Democrats: Trump's wiretap claims are hurting diplomatic relations
Mar 21 2017
The President notoriously claimed his predecessor, Barack Obama, ordered wiretaps on his Trump Tower-headquartered campaign.
. "No, there never was", Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said on "Fox News Sunday" when asked to confirm that the classified report delivered to Congress by the Justice Department Friday provided no evidence to support Trump's still baseless claim.
Monday's hearing was also expected to address a second explosive issue: Trump's unsubstantiated accusations that the Obama administration wiretapped his phone at Trump Tower in NY during the campaign.
Nunes went on to say that if the tweets aren't taken literally, "other surveillance activities looking at him and his associates - either appropriately or inappropriately - we want to find that out".
Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No.
"We're expecting directors Comey and Rogers to shed light on Russia's active measures undertaken during the 2016 election campaign, the USA government's response, the compilation of the Intelligence Community's January 6 report on these events, and on related questions concerned possible surveillance on Trump campaign associates and on possible leaks of classified information", he said.
Nunes, on the other hand, was categorical that the committee had yet to see any evidence that the Trump campaign worked with Russian officials.
The committee leadership - and the president - remain concerned with leaks. If Nunes is wrong if evidence does surface that Trump and Russian Federation colluded, his defense of the president connects the House Republicans to the scandal. "We do know that the Obama administration targeted their political enemies.so the notion is not necessarily outlandish, but it's serious", he said. That happened to [former National Security Adviser] Michael Flynn. On Monday, the White House started softening his claims, with spokesman Sean Spicer saying the president was referring more broadly to general surveillance that may have been approved by the Obama administration.
"We need to know whether the circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more", said Schiff, of California. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, another GOP member of the committee, said he has seen no evidence to back Trump's wiretapping claim. "No evidence of collusion".
"The wrecking ball it created now has banged into our British allies and our German allies, it's continuing to grow in terms of damage, and he needs to put an end to this", Schiff said on NBC.
"I think when it comes to the Russian Federation story - and the on-the-record sources who have been briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation continue to conclude that there's nothing there - you guys continue to fall back on these anonymous sources and perpetuate a false narrative", Spicer vented to reporters Thursday. "I think it helps with our allies".
The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced a public hearing for March 30.
"As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump told the German chancellor, referring to a WikiLeaks report in 2015 that the U.S. had monitored calls involving Merkel and her top aides for years. If the White House has any, he added on CNN, "Please share it with us".