A day after accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones before the election, President Trump called on Congress to examine his claim, for which he has cited no proof.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer issued an announcement on Sunday saying that “reports referring to potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very bothered,” and that Trump is asking Congress to investigate.
President Donald J. Trump is demanding that as part of their inspection into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were misused in 2016,” the statement read. “Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.
FBI Director James Comey asked the Justice Department “to publicly reject” Trump’s allegation that Obama ordered the tapping of Trump’s phones.
Early Saturday morning, Trump unleashed a series of tweets claiming Obama had secret the phones at Trump Tower previous to the 2016 election. Trump provided no citations to back up the claim, and a spokesman for the former president stamp the accusation “simply false.”
Horrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the win. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” he declared from his Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, where Trump is resting the weekend.
“Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wiretapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by the court earlier. A NEW LOW!” he added.
If Trump received the wiretap information from his own observation sources instead of media reports, he’d have the authority to declassify the material and substantiate his claims.
On Sunday, Trump followed up his apparently conspiratorial Twitter flurry with another early-morning tweet aimed at his predecessor.
Who was it that secretly said to Russian President, ‘Tell Vladimir that after the election I’ll have more pliable?'” Trump tweeted, tagging his favorite morning cable news program, “Fox & Friends.
In the tweet, Trump was referring to a March 26, 2012, talk between Obama and then-outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a nuclear security summit in Seoul. Obama was caught on a hot mic telling Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” after the 2012 election to deal with rocket defense relations, urging Moscow to give him “space” to do so.
Medvedev convinced Obama he would relay the message to then-incoming President Vladimir Putin.