ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2017

White House says Trump 'stands by' wiretapping claim after congressional rebuttals

20 March 2017, 09:37 | Myron Mathis

Column: Enough with the wiretapping nonsense


The breadth of the probe also includes looking into whether Trump or any of his associates had any connections to the Kremlin and what federal agencies unmasked names of US citizens who were picked up via incidental collection of surveillance. In a statement to The Associated Press, Stone said he's retained two attorneys to explore whether he can compel the government to "either charge me or admit they have no case whatsoever".

The New York Times article Trump references says the FBI has used intercepted communications in its investigation of several Trump associates and their ties to Russian Federation.

"I see no indication that that's true", Representative Tom Cole told CNN. "I have a lot of confidence in the committee".

However, that is not what Trump said when he accused Obama of targeting himself, a U.S. citizen, and thereby breaking U.S. law.

Spicer all but screamed at Jonathan Karl, ABC News' chief White House correspondent, demanding, "Where was your passion and where was your concern when they all said that there was no connection to Russian Federation? He used to say-'If you want it bad, you get it bad.' And they seem to have gotten it bad", McDonough said. Referencing Trump's original claims on Twitter, Nunes added, "Are you going to take the tweets literally?"

"Not that I respect The New York Times. But they did write on January 20 using the word wiretap", he explained.

Trump said there would be "some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks".

Mr Obama dismissed the unsubstantiated claim as "false" before the House Intelligence Committee announced on Wednesday it had seen no evidence for the claim and did not believe it happened.

But Trump's fellow Republicans, who control majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives, say the probes by congressional committees are sufficient. That evidence still remains the same. We don't have any evidence that took place. GOP Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes said he did not "think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."

Speaking at the daily press briefing Thursday, Spicer maintained that Trump would be "vindicated" after new evidence came to light, echoing claims made by Trump in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday.

"That really covers, because wiretapping is pretty old fashioned stuff. And nobody ever talks about the fact that it was in quotes, but that's a very important thing".

In response to Trump's claims and a request from the House intelligence committee, the Justice Department is doing its own review of whether Trump or any of his associates were the subject of surveillance.

Spicer engaged in a lengthy exchange with CNN's Jim Acosta over whether the President stands by his allegation that he was wiretapped specifically and not under surveillance in general.

"I think the director will have an opportunity to put the final exclamation point on that and put this to rest, and then it will be up to the president to explain why he would make such a baseless accusation", he said. The DOJ asked for more time.

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