In a Repudiation of Trump, a Senior House Leader Rejects Wiretap Claim
I would think that the logical thing for President Trump to do now is to explain what convinced him that then-President Obama had wiretapped his phones.
Adam Goldman and Emmarie Huetteman report in the NY Times:
In a striking repudiation of President Trump, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, a Republican, said on Wednesday that he had seen no indication of Mr. Trump’s claim on Twitter that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“We don’t have any evidence that that took place,’’ Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. “In fact, I don’t believe — in the last week of time, people we’ve talked to, I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”
If Mr. Trump’s Twitter claim is to be taken literally, Mr. Nunes said, “then clearly the president is wrong.”
Even a member of Mr. Trump’s cabinet, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, raised questions about the claim. In Richmond, Va., he told reporters that he had never given Mr. Trump any reason to believe he had been wiretapped.
Other top Republicans were threatening to block Mr. Trump’s nominee for deputy attorney general if the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not provide evidence related to the possible wiretapping.
Mr. Nunes and Representative Adam Schiff of California, the intelligence committee’s ranking Democrat, said the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, would testify Monday at the committee’s first public hearing on its Russian interference investigation. Mr. Comey could presumably resolve the question about the wiretap.
Mr. Schiff also challenged the statements of Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, who had said that while he was not aware of any investigation targeting Mr. Trump, the president spoke accurately when he said he had been wiretapped by Mr. Obama.
“Those two things cannot both be true unless he is suggesting that the F.B.I. was engaged in a rogue operation unsupervised by a court to wiretap Trump Tower,” Mr. Schiff said. “There is absolutely no evidence of that and no suggestion of any evidence of that.”
In another sign of pressure, Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he would block the nomination of Rod J. Rosenstein to be deputy attorney general unless the F.B.I. answered his questions. Mr. Rosenstein had been expected to win Senate confirmation easily. The Judiciary Committee has prim . . .