U.S. lawmakers want evidence for wiretap claim
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 13, 2017,
Mar 13, 2017, 5:22
U.S. president Donald Tump has been told to hand over evidence Barack Obama tapped his phones, after making the extraordinary claims against his predecessor last week.
James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, shot down Trump's wiretapping claims last week, denying the existence of a court order allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct the surveillance.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said President Trump needs to provide the American people with evidence that Obama wiretapped him.
Other lawmakers - including some within the GOP - have also requested evidence of any wiretapping, with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham previously stating he was ready to subpoena intelligence agencies for evidence relating Trump's surprising claim.
Early last Saturday, Mr. Trump tweeted the accusation, surprising several top White House staffers who seemed unaware of the incident when later asked for comment.
But Sen. Roy Blunt pointed out that the White House shouldn't need Congress to investigate.
Intelligence officials say no such or wiretapping or surveillance of the Trump campaign took place.
But speaking on CNN, John McCain, said Mr Trump could very easily clear up the matter.
"It's undeniable that there's a lot of really good unanswered questions about why senior Trump officials are, at best, not being forthcoming about their interactions with Russians", Earnest told the Associated Press.
But Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the panel, indicated Sunday he felt Trump would not meet that deadline, saying on ABC's "This Week", that, "I don't expect we're going to see any evidence of this". "And here's where I think it's consequential: If, six months from now, the president should say that Iran is cheating on the nuclear agreement".
Schiff questioned whether the American people and people around the world would believe the president if he made such a claim. "And we sincerely can not understand why American people and American politicians started the process of self-humiliation. And that has real world consequences".
'We should be able to determine in fairly short order whether this allegation is true or false, ' Schiff told reporters Tuesday evening at the Capitol. "I don't think anyone has any question about this, George". I think he's frustrated with selective leaks coming from parts of government that malign his campaign.