Trump addresses crowd at inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial
Trump addresses crowd at inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial Reuters

The Trump administration called upon Congress on Sunday to investigate possible interference by the Obama White House of the 2016 US presidential election.

Last week, President Trump accused the Obama administration of spying on his campaign in 2016.

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

"Terrible! Just found out Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

"Is it legal for a sitting President to be 'wire tapping' a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!"

An Obama spokesperson denied the charges, but on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Trump administration would seek congressional action in the matter.

“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling,” said Spicer.

“President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.”

The congressional investigation, begun in the wake of the 2016 election and claims by US intelligence agencies of Russian attempts to influence the election, has brought increased scrutiny to bear in recent weeks on Trump administration officials’ alleged ties to the Russian government.

In February, National Security Adviser Mike Flynn was forced to resign after his contacts with Russian officials following the November election were revealed. And last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself after it was publicized that he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice in 2016.

Congressional Democrats contend that Sessions’ omission of the meetings during his hearing confirmation constitutes grounds for dismissal.

But Trump administration officials note that Sessions was serving at the time as a member of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, and regularly met with foreign dignitaries, particularly ambassadors, as part of his committee work.