Republican says Donald Trump should apologise to UK and Obama for wiretapping claims

An increasing number of top Republicans are saying there is no evidence to back up the President’s allegations

Rachael Revesz@RachaelRevesz
Sunday 19 March 2017 15:13
Republican says Donald Trump should apologise to UK and Obama for wiretapping claims

A Republican Representative said on national television that Donald Trump should apologise to the UK and former President Barack Obama amid growing tensions due to his unsubstantiated claims that he was illegally wiretapped.

Texas Representative Will Hurd said he learnt to apologise from his grandfather, and he was then questioned as to whether he thought the President should take the same advice.

“I think so,” he told ABC’s This Week.

“We live in a very dangerous world and we can’t do it alone, and when we have a major ally – and it’s not just sorry to the President [Obama] but also to the UK, for the claims, or the intimation, that the UK was involved in this as well,” he added.

“It doesn’t hurt and it takes away from the rest of his agenda.”

Senator Tom Cotton, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was asked on CNN whether he had seen any evidence of Mr Trump’s wiretap claims.

“Not that I’ve seen and not that I’m aware of,” he replied, adding that the committee would take the claims seriously nonetheless, reviewing documents and taking testimony from witnesses to see if there was any such evidence.

Mr Hurd’s and Mr Cotton’s remarks follow the Department of Justice announcing it had complied with a White House Intelligence Committee request to turn over any relevant material related to the claims from Mr Trump earlier this month that he was put under surveillance without his knowledge before the election.

The Committee’s Chairman and Republican Representative David Nunes said they had "fully complied" with the White House request but did not say what evidence they had turned over.

He later told CNN, when asked if there were physical wiretaps of Trump Tower, "No, there never was."

Trump: 'Wiretapping' covers a whole range of things

House Speaker Paul Ryan was also asked about the unsubstantiated claims on the Sunday morning networks.

He said he had not seen any evidence to back up the allegations, but would “investigate each and every one of these things”.

“I want to get on with passing our agenda,” he told Fox News, before reverting to the question of repealing Obamacare.

Mr Obama and the GCHQ in the UK have denied any involvement in such activity, despite Fox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano’s comments to the contrary. President Trump said he had simply quoted the Judge’s view, “a certain very talented legal mind”.

It was later revealed that a former CIA official, Larry C Johnson, who had been responsible for pedalling other falsehoods about Michelle Obama and John Kerry, had told the Judge about the claims, who then repeated them on Fox News.

Last week Arizona senator John McCain, who was blasted during the election campaign by Mr Trump for being captured by the enemy during the Vietnam War, called on Mr Trump to either provide evidence of his claims or retract them.

"The president has one of two choices, either retract or provide the information that the American people deserve," he said.

Mr Trump has remained adamant that his claims need to be investigated, and Congress agreed to do so.

"How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process," he wrote on Twitter on 4 March. "This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"

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