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WASHINGTON ― The House Intelligence Committee has asked President Donald Trump to submit evidence of his allegation that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower by Monday. But it’s still not clear whether he or his administration will comply ― or whether there’s any evidence to offer.
“We are reviewing the letter and will decline further comment at this time,” said Justice Department spokesman Pete Carr. The White House did not return a request for comment.
Trump asked Congress to investigate his claim, which he tweeted about on March 4, that Barack Obama personally ordered surveillance on Trump Tower before the election. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said the committee would look into the matter as part of a broader inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
So far, there is no evidence that Trump’s allegation was anything but a conspiracy theory, perhaps picked up from a right-wing website. If there is proof, Trump seems to be the only person to have it.
“He’s the president of the United States. He has information and intelligence that the rest of us do not,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on March 6.
On Monday, Conway admitted she personally didn’t have any evidence that Obama had ordered wiretapping of Trump, although she put forward the theory that it could have happened through “microwaves that turn into cameras.”
President Donald Trump has said he believes that Barack Obama wiretapped him before the election. No one else really seems to believe that.
An Obama spokesman has denied that the former president wiretapped Trump. “Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen,” the spokesman said. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
FBI Director James Comey reportedly asked the Justice Department to publicly refute Trump’s claim as well, but the agency has so far not released any such statement. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence under Obama, recently said “there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign.”
On Sunday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) challenged Trump to offer proof of his claims, saying if the president can’t do so, he needs to retract his allegation.
“The president has one of two choices, either retract or provide the information that the American people deserve,” McCain told CNN. “I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the president of the United States could clear this up in a minute.”
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