain's GCHQ, Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, the equivalent of the US National Security Agency which monitors overseas electronic communications, said the claims were "nonsense" and should be ignored.

The two cited media reports that said both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department were involved, raising questions about the "content and context of Mr. Flynn's discussions with Russian officials".

"He stands by it", Spicer told reporters, suggesting that investigations in the House and Senate intelligence committees may not have yielded all relevant information, yet. Trump wrote on Twitter.

'President Obama wouldn't physically go over and wiretap Trump Tower, so now you have to decide. are you going to take the tweets literally, and if you are, then clearly the president was wrong, ' he told reporters.

James Clapper, the longtime director of national intelligence under Obama, has said Trump's home and office were not wiretapped before the presidential election a year ago.

"I can deny it", Mr. Clapper said. It does not say Obama ordered this surveillance, nor does it say Trump's own phones were tapped or that he was under surveillance in any way.

In defending Trump, Spicer read remarks by Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano that alleged the British spy agency had been involved in the wiretapping.

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