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Intel Chairman: No Evidence Trump Tower Wiretapped

Bispartisan lawmakers say there’s no evidence to president’s claim

Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member, off camera, leave a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center where they addressed President Trump's wiretapping accusation and other matters, March 15, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member, off camera, leave a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center where they addressed President Trump's wiretapping accusation and other matters, March 15, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Top lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday there is no evidence to back up President Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower during the election.

Chairman Devin Nunes, who was part of Trump’s transition team, said he has not learned of any basis to the claim, as the committee conducts an investigation into Russian involvement in U.S. elections and leaks to the public of intelligence information.

“That evidence remains the same,” Nunes said. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”

Trump earlier this month took to Twitter to accuse former president Barack Obama of wiretapping phones in Trump Tower just before the November election.

Since then, the White House has attempted to back track the claims, even though the president asked the committee to determine if Obama ordered Trump Tower to be tapped as part of their ongoing investigation regarding Trump-Russia ties and intelligence leaks.

The president has not revealed how he came to such a conclusion.

Ranking Member Adam Schiff called the White House’s response problematic.

“They’ve been all over the map,” Schiff said. “I don’t think they have the foggiest idea what was behind the president’s claim except maybe something he watched [on] TV.”

Nunes encouraged people not to take Trump’s tweets literally but said it would “probably be helpful” if the president explained himself.

“It’s all in the interpretation of what you believe,” Nunes said. “The whole premise of the statement was wrong.”

Regarding the matter of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, White House Spokesman Sean Spicer said it would be “premature” for the president to accept the findings of both the House and Senate intelligence panels.

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter.

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