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White House Digs In On Trump's Wiretapping Claims

The administration continues to insist — without any evidence — that Obama ordered Trump Tower to be bugged.

07/03/2017 1:34 AM AEDT | Updated 07/03/2017 1:41 AM AEDT
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
President Trump has alleged that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in the lead up to the Presidential election. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump's administration continues to insist that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the presidential campaign, rejecting FBI Director James Comey's denial of such activity despite not providing evidence to back up its claims.

ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday whether Trump accepts Comey's reported request for the Department of Justice to "publicly reject" the president's unfounded statement.

"No, I don't think he does," she replied.

Although he didn't provide any evidence, Trump claimed over the weekend that Obama ordered wiretapping of his communications last year during his presidential campaign. On Sunday, Sanders even called for an investigation into the matter.

Obama, as well as numerous U.S. intelligence officials, have denied the allegation. James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, said Sunday that "there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect, at the time, as a candidate or against his campaign." He also denied that the FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court warrant to investigate the Trump campaign's alleged contact with Russian officials.

Later that day, The New York Times and other outlets confirmed that Comey told DOJ officials to "publicly reject" Trump's claim, reportedly saying it was "false and must be corrected."

The only evidence that the Trump administration has offered are reports from right-wing news sites, maintaining a pattern of spreading unfounded conspiracy theories.

Yet Trump's team continued to dig into the claims on Monday, while still providing no definitive proof.

"This is a storyline that has been reported by quite a few outlets," Sanders said Monday, citing mainstream outlets that have reported on the claims but have found no evidence to support them.

Stephanopoulos repeatedly pressed her for evidence, but she had none.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, insisted on Fox News that Trump has "information and intelligence" to back up his claims.

"He's the president of the United States," she said. "He has information and intelligence that the rest of us do not, and that's the way it should be."

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