FBI chief rejects Trump wiretap accusation

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NEW YORK, Mar 6 (APP): The head of FBI, the U.S. domestic intelligence and security agency, has blasted President Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessor was wiretapping him and he wants the Justice Department to back him up, according to an American media report.
Senior U.S. officials told The New York Times on Sunday that FBI
Director James Comey has said the president’s wiretapping allegations are not true and asked the Justice Department on Saturday to publicly correct the record.
The report comes after President Trump, in a series of early Saturday
tweets, claimed President Barack Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, the U.S. leader in New York
The FBI and the DOJ declined to comment to the Times.
Comey wants the Justice Department to deflate Trump’s claim because
there is no evidence to support it, the Times reported, and it insinuates that Comey’s FBI broke the law, the officials told the paper.
The president laid out the wiretapping claims without any evidence and
questioned whether it was legal for a sitting president to be “’wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election.”
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process,” the president tweeted. “This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Sunday called the reports
about “potentially politically motivated investigations” before the 2016 presidential election “very troubling.”
In a series of tweets, he said the president is “requesting that as part
of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigation powers were abused in 2016.”
Spicer said that neither the White House nor the president would “comment further until such oversight is conducted.”
An Obama spokesman said Saturday that Trump’s accusations were false.
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House
official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement..
But the Justice department, led by Trump loyalist Jeff Sessions –
who’s embroiled in his own scandal and facing calls for his resignation as attorney general – has yet to say a word. Justice Department spokesman spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment Sunday, and an FBI spokesman also did not comment.
It was mere months ago that Comey, the FBI director, was accused of
serving Trump the election on a shiny silver platter after an eleventh-hour reopening of the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Although that October Surprise revealed no wrongdoing, angry Democrats said the last-minute meddling gave Trump the boost he needed to pull off the upset win.
Now Comey, with his obvious doubts about Trump’s spying story, is asking the Justice Department to intervene.
According to The New York Times, the FBI director was apparently
concerned the President’s accusation that Trump Tower was wiretapped under Obama’s orders would make it seem like the FBI had broken the law on his watch.
As the Justice Department made no comments on Sunday , the White House
renewed its call for answers to ‘reports’ of the Obama administration allegedly abusing its powers before the 2016 election.
“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations
immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling. President Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement.
But at least three Republicans sitting on intelligence committees said
they’d probe Trump’s newest whims. Congressman Devin Nunes, a Republican who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the group will look into the claims as part of its wider probe into Russia’s alleged hacking during the campaign.
“One of the focus points of the House Intelligence Committee’s
investigation is the U.S. government’s response to actions taken by Russian intelligence agents during the presidential campaign,” Nunes said in a statement.
“As such, the committee will make inquiries into whether the
government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party’s campaign officials or surrogates, and we will continue to investigate this issue if the evidence warrants it.”
Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican member of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, acknowledged on ‘Fox News Sunday’ that he’s seen ‘no evidence’ of Trump’s allegations, but he said his colleagues will look into it anyway.
“We are going to review allegations of any kind of improper contacts
between Russian officials and campaign officials or other American citizens. I’m sure that we will be reviewing any allegations such as this,” Cotton said.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican who sits on the same committee, told CNN he was ‘not sure what it is (Trump) is talking about,’ but that the committee would ‘gather the facts.’
Democrats flat-out rejected Trump’s latest tirade.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told NBC’s
‘Meet the Press’ that ‘there was no such wiretap activity mounted against’ Trump before or after the campaign.
Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, said on ABC’s ‘This Week’
that no President has ‘the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of an American citizen,’ and that the intelligence community would need approval from a federal court for such an action.