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Top U.S. Lawmakers See No Evidence Of Trump Wiretap Allegation

  • RFE/RL

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer: "The president used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities."

WASHINGTON -- Senior U.S. lawmakers say they have seen no evidence supporting President Donald Trump’s allegation that his predecessor, Barack Obama, wiretapped him during the 2016 election campaign.

The March 15 comments by the top Republican and top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee come amid mounting pressure on FBI Director James Comey to offer evidence that would either support or refute Trump’s claim.

"We don't have any evidence that that took place," committee Chairman Devin Nunes (Republican-California) told reporters. "I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."

His Democratic counterpart, Adam Schiff of California, said that Comey would be asked about evidence related to Trump’s claim, which he made on Twitter on March 4.

"It deeply concerns me that the president would make such an accusation without basis," Schiff said.

Comey and the head of the National Security Agency are slated to testify at a House hearing on March 20.

Meanwhile, at a hearing before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, Chairman Lindsay Graham (Republican-South Carolina) said the FBI would provide a classified briefing on the matter "at some time in the future."

Graham had previously said he would use subpoena power to get information from the FBI about any such probe.

Meanwhile, the White House has adjusted Trump's allegation, saying that Trump was referring more broadly to surveillance when he made the claim.

Spicer said on March 13 that Trump's claim was not meant literally. Spicer said Trump had broadly meant "surveillance and other activities" when he made the allegation on Twitter on March 4.

A spokesman for former President Barack Obama, Kevin Lewis, has described the claim as "simply false."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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