The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said there is no evidence that any surveillance was conducted at Trump Tower in New York City, contradicting President Donald Trump’s 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," the panel’s chairman, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and vice chairman, Mark Warner of Virginia, said in a joint statement Thursday.
Their statement follows House Speaker Paul Ryan's saying earlier that "no such wiretap existed," citing intelligence reports to House leaders.
"The intelligence committees, in their continuing, widening, ongoing investigations of all things Russia, got to the bottom — at least so far with respect to our intelligence community — that no such wiretap existed," Ryan said at a morning news conference.
Trump initially said on Twitter that his phones at Trump Tower were “wire tapped” by former President Barack Obama during the campaign. Trump walked that claim back on Wednesday, telling Fox News that “‘Wiretap’ covers a lot of different things." He also suggested that evidence supporting his claim may be forthcoming.
The statement by the two senators follows bipartisan questioning of Trump’s initial posting. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California said Wednesday that if you take Trump’s tweet on wiretapping literally, “clearly the president was wrong.” Arizona Republican Senator John McCain said on CNN last weekend that “the president has one of two choices: either retract or to provide the information that the American people deserve.”
The president’s statements are likely to be featured again March 20, when Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey’s and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers appear before Nunes’s committee.
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