The White House Is Still Standing by Trump’s Wiretap Accusation
Just before the administration’s daily press briefing, the FBI director told Congress he has “no information” to support the president’s claims.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated on Monday that President Trump is sticking with his allegations that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, even after FBI Director James Comey insisted earlier in the day that he himself has “no information” to support that claim.
During a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Ranking Member Adam Schiff asked Comey if Trump’s accusations were true. He referred to a March 4 tweet in which the president said, without providing evidence, that he “just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Comey replied that he has “no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI.” A spokesman for Obama has called the claims false.
Later in the afternoon, Spicer was asked by a reporter if Trump was “prepared to withdraw that accusation and apologize” to Obama, given Comey’s testimony. Spicer said “No,” and suggested that more information could still come to light. “We started a hearing. It’s still ongoing,” Spicer said. “I think there’s a lot of areas that still need to be covered. There’s a lot of information that still needs to be discussed.”
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said during the hearing that there was no “physical wiretap of Trump Tower,” though he added that “it’s still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.”
In his testimony, Comey publicly confirmed for the first time that the agency is investigating Russia’s involvement in last year’s election. “The FBI,” Comey said, “is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”