'No evidence' to back up Donald Trump's wiretapping claims, says FBI Director James Comey

Andrew Buncombe
New York
,Chris Stevenson
Monday 20 March 2017 16:06
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Comey: The FBI has no information that supports Trump's wiretapping tweets

The FBI has said there is no evidence to support Donald Trump's claim that he was wiretapped by Barack Obama.

FBI Director James Comey has said that neither the Department of Justice nor his own agency had evidence to support a claim by President Donald Trump that his Trump Tower headquarters had been wiretapped during the 2016 election campaign.

"With respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets," Mr Comey told a congressional hearing.

"And we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components: the department has no information that supports those tweets," he said.

Mr Trump created a controversy in early March when he tweeted without giving evidence that former President Barack Obama's administration had wiretapped Trump Tower in New York.

Mr Comey was testifying before the House intelligence committee. Comey said the Justice Department also asked him to share with the committee that the answer also applies to the Justice Department and its various components. The Justice Department oversees the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

Monday's hearing, one of several by congressional panels probing allegations of Russian meddling, could allow for the greatest public accounting to date of investigations that have shadowed the Nr Trump administration in its first two months.

Before the hearing Mr Trump took to Twitter, accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates' contact with Russia during the election. He said Congress and the FBI should be going after media leaks and maybe even Hillary Clinton instead.

“The real story that Congress, the FBI and others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!” Trump tweeted early Monday as news coverage on the Russia allegations dominated the morning's cable news.

Mr Trump also suggested, without evidence, that Clinton's campaign was in contact with Russia and had possibly thwarted a federal investigation. U.S. intelligence officials have not publicly raised the possibility of contacts between the Clintons and Moscow. Officials investigating the matter have said they believe Moscow had hacked into Democrats' computers in a bid to help Trump's election bid.

The Senate's top Democrat says that President Donald Trump “severely damaged his credibility” with Twitter postings claiming that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of him.

New York Senator Charles Schumer issued the statement after Mr Comey told the House panel that there was no information that supports Trump's allegation.

Mr Schumer said Mr Trump “needs to retract his claim immediately.” He added that Trump “should admit he was wrong, stop the outlandish tweets.”

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