On Wednesday Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the committee had not found any evidence to support President Donald Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama had Trump Tower phones “tapped” before the 2016 election.
“We don’t have any evidence that took place,” Nunes said. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”
A week and a half earlier President Trump had tweeted, without evidence, that Obama had Trump Tower’s “wires tapped.” The White House then issued a statement saying that as part of the investigation into Russian activity, the Congressional Intelligence Committee should determine if Executive Branch powers were abused.
Nunes, a Republican, said, “Are you going to take the tweets literally? If you are, clearly the president is wrong.” He added that he thought it was “very possible” that Trump or someone else in the White House may have been swept up in surveillance targeting foreign nationals on US soil.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that he had “seen no evidence of illegality of any electronic surveillance” and that “there was no substance to the accusation that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.”
Nunes said FBI Director James Comey had still not told the committee directly whether the bureau had sought and obtained a FISA warrant to surveil anyone who might have communicated with Trump associates during the campaign. Nunes said Comey had agreed to testify at a public House Intelligence Committee hearing next week about the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s suspected meddling in the 2016 election.
The FBI will also brief the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon, according to CNN.