Top Republicans demand Donald Trump retracts Barack Obama wiretap allegation

Politicians fear a failure to apologise could break public trust in their leader 

Will Worley
Wednesday 22 March 2017 17:14 GMT
The President has been facing criticism from within his own party over the wiretap allegations
The President has been facing criticism from within his own party over the wiretap allegations (AFP/Getty)

Senior members of Donald Trump's Republican Party are calling on their President to retract his accusation that Barack Obama ordered wiretaps on Trump Tower and apologise to his predecessor.

Fearing his habit of championing falsehoods could compromise public trust in the US leader, they made their calls after FBI chief James Comey told a Congressional hearing this week he had “no evidence” to support the surveillance claims.

Mr Trump has also failed to provide any information to support his claim, which he made on Twitter.

Warning that a failure to apologise could shake public confidence in Mr Trump's word, Long Island Congressman Peter King told WOR Radio: “There’s no evidence. The president has to find a way, I think, to walk it back.”

Her added that it could lead to a dangerous situation if "the president gets real intelligence, saying that a real attack could be occurring, and people may think it’s the same as his tweet about Obama.”

His comments were echoed by former Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

"I think that he should retract his comment," said the long time Trump critic. "He should retract unless he has evidence that would show Obama was behind that and obviously there has not been that evidence."

Another senator from Mr McCain's home state of Arizona, also called on Mr Trump to take his comments back.

“The accusations about the former president wiretapping, that's a serious allegation that you make about somebody,” Jeff Flake told KTAR radio. “And that's not well-advised. And I would hope that the President would apologise and move on.”

Pennsylvania Representative Charlie Dent also told MSNBC: “He should retract. I would apologise if I were in his shoes, absolutely.”

Fox News: We have ‘no evidence of any kind’ that Obama wiretapped Trump

Their comments came after after FBI director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the Bureau had found no evidence that Mr Obama had ordered wiretaps in Trump Tower during the presidential election.

<>This did not surprise Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair, Bob Corker.

"I don’t think from the beginning there was a lot of credence placed in the statements so I don’t think much changed," he told Bloomberg.

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