GOP Hill leaders back away from Trump on wiretap allegations

  • President Donald Trump accused then-President Barack Obama of wiretapping him last year
  • Republicans on the Hill, charged with investigating the claim, say they’ve seen no evidence

The high-ranking Republicans investigating Russia’s involvement in the concluded US presidential election refused on Tuesday to support President Donald Trump’s allegations that immediate-past President Barack Obama wiretapped his Manhattan headquarters last year – allowing the President Trump to provide in-depth explanations.

On whether he believed Trump’s claims, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes – the President’s strongest supporters in the House and a member of his transition team – waved Trump’s accusations.

Nunes: Briefing press on Trump’s wiretapping allegations

On Tuesday when responding to newsmen, Nunes said “A lot of the things he says, you guys take literally.” The Intelligence Chief later edged-up saying that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn might have been wiretapped and that Trump had raised “valid questions” about how his aides were eavesdropped.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, who is presently spearheading investigations into Russia’s intrusion in the US elections, said there are not evidence yet to prove Trump’s allegations.

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“We’re going to go anywhere there is intelligence or facts that send us,” Burr told CNN. “So I’m not going to limit it one way or the other. But we don’t have anything today that would send us in that direction, but that’s not to say that we might not find something.”

Senator John Cornyn, second high-ranking Republican in the Senate also said: “I don’t know what the basis of his statement is.”

On Tuesday, questions were also repeated directed to Press Secretary Sean Spicer, about Trump’s claims during the White House briefing.

“Nothing has changed,” Spicer told CNN’s Jim Acosta when asked whether there was new evidence to support the claims.

“It’s not a question of new proof or less proof or whatever, the answer is the same, which is that … there was a concern about what happened in the 2016 election.

The House and Senate Intelligence Committee have the staff and the capabilities and the processes in place to look at this in a way that’s objective and that’s where it should be done.”

While responding, Rep. Adam Schiff, a top-ranking Democrat on the House’s committee said he accepts responsibility of looking into Trump’s allegations.

“The President has asked our committee to investigate this,” Schiff told reporters Tuesday evening. “Mr. President, we accept.”

Schiff added later, “It is also a scandal if those allegations prove to be false.”

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The deputy attorney general personally picked by Trump charged with investigation into Russia’s ties to Trump’s presidential campaign avoided the issue during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday morning.

“If the President is exercising his First Amendment rights, that’s not my issue,” Rosenstein, a veteran federal prosecutor with bipartisan backing, said when asked about Trump’s claims by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

So far, many of the lawmakers whom have responded find it difficult to tie Trumps allegations to any proof whatsoever and are unable to take the President literally and/or serious about his claims.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said: “We’ll follow the facts wherever they may lead, but he’s not shown us any evidence.”

Prominent Republicans whom are working hard to curry votes meant to replace the Obamacare sidestepped questions about Trump’s tweet Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked whether he has seen any wiretapping evidence whatsoever with regards to Trump’s claim but he said: “No I have not.”

The latest in new administration is the revelations of Trump’s campaign’s interactions with Russian officials plus the most recent allegations of wiretapping on Tuesday via twitter.

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Last Thursday, Sessions said he will exempt self from any investigation out of the Justice Department few hours just after it was reported he met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The White House promptly alerted the press to several other meetings top advisers had with Kislyak before it went public.

According to CNN reporting, “The House Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, has set an aggressive schedule for investigating claims that Russia engaged in widespread interference in the US elections — requesting the delivery of intelligence documents by March 17 and scheduling its first public hearing in the investigation for March 20.

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