House leaders, Jeff Sessions say there's no evidence that Donald Trump was wiretapped

The president's assertion that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower is publicly falling apart

Published March 15, 2017 5:17PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Donald Trump's assertion earlier this month that he had been wiretapped by former President Barack Obama is coming back to haunt him. Not only has the White House failed to provide corroborating evidence to the House Intelligence Committee by its Monday deadline, but his claim is now being disputed by that committee's leaders from both parties — and his own attorney general.

"We don't have any evidence that that took place," said House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., during a Wednesday press conference. "And in fact I don't believe, just in the last week of time, the people we've talked to, I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."

Another Republican, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, made it clear on Wednesday that he had not given President Trump any reason to believe that Obama had wiretapped him. "Look, um, the answer is no," Sessions said. "But what happened in my case was, that I was active in the campaign." He went on to argue that "even though you may have had nothing whatsoever to do with anything improper, you should not investigate your own campaign, so I have recused myself and am unable to comment on any of these details."

Meanwhile Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told KABC-TV on Monday that Trump's unsubstantiated claim about being wiretapped may not lead to legal consequences for the president, but it would significantly impair his credibility.

"He may be asking the nation to take action; he may be asking our allies to work with us. And if he's lost his credibility, what chances does he have of persuading people?" Schiff rhetorically asked.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Adam Schiff Barack Obama David Nunes Donald Trump Jeff Sessions Wiretapping