WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump is sticking with his claim that President Barack Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower previous year, despite intelligence officials saying there's no evidence that ever happened, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer. The president accused former President Barack Obama of tapping the phones at his NY skyscraper and compared the incident to Watergate.
"As I told you last week about the issue with the president talking about tapping Trump Tower, that evidence still remains the same, that we don't have any evidence that that took place", Nunes told reporters.
The statement from the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee marks the clearest and strongest refutation of Trump's allegations since the President first made them two weeks ago.
"He stands by it", Spicer said, chin out, when asked if Trump stood by his tweet-nado of almost two weeks ago when he said he'd been wiretapped by Obama at his Trump Tower office. Arizona Republican Senator John McCain said on CNN last weekend that "the president has one of two choices: either retract or to provide the information that the American people deserve".
In a March 15 interview, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked Trump why he didn't ask the agencies about any possible surveillance on him or his campaign before tweeting about it, given that the White House appears to have no evidence to backup his claims. The aide said Spicer is wrong.
In defending Trump, Spicer read remarks by Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano that alleged the British spy agency had been involved in the wiretapping.
Trump said, "At least we have something in common perhaps".
Spicer emphasized that investigations were incomplete and that Trump had meant general surveillance when he wrote about wiretapping.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the same during a press conference Thursday morning.
In a statement, Nunes said the committee still had not received information it requested from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency about whether information collected on US persons was mishandled and leaked to the public. Is the story GCHQ spied on President Trump or is the story about the use of fake news as a political and geo-political tool?
Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, said that would include looking into ties to both the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns.
Just hours earlier the White House was forced to issue an apology for the allegation, which was originally made by Fox News and then repeated by Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday. "But again you can see the President trying to say, "Well I didn't mean what I said or what I said could mean various different things" - he was very specific in what he said".