Retracing President Trump's whirlwind wiretapping claims

Some intelligence officials have denied the president's controversial claims that former President Obama tapped his phones during the campaign.
8:13 | 03/07/17

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Transcript for Retracing President Trump's whirlwind wiretapping claims
President trump still offering no proof to support the unprecedented and inflammatory accusations he made to Twitter this weekend, that president Obama wire-tapped trump tower. FBI director James Comey has asked the department of justice to publicly refute the claim and now intelligence officials have rejected the allegations as well. Will there now be a congressional investigation? Here's ABC's David Wright. Reporter: Even for a white house that's developed a reputation for alternative facts -- The bombshell accusations. President trump lashes out at his predecessor. Accusing president Obama of tapping his phones. Reporter: The controversy that erupted this weekend was of an entirely different magnitude. First thing Saturday morning at mar-a-lago trump tweeted out a plot worthy of a Tom Clancy novel. Trump flat out accused Obama of tapping the wires here at trump tower. Accusing the former president of spying to him on the eve of the election. Terrible, he tweeted. Nothing found, this is mccarthyism. Offering no evidence whatsoever, trump accused his predecessor of Mettling in the very sacred election process. Bad, or sick, guy. If this happened, Martha -- If, if, if, if, if. Why is the president saying it did happen? Look, I think he's going off information that he's saying that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential. Reporter: President Obama's spokesman flatly denied it. The FBI director asked the justice department to publicly refute it. And the former director of national intelligence came out to deny it as well. There was no wire tap against trump tower during the campaign conducted by any part of the national intelligence community. Reporter: And a president can't just order a wire tap. The process has legal safeguards, and creates a paper trail. This is something that goes through the justice department. And typically, they would then take it to a secret court, the FISA court. Which would mean a judge would also sign off on it. So the notion that president Obama single handedly decided to wire tap Donald Trump is basically nonsense. Reporter: None of that seems to trouble the white house. President trump is now calling for a congressional investigation. It's important to note that there's an equally outlandish narrative on the other side. The other narrative also in the mix is that the trump campaign may have colluded with the Russian government to mettle in the 2016 election. Again, allegedly. No proof of that either. No smoking gun of collusion. But more than a little smoke. In terms of the Russian intrusion into the election, you stand by all that you've said? Absolutely. Reporter: There is a full FBI investigation under way now into whether the Russians or how the Russians mettled in the U.S. Elections, but according to Jim clapper, he told us today when he left in mid January, at that point he said he knew of no evidence whatsoever that showed collusion between the trump campaign and the Russians. Reporter: Best anyone can tell, the president's wire-tapping tweets seem to trace back to a theory put forward last Thursday by conservative talk radio host mark Levin. Barack Obama and his surrogates who were supporting Hillary Clinton and their party, the Democrat party, who were using the instrumentalities of the federal government, intelligence activities to surveil members of the trump campaign. The next day, Breitbart media jumped on the story. That article made the rounds in the white house. We now know from white house sources that trump went off to palm beach this weekend in a foul mood. Erupting in anger at his senior staff in a tense oval office meeting. A TV camera positioned in the rose garden to film the president's departure, caught a glimpse of the scene. You can see Steve Bannon there, gesturing. Sources say trump was anger about the controversy surrounding his attorney general. Democrats have been calling for Jeff sessions to resign ever since he admitted that he didn't tell the senate judiciary committee the truth about his C contacts with Russian officials. If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign, communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I didn't -- did not have communications with the Russians. Reporter: Last week, "The Washington post" broke the news he did meet more than once with the Russian ambassador. So sessions changed his story. In retrospect, I should have slowed down and said, but I did meet one Russian official a couple of times. That would be the ambassador. Reporter: Trump stuck by sessions despite the controversy. Should sessions recuse himself from ffininvestigations into your campaign and Russia? I don't think so at all. Reporter: But hours later -- I have no decide stod recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States. Reporter: White house sources tell ABC news that's why the president was furious at that oval office meeting. In the president's mind, this is weakness. This is acting guilty, acting like you've done something wrong. Because in his mind, it makes sessions look guilty, and he thinks it was just an absolutely terrible mistake. The bottom line of this meeting, from what your sources are saying, is that reince Priebus, the chief of staff, and Steve Bannon, the senior adviser, suddenly decide they're not going to go on air force 1? Leaves without his two top people on the trip. It's sounding like an episode of survivor, these two guys temporarily voted off the island. The tribe has spoken. Reporter: Two of trump's most trusted aides temporarily sidelined. Although neither of them got voted off the island. And the end result of this is that the president is left to his own device? Right. Literally? His own tweetable device. Reporter: Those tweets so explosive that cleaning up after them has become a full time job in the west wing. Today on the morning shows -- The bigger question, let the house intelligence committee do its job. That's not true. Reporter: And all day long on cable -- If the president of the United States said that, he's got his reasons to say that. He's got some convincing evidence that that took place. Reporter: The talking point seemed to be that he's the president. He must know what he's talking about. Today's white house daily briefing, a bit unusual as a result. Saw these cameras outside the white house right now. We're not allowed into the briefing room today because cameras weren't allowed for the gaggle with Sean spicer today. That's different. Reporter: Inside the briefing room, Sean spicer stuck to the party line. . I'm just going to let the tweet speak for itself. There's no question that something happened. The question is, is it surveillance, is it a wire tap? All they'll say is the president's statement speaks for itself. The key here, Donald Trump has a track record of doing just this kind of thing. He's spent years as a private system fueling the right-wing theory that Barack Obama was not an American citizen. After the election, he claimed there are three million people who voted illegally against him. No proof. No proof for the birther issue. And now once again with the FBI and the wire taps, no proof. Reporter: The maelstrom is all but eclipsing other important news, the new travel ban, the long awaited Obamacare replacement proposal, and more north Korean missile launches. Instead of getting to the bottom of all of that, it seems half of Washington is off chasing Russians, the other chasing the ex-president and a wire tap that might not exist. All of it eroding trust, spreading doubts and clouding some very important issues. I'm David Wright for "Nightline" in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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