The top Republican on the House intelligence committee on Tuesday played down President Donald Trump’s claims that the Obama administration wiretapped him during the 2016 campaign, suggesting the media were taking the president’s weekend tweets too literally.
“The president is a neophyte to politics — he’s been doing this a little over a year,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) told reporters, according to The Associated Press, adding, “I think a lot of the things he says, I think you guys sometimes take literally.”
Nunes, who was a member of Trump’s transition team, said whether the Obama administration had secret warrants to listen to Trump or his associates during the campaign would have been part of his committee’s investigation regardless.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted: “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!”
He followed up by tweeting, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
An Obama spokesperson denied Trump’s charges, but on Sunday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer called for congressional action in the matter.
In his remarks Tuesday, Nunes said the first public hearing of that investigation would be held March 20. The initial invite list includes the directors of the FBI and National Security Agency as well as former top Obama administration intelligence officials and two cyber security experts.