- Trump and the White House digress from Obama’s wiretapping allegations;
- The House Intelligence Committee requests any evidence of a wiretap from the Justice Department;
- “I think the President’s going to be marked and judged by his record,” Ryan;
The speaker of House of Congress, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman and top Democrat on the committee Thursday said that they have not found no evidence whatsoever of President Trump’s allegations that he was wiretapped by President Barak Obama during the 2016 election campaign.
“We have not seen any evidence that there was a wiretap or a (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order against Trump Tower or somebody in Trump Tower,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in an interview Thursday on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer.
House speaker Ryan said, however, that he believed in Trump ad that the false claims the he aired on Twitter would not taint the White House’ credibility.
“I think the President’s going to be marked and judged by his record,” Ryan said.
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr and top member Mark Warner early Thursday issued a statement saying: “Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”
The statement from the ranking leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee marks the succinct and strong clarification that refutes Trump’s allegations against ex-President Obama two weeks ago. The statement also touched on Trump’s most recent statements that he was not just speaking about wiretapping specifically.
Meanwhile, the White House on Thursday said the statement of leaders did not deter its confidence on Trump’s allegations.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer, when asked to respond to the accusations, rather read a litany of news reports that showed how intelligence agencies were interested in Trump’s activities rather than corroborate Trumps claims.
“He stands by it,” Spicer said, characterizing the Intelligence Committee’s statement as not final. “They have yet to go through the information.”
“We talked about this several days ago,” Spicer said. “The bottom line is that the investigation by the House and Senate has not been provided all the information.”
The White House was later rebuffed by GCHQ which is the NSA’s contemporary in the United Kingdom over specifics remarks Spicer made.
A GCHQ spokesman responded, saying: “Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President-elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
The House Intelligence Committee have said they have not seen any evidence of President Obama ordering a wiretapping, neither do they want to flatly rule out all surveillance. Nevertheless, the Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said: “We want to make sure that no surveillance activities were used for political purposes.”
Nevertheless, Nunes on Wednesday said it might be possible for Trumps aides to have been surveilled through “incidental” collection.
When asked if whether the Intelligence Committee have evidence revealing someone in Trump’s range’s communication had been tapped incidentally, Nunes only referred to the leak which fired saw national security adviser Michael Flynns communications with a Russian ambassador that forced him to resign.
“Other than Gen. Flynn, we don’t,” he said.
Major Democrat of the House committee Adam Schiff the press in an interview that he hopes the Director of the FBI, James Comey, also say he not seen any evidence of Trump’s claim when the director testifies before his committee on Monday.
“Because there’s no evidence of this at all,” Schiff said. “But again you can see the President trying to say, ‘Well I didn’t mean what I said or what I said could mean various different things’ — he was very specific in what he said. So we’ll ask the director to address that very specific allegation.”
The statement of House leaders came few hours after Paul Ryan said at a news conference that “no such wiretap existed,” citing intelligence reports to House Intelligence Committee.
“The intelligence committees, in their continuing, widening, ongoing investigations of all things Russia, got to the bottom — at least so far with respect to our intelligence community — that no such wiretap existed,” Ryan said while responding to questions from the press.
“When I say wiretapping, those words were in quotes. That really covers — because wiretapping is pretty old-fashioned stuff — but that really covers surveillance and many other things. And nobody ever talks about the fact that it was in quotes, but that’s a very important thing,” Trump told Fox News Wednesday.
The response from the leaders in Congress were pursuant to Trump and the White House retracting from the President’s shocking accusation on tweeter two weeks ago that President Barack Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower during electoral process last year.