Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Former Obama chief of staff dismisses Trump wiretapping claim

Former Obama chief of staff dismisses Trump wiretapping claim

The statement from Republican Senator Richard Burr, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, dismissed Donald Trump's claim his phones were tapped.

In a Twitter post on March 4, Trump said his predecessor, Barack Obama, ordered wiretaps of his NY offices - an extraordinary and explosive accusation that an Obama spokesman flatly denied.

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey is to testify before lawmakers on that and other issues relating to what U.S. intelligence says was Russian interference in the election.

FILE- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (left) talks with National Security Agency and Cyber Command chief Adm. Michael Rogers on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 5, 2017, before testifying before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

In response to Trump's claims and a request from the House intelligence committee, the Justice Department is doing its own review of whether Trump or any of his associates were the subject of surveillance.

Burr and Warner are leading one of three congressional investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, including whether Trump associates were in contact with the Kremlin.

"They're not findings. There's a statement out today they have not begun this", Spicer told ABC News at today's White House press briefing.

To make the case that this was what Trump really meant, Spicer noted that "wires tapped" was in quotes in the original tweet.

Spicer said he believes Trump will be vindicated.

The unusually strong, bipartisan statement left little room for the White House to continue its defense of Trump's extraordinary allegations that implied that former president Barack Obama engaged in a possible criminal act.

"I think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks", Mr Trump said.

But the press secretary refused to acknowledge Nunes, who was on Trump's transition team, had also said there was no proof of wiretapping.

Thursday, the House Intel Committee was saying it had yet to see any evidence of wiretapping, but had not yet closed the books out any and all forms of surveillance.

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

Graham, who chairs the Senate panel, said the Senate will also hold up the nomination of Rod Rosenstein, Trump's pick for deputy attorney general, until Congress is provided with information "to finally clear the air as to whether there was ever a warrant issued against the Trump campaign".

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