Top Senators Reject Trump Wiretap Claim

White House stands by accusation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2017 12:09 AM CDT
White House Stands by Trump Wiretap Claim
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-NC, right, and the committee's vice chairman, Mark Warner, D-Va., left, listen to testimony.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The White House is standing by its explosive allegation that former President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower phones—despite the Senate Intelligence Committee's finding that there's no evidence for the claim. "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," committee chief Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, said in a statement with ranking Democratic Sen. Mark Warner. The statement came the day after a similar statement from the head of the House Intelligence Committee, the New York Times reports.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Thursday that the president stands by the claim. During a testy news conference, Spicer refused to answer questions about the president's reaction to the congressional statements. Instead, he repeated that the president meant surveillance when he said "wiretapping" and read out news reports he said backed up the claim, becoming annoyed when reporters told him they were based on the "anonymous sources" the White House has often criticized, Politico reports. Spicer repeated Trump's claim that more information will surface in the weeks ahead. (The Breitbart editor who wrote the story Trump may have based the claim on says it was more of a "potential scenario.")

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