Top senators: No evidence Trump Tower bugged by Obama
A classified Justice Department report delivered to US House and Senate investigators Friday offers no support for US President Donald Trump's bombshell allegations that predecessor Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap against him, two government officials told CNN.
Asked if Trump will apologize to Obama for accusing him of wiretapping, if he comes to accept that his claims were wrong, Spicer said he wouldn't want to "prejudge where the outcome is". The statement clearly says that, at this time, that they don't believe that.
Trump also deflected criticism about a White House official who on Thursday repeated a charge that a British intelligence agency helped Obama wiretap Trump.
Spicer all but screamed at Jonathan Karl, ABC News' chief White House correspondent, demanding, "Where was your passion and where was your concern when they all said that there was no connection to Russian Federation?"
Now Mr. Grassley is threatening to hold up the nomination of Rod J. Rosenstein to be deputy attorney general until the committee is fully briefed by the FBI about whether it has begun a full criminal investigation into Russian interference in last year's elections.
Trump earlier this month tweeted that former President Obama "had my wires tapped".
"I think the president has been very clear when he talked about this. he meant surveillance", Spicer said, referring to an interview Trump gave to Fox News' Tucker Carlson Wednesday night.
On Friday, the Justice Department said it had complied with requests from the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees in both houses of Congress for information related to surveillance during the 2016 election.
"I had been reading about things" that mentioned wiretapping, he said. Spicer aggressively pushed back on journalists' questions about the apparent disconnect and read from a long list of news articles - reporting he said was further verification of the president's claims and "merit looking into".
The accusations - flatly denied by Obama - were at first seen as frivolous, spur-of-the-moment comments after a politically bruising week, which Trump and his team could later retreat from without much damage. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
Trump created a political firestorm on 4 March in a series of tweets that called Obama a "bad (or sick) guy" for an allegation that, from the start, United States officials called groundless and Obama unequivocally denied.
The two cited media reports that said both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department were involved, raising questions about the "content and context of Mr. Flynn's discussions with Russian officials".
The difference between the substance of the New York Times article and what Trump claimed in his tweet is significant, because Trump's tweet alleges Obama possibly acted outside the law to harm a political opponent, whereas the New York Times described aspects of an FBI investigation.