Trump doesn't believe Federal Bureau of Investigation director: Spokeswoman

UPDATED 8.02AM A spokesman for Barack Obama has rejected claims from US President Donald Trump that the former president had wiretapped him in October during the late stages of the presidential election campaign.

"I believe that [Mr Trump] was under surveillance by the Federal government, by the intelligence agencies, while he was the Republican nominee for President", he told Russia Today, worldwide television network funded by the Russian government.

The move comes a day after Trump posted a series of tweets alleging, without presenting any evidence, that Obama wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower in the weeks leading up to the November election.

Joining Clapper in knocking down Trump's assertions was FBI Director James Comey, according to the New York Times.

Stephanopoulos began his interview by asking Sanders whether Trump accepted reports that Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey had denied there was any wiretapping of Trump. Democrats said the White House was trying to shift focus away from ongoing investigations into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Compounding the situation was the revelation last week that former US senator and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an early Trump campaign supporter, had met twice with the Russian official but didn't disclose that to lawmakers when he was asked about it during his Senate confirmation hearing.

He also expanded on the President's reference to McCarthyism - a reference to the 20th-century American witch-hunts of suspected Communist sympathisers overseen by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The president has asked Congress to look into the alleged wiretapping.

Trump said in the tweets that he had "just found out" about being wiretapped. "President Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016".

Then, on Sunday, the White House called for a congressional investigation into illegal wiretapping of the Trump campaign.

January 11: The Guardian reported that a June application by USA intelligence to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been denied, and that the newspaper had not confirmed the Heat Street reporting about an October order.

Earnest said Trump was responsible for the furor.

If true, this is a far more explosive matter than whether a Trump aide may have told the Russians, "You're doing a great job!" when WikiLeaks blew DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz out of her job for tilting the playing field against Bernie Sanders in the primaries. "I don't think that we're aware that that occurred". Sheldon Whitehouse call for information from the FBI, and the House Intelligence Committee launches a thorough investigation, clear answers are not likely to come quickly.

Sad to say, President Donald Trump doesn't drink.

Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also said in a statement on Sunday that his panel "will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party's campaign officials or surrogates, and we will continue to investigate this issue if the evidence warrants it". "Any suggestion otherwise is simply false", Lewis said.

"[Trump] is going off of information that he's seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential", Sanders says in an interview on ABC's "This Week". Trump and Comey haven't spoken about this particular issue, but Spicer said Trump still has confidence in the embattled law enforcement chief.

Senate Democrats phrased their comments with care.

Trump's charge may stem from stories published on Breitbart and other news outlets detailing calls from conservative talk radio hosts Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh for a probe of warrants issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act aimed at reviewing any contact between computers at a Russian bank and Trump's NY headquarters.

  • Larry Hoffman