Trump Defends Obama Wiretap Allegation Without Evidence

The president has taken residence in the White House and holds the title of commander-in-chief, but that hasn't stopped him from talking about the 44th leader of the US.
Pranshu Rathi

In an interview given to Fox News Wednesday, President Donald Trump defended unsubstantiated accusations made by him against the former President Barack Obama, through twitter earlier this month. In the interview, Trump said that “wiretap covers a lot of different things,” while reiterating his claim that the former President ordered the wiretapping of the Trump Tower.

Commenting for the first time since making the explosive and controversial accusation on March 4, Trump referenced two media reports — a NYT article and reporting by Fox News host Bret Baier— as his possible sources for wiretapping accusations while speaking to Fox news host Tucker Carlson.

"Well, I've been reading about things. I read in, I think it was Jan. 20, a New York Times article where they were talking about wiretapping. There was an article, I think they used that exact term. …I said, wait a minute, there's a lot of wiretapping being talked about," Trump said according to the Hill. The NYT article Trump mentioned, did not say that Obama wiretapped him.

Trump also suggested that he may produce some proof or evidence regarding his claims.

“I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks. …We will be submitting certain things and I will be perhaps speaking about this next week. But it's right now before the committee and I think I want to leave it there," Trump added.

Trump’s comments on the subject comes as bipartisan support demanding proof for his wiretapping claims begins to grow. On Wednesday, two Senators— Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, threatened to block the nomination of Rod J. Rosenstein as deputy attorney general until the FBI submitted evidence about the President’s claim.

Senator Lindsey Graham also threatened to issue subpoena if the FBI doesn’t fall in line putting pressure on bureau Director James Comey.

"I want to get to the bottom of it. The FBI would know if a warrant was issued. They would know if a warrant was applied for. I want to answer that question," he said. "If they do not provide the answer to that letter we wrote in a bipartisan fashion, there will be a bipartisan subpoena following the FBI," he told CNN.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also told reporters Wednesday that he never gave President Donald Trump any reason to believe he had been wiretapped by the Obama administration during the campaign.

The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Devin Nunes of California also said that he has seen no evidence backing up President Donald Trump’s allegation.“We don't have any evidence that that took place,” Nunes told reporters at a news conference in Washington. “I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”

“Are you going to take the tweets literally? And if you are, then clearly the president was wrong,” he added while saying that hearings of the intelligence committee open on Monday.

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