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WiretappingNo wiretapping at Trump Tower: Senate, House intelligence leaders

Published 17 March 2017

Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top two lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Thursday issued a statement to confirm that there is no evidence to back President Donald Trump’s assertion that Trump Tower was under surveillance. On Wednesday, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, said there was no proof Trump was wiretapped during the administration of Barack Obama.

Trump Tower from ground level // Source: theconversation.com

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) vice-chairman Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), on Thursday released the following joint statement: “Based on the information available to us, 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.”

The senators’ statement follows Wednesday statements by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, who said they believed there was no proof Trump was wiretapped during the administration of Barack Obama.

Nearly two weeks ago, in a series of four Twitter messages at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Trump charged that Obama had ordered the wire-tapping of Trump Tower.

Trump added that Obama’s illegal conduct was on a scale of the Watergate affair and smacked of McCarthyism.

Roll Call notes that since the tweet, the White House has attempted to backtrack on the claims, saying that the president, by using the term “wire-tapping,” was in fact referring to surveillance more gereally. Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, also said that Trump did not believe that Obama personally installed listening of other surveillance devices.

The investigation into Trump’s wire-tapping claims is part of a broader inquiry into Russian hacking and disinformation effort to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

On Monday the House Intelligence Committee will hold its first public hearing to discuss the investigation.