FBI Director James Comey is asking the Justice Department to publicly refute President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that former President Obama ordered Trump’s phones be wiretapped during the 2016 presidential campaign. FBI Director Comey, President Obama and others have all rejected Trump’s allegations, which he first made during a tweet storm on Saturday. Trump began by tweeting, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” He went on to tweet, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” Trump has called for a congressional investigation, and the White House is standing by the allegations, even though it has not provided evidence to back them up. This is Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaking to Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “Look, I think he is going off of information that he’s seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential. And if it is, this is the greatest overreach and the greatest abuse of power that I think we’ve ever seen and a huge attack on democracy itself. And the American people have a right to know if this took place.”
It appears the “information” Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders is referring to is a Breitbart article that has been circulated within the White House. The article draws on a Thursday report by the far-right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who claimed without evidence that Obama submitted a request to the secret FISA court to tap Trump’s phones at Trump Tower. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, say they have seen “no evidence” supporting these claims. This is California Democratic Congressmember Nancy Pelosi.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “This is called a wrap-up smear. You make up something, then you have the press write about it, and then you say everybody’s writing about this charge. It’s a tool of an authoritarian, to just have you always be talking about what you want them to be talking about.”
The Intercept reports that as president of the United States, Trump has the power to declassify surveillance records—meaning if his wiretapping claims were true, he could prove it immediately.