US committee 'has no evidence' of Trump Tower wiretap

The committee's Republican chairman said the president was 'clearly wrong' if the wiretapping tweets are taken literally

US committee 'has no evidence' of Trump Tower wiretap

Picture by: Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images

Members of the US House Intelligence Committee say they have seen no evidence to support Donald Trump's claim that his phones were wiretapped by his predecessor Barack Obama.

On March 4th, President Trump tweeted: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

He added: "I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!"

No evidence was offered to support the claims, which followed a series of reports from conservative media in the US about alleged efforts to undermine the Trump administration.

The allegation was swiftly denied by a spokesperson for the former president.

After a request from the White House, the intelligence committee said earlier this month that it would "make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party's campaign officials or surrogates".

The committee - which is investigating alleged Russian interference in the US election campaign - updated reporters on their progress earlier today.

Committee chairman and Republican congressman Devin Nunes said: "As I told you last week about the issue with the President talking about tapping Trump Tower... that evidence still remains the same - we don't have any evidence that that took place.

"In fact I don't believe - just in the last week of time, the people we've talked to - I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."

Mr Nunes added: "President Obama wouldn't physically go over and wire tap Trump Tower. So now you have to decide... are you going to take the tweets literally? If you are, then clearly the president was wrong.

"If you are not going to take the tweets literally, and there's a concern that the president has about other surveillance activities looking at him or his associates - either appropriately or inappropriately - we want to find that out."

The committee previously set the US Justice Department a deadline of last Monday to provide evidence of President Trump's claims - but that was extended by a week after the department requested more time.

Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that President Trump very clearly said "wiretapping" in quotation marks, and was in fact referring to 'surveillance overall'.

Yesterday, Mr Spicer indicated the US President was "extremely confident" justice officials would find evidence to support the claims.