Senate Intel leaders were 'fully briefed' on wiretapping allegations
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 21:39
But in an interview on Wednesday with Fox News, he suggested he first thought the former president was carrying out surveillance on Trump Tower after reading an article on the campaign in The New York Times about wiretapping, adding that Fox News anchor Bret Baier had "mentioned it" in a report.
But he said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was reluctant to let the House Intelligence Committee have access to its high-tech materials that could establish whether Trump was right.
Former Obama White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says he has "no idea" what President Donald Trump is talking about when he claims to have evidence that his predecessor wiretapped him. To quote CNN's write-up on the briefing, "Spicer said Trump wasn't referring to wiretapping when he tweeted about wiretapping".
Ahead of the hearing, the committee sent a letter to the FBI, CIA and the National Security Agency requesting details by Friday about Americans who surfaced in intelligence collections a year ago. Obama, he claimed, "went outside the chain of command" so there were "no American fingerprints on this". Trump has said he had nothing to do with Russian Federation and described the probes as witch-hunts.
A White House official confirmed that Darroch and Lyall expressed their concerns to both Sean Spicer and Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
"Mr Spicer was simply pointing to public reports, not endorsing any specific story", the statement said.
None allege that Obama, as president, ordered surveillance against Trump ― a move that would have violated longstanding protocols insulating the Justice Department from White House meddling.
To be clear, when President Trump made the accusation in four early morning tweets on March 4, he did not describe surveillance in broad terms.
"We have seen no evidence to support his outrageous allegations", said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
But Nunes said that while Trump claimed Obama personally engaged in secret surveillance, Americans would have to decide whether to season his tweets with a grain of salt.
The claim is prompting growing bipartisan agreement that there's no evidence to back up the claim and mounting pressure to retract the statement.
Committee chairman Richard Burr on Thursday released a joint statement with Democrat senator Mark Warner, stating they have not seen data supporting Mr Trump's claim. If there is proof that the Obama administration approved monitoring of Trump or his associates, that would suggest the government had reason to be suspicious of their contacts with Russian Federation and a judge had approved the surveillance.
Trump, a Republican, made the accusation six weeks after he took over the presidency from Democrat Barack Obama. The Obama administration's spying infuriated Germany at the time and risked damaging the USA relationship with one of its most important European partners. And, three, that it was wiretapping Obama ordered - not, as Spicer described, "surveillance and other activities".
However, the Western diplomat confirmed that Spicer was very apologetic when confronted by Darroch at a White House dinner on Thursday.
The statement from Republican Sen.