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FBI Director: There’s ‘No Information’ to Support Trump’s Bogus Wiretapping Claims

FBI Director James Comey announced Monday, March 20,the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Photo by Francis Rivera.

FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday, March 20, that there was “no information” to support President Donald Trump’s claims that ex-POTUS Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the election.

“We have no information to support those tweets,” Comey told the House intelligence committee, referencing the series of Twitter posts the president published earlier this month alleging that Obama had his phones tapped.

National Security Agency Chief Admiral Michael Rogers also deflated the president’s trumped–up assertions, saying he had no indication that Trump was wiretapped by UK intelligence at the request of Obama. The real estate tycoon-turned-politician still hasn’t provided any proof to back up his inflammatory claims.

The director’s comments came during a hearing to discuss Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Comey confirmed that the FBI has launched an investigation into the alleged hacking and whether members of Trump’s staff were in communication with Moscow, according to The New York Times. Comey admitted it was unusual for the bureau to confirm or deny its pending investigations but said if a case is a matter of public interest, as this one is, the agency will sometimes deviate from protocol.

“The possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials is a serious, serious matter,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in response to Comey’s announcement of the investigation. “The investigation must be fair, independent and impartial in every way, and the FBI must be allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”

Later in the hearing, Comey noted that only the courts can grant permission for electronic surveillance, reiterating the fact that “no individual in the United States can direct electronic surveillance of anyone.”

Trump took to Twitter early Monday morning to denounce the FBI investigation, calling the claims of Russian interference “fake news” and asserting that such information was “made up” by the Democrats.

Members of Trump’s staff have repeatedly tried to walk back the president’s unsubstantiated claims. Just last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Trump didn’t mean “wiretapping” in a literal sense, noting the quote marks used in some of his previous tweets. Rather, Trump surrogates say the wiretapping claims should be understood to encompass the variety of general surveillance methods possibly used to spy on Trump and his associates.

All the while, the president has stood by his allegations that Obama bugged Trump Tower. House Committee Intelligence Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), however, has remained adamant that the president’s wiretapping claims were false from the start.

“Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No, there never was,” Nunes said.

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