White House Scrambles as Time to Offer Proof of Trump Wiretapping Claims Running Out
Department of Justice has until the end of the day Monday to comply with the House Intelligence Committee's request
The hourglass is running out.
The Department of Justice has until the end of the day Monday to comply with the House Intelligence Committee's demand for documents that would substantiate President Donald Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped.
The committee's demand was made by its chairman, Devin Nunes of California, and the panel's ranking Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, in a letter sent to the White House last week, as Common Dreams reported.
Trump has thus far not presented evidence to back up the claim he made on Twitter just over a week ago. The White House requested Congress investigate what, if anything, took place.
Speaking to ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Schiff said, "I don't expect we're going to see any evidence" to back up the assertion, adding, "Either the president quite deliberately, for some reason, made up the charge. Or perhaps, more disturbing, the president really believes this."
According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Trump wasn't really talking about wiretapping, though he used that term in multiple tweets.
Speaking to press on Monday, Spicer said Trump doesn't believe it was Obama who "tapped 'trump's phone personally" but that the previous administration engaged in "surveillance and other activities." Trump, Spicer said, was referring to surveillance in general because the president put wiretapping in quotation marks. (In two tweets from Saturday, however, Trump wrote "tapp my phones" and "tapping my phones" without quotations marks.)
Trump senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, for her part, said Monday, "I don't have any evidence" to back up the wiretapping claims.
That statement to ABC's "Good Morning America" came a day after she suggested in an interview with the Bergen (New Jersey) Record that the Obama administration may have conducted broader surveillance of Trump and referenced the use of television sets and "microwaves that turn into cameras." Conway later tried to clarify her comments.
U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) last week also sent a letter to the DOJ and FBI asking for evidence to back up the allegation.