Senate intelligence chiefs of both parties reject Trump wiretapping claim
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 21, 2017,
Mar 21, 2017, 6:18
On Wednesday the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said they have yet to see any evidence of wiretapping, and House Speaker Paul Ryan insisted that "no such wiretap existed".
The Justice Department delivered documents Friday to House and Senate investigators regarding President Donald Trump's allegations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him.
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.
Vice President Mike Pence and new Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to answer the Senate Intelligence finding after Coats' swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill Thursday.
The Department of Justice delivered documents to the House and Senate intelligence committees Friday regarding their request for information that could shed light on Trump's claim that Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower in NY.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC on March 16, 2017. "This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!", Trump tweeted.
In a testy briefing with reporters, White House spokesman Sean Spicer forcefully defended the president, citing news reports of intelligence collection on possible contacts between Trump associates and Russian Federation in the presidential campaign.
Mr. Trump now says his assertion that Trump Tower was tapped was based on press reports.
During an interview with the Bergen Record, the senior counselor to President Trump was asked simply whether she knows that Trump Tower was wiretapped.
On the Fox & Friends program, Napolitano, a political commentator and former New Jersey judge, said that rather than ordering United States agencies to spy on Trump, Obama had obtained transcripts of Trump's conversations from GCHQ so there were "no American fingerprints" on it. Schiff says he and Nunes are willing to take steps to compel the department to comply with their request if it refuses by the March 20 deadline they've given the Justice Department.
Both Russia's clandestine interference in US politics and Trump's disturbing habit of making explosive political charges without supporting evidence have dramatically overshadowed the first two months of his presidency.
An official familiar with the investigations by Congress and intelligence and law enforcement agencies said investigators had looked as aggressively and thoroughly as they could for evidence of any spying on Trump or his associates but had found none.
Republican Senator and chairman of the judiciary committee Chuck Grassley is another who is venting his frustration, warning that he will block the Rosenstein appointment unless the Federal Bureau of Investigation answered questions.
Trump, in an interview Wednesday with Fox News, said he'd learned about the alleged wiretapping from news reports referencing intercepted communications, despite the fact that he and his advisers have publicly denounced stories about government agencies reviewing contacts between Trump associates and Russians.