WASHINGTON - The top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said today that there is no evidence that any wiretap took place at President Donald Trump's building in Manhattan during the presidential campaign or transition.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that there is "no basis" for President Trump's accusations that President Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower "whatsoever."
Schiff said it "deeply concerns me that the president would make such an accusation without basis."
The committee's chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said "I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."
Trump had alleged in a series of Tweets that former President Barack Obama had his phones tapped.
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
"The challenge here is that the President Obama wouldn't physically go over and wiretap and then you have to decide if you're going to take the tweets literally, and if you are, then clearly the president was wrong." Nunes said referring to the multiple tweets that President Trump sent on the morning of March 4 making accusations.
"But if you're not going to take the tweets literally and if there's a concern that the president has about other people, other surveillance activities looking at him or his associates, either appropriately or inappropriately, We want to find that out. It's all in the interpretation of what you believe," he said.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer maintained that the president will be "vindicated" by evidence. On March 13, Spicer said that Trump was not talking literally or specifically when he accused President Obama of "wiretapping" his campaign.
"If you look at the president's tweet, he said wiretapping in quotes. There's been substantial discussion in several reports," Spicer said.
"The president was very clear in his tweet, it was wiretapping. That spans a host of surveillance options," he said. "The House and the Senate Intelligence Committees will now look into that and provide a report back. I think there's been numerous reports from a variety of outlets over the last couple months that seem to indicate that there has been different types of surveillance that occurred during the 2016 election."
Nunes said that there will be a public hearing about the issue in the coming weeks.
"Certainly at the open hearing that we have... we'll be asking the director if he has seen any evidence that substantiates the president's claim," Schiff said.
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