Senate says 'no evidence' of Obama wiretapping

Senate intelligence committee finds no evidence that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. White House: Trump stands by his claim.

Ben Ariel,

Trump and Obama
Trump and Obama

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate intelligence committee said on Thursday they found no evidence that former President Barack Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower during the presidential election.

The White House said, however, that Trump stands by his claim that Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower.

The committee said earlier that “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,” according to The Hill.

Speaking to reporters in his daily briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, "He stands by it," referring to the allegations that Trump first made on Twitter early this month.

Spicer explained that Trump was referring to any communications of his associates being swept up by surveillance, not necessarily actions targeted specifically at Trump.

"There’s been a vast amount of reporting, which I just detailed, about activity that was going on during the 2016 election. There's no question there were surveillance techniques used throughout this," he was quoted by The Hill as having said.

"The president has already been very clear that he didn't mean specifically wiretapping, he had it in quotes," stressed Spicer.

The saga started 12 days ago, when Trump tweeted that he "just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory [on Election Day]. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism."

“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” Trump added.

The House intelligence committee has said it would look into Trump’s claims of wiretapping as part of an existing investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Earlier this week, Spicer clarified Trump’s allegations, saying the President was not actually referring to wiretapping when he tweeted about wiretapping.

"The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities," he explained.