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Top US Lawmakers: No Evidence Obama Wiretapped Trump
The White House is continuing to stand by President Donald Trump's insistence that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower in New York.
Spokesman Sean Spicer faced off Thursday against a roomful of reporters who wanted to know why Trump keeps insisting it is true even after top lawmakers on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees say it never happened. He accused the journalists of "mischaracterizing" what happened in the Senate committee.
He also accused reporters of "cherry picking" what they choose to cover, and of ignoring House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes who said it was "very possible" there was surveillance of Trump. But Nunes said he does not believe Trump's phones were tapped.
Spicer said Trump put the word "wiretap" in quotes in his original Twitter accusation. Spicer said that means there was widespread surveillance if not actual phone taps.
But the two top senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner, said Thursday: “Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”
Their statement followed one from House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who also dismissed the president's explosive claim March 4 that Obama ordered the eavesdropping. "We've cleared that up, that we see no evidence of that," Ryan said.
Trump, however, told Fox News late Wednesday that he "very soon" will produce evidence of Obama's actions. Top leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that Trump's allegation is unfounded, but the president said his administration "will be submitting things" to the panel and that he perhaps will be speaking about his claim next week.
"You're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks," Trump said.
Obama dismissed the allegation as "simply false," and Trump since then has not substantiated his claim until the Fox interview.
One key U.S. senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said, "I'm going to get to the bottom of this. Congress is going to flex its muscle."
He vowed, if need be, to subpoena the FBI to determine whether any U.S. judge issued a secret wiretapping edict that the FBI carried out.