March 23, 2017

DOJ Report Doesn't Corroborate Trump's Wiretapping Claim

20 March 2017, 09:37 | Winston Chapman

President Trump speaks in the White House on Friday

President Trump speaks in the White House on Friday

In a remarkably combative exchange with reporters at his daily press briefing, Spicer was asked whether Trump still believes Obama ordered the alleged surveillance effort. He then went full-on Mellisa McCarthy, angrily countering that the media selectively chooses when to rely on statements from the intelligence committees.

"At least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump quipped during a joint news conference with Merkel.

The bipartisan statements run counter to the unsubstantiated allegations by Trump, who tweeted about the alleged wiretapping nearly two weeks ago. And, as much as possible, we'll relate what else was going on at the time.

This week, the top four lawmakers in Congress dealing with intelligence issues, Republicans and Democrats, all said that they have been given no evidence to support Trump's allegations.

"The intelligence committees, in their continuing, widening, ongoing investigation of all things Russian Federation, got to the bottom - at least so far with respect to our intelligence community - that no such wiretap existed", Ryan told reporters Thursday on Capitol Hill.

On the Fox & Friends program, Napolitano, a political commentator and former New Jersey judge, said that rather than ordering U.S. agencies to spy on Trump, Obama had obtained transcripts of Trump's conversations from GCHQ so there were "no American fingerprints" on it.

"They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored", read the statement, which was issued on condition that it be attributed to an anonymous spokesperson to protect the identity of agency staff.

According to a Western diplomat, Britain's ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch, had told the White House Tuesday that Napolitano's assertions were not true. Spicer replied. "The bottom line is the president said last night that there will be additional information coming forward".

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"When I say 'wiretapping, ' those words were in quotes".

Conway fired back at Cuomo's suggestion that she may have meant to cast doubt on the scale of surveillance, saying, "I'm allowed to talk about things in the news without you questioning anyone's personal integrity".

Spicer was also defiant Friday, telling reporters, "I don't think we regret anything".

"Mr Spicer was simply pointing to public reports, not endorsing any specific story", the statement said.

Well, none other than James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence at the time, said it never happened.

Trump also refused to apologize for the White House's repetition of an unverified claim that Obama had employed a British spy agency to monitor him during the campaign.

But the top lawmakers on both committees have said they have seen no indications that Trump Tower was wiretapped. But it did not comment further on what information, if any, was provided. Thursday, the House Intel Committee was saying it had yet to see any evidence of wiretapping, but had not yet closed the books out any and all forms of surveillance. He, too, declined to provide details.

The Justice Department is expected to turn over any information relevant to Trump's claim on Monday, though it is unclear what, if any, evidence will be presented.

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