White House press secretary Sean Spicer had a dizzying back-and-forth with reporters Monday over whether President Donald Trump was "wiretapped" by the Obama administration and what exactly the president meant by it.
Spicer was asked about the gauntlet laid down by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who had a message Sunday for Trump – provide evidence or retract your claim.
"Let's be clear – the Department of Justice was asked to send information down to Congress, it wasn't the White House that was asked to do that," Spicer said during the press briefing.
Then Spicer tried to clarify what Trump meant when he made claims of wiretapping, and then said the proof was in the many reports in the media about surveillance of Trump.
"If you look at the president's tweet, he said wiretapping in quotes," Spicer told reporters. "The president was very clear in his tweet, it was wiretapping. That spans a host of surveillance options.
"I think there's been numerous reports from a variety of outlets over the last couple months that seem to indicate that there has been different types of surveillance that occurred during the 2016 election," Spicer said. "From a White House perspective, there's no question that there had been an abundance of reports regarding surveillance and other activity that occurred during the 2016 election."
President Trump "doesn't really think that president Obama went up and tapped his phone personally. But I think there is no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and activities that occurred in the 2016 election," Spicer said. "That is a widely reported activity that occurred back then."
But when pushed about McCain's urging for the president to pick up the phone and present the evidence he has, Spicer pushed back.
"No, I'm not going to get into what the president knew or didn't know prior to it," Spicer said.
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