AG Jeff Sessions gave Trump no reason to believe wiretap claim

Jeff Sessions gave a speech today in Virginia.

ByABC News
March 15, 2017, 12:42 PM

— -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions today said that he never gave President Trump any reason to believe the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower.

"Look, the answer is no," Sessions said when asked about the issue after delivering a speech to law enforcement officials in Richmond, adding, "I'm not talking to the president or the people who are investigating the case. And I'm unable to comment on any of these details."

Sessions, who had been a surrogate for Trump on the campaign trail last year, announced at the beginning of March he would recuse himself from existing or future probes related to any campaigns for president.

"I held a role in the campaign," Sessions said today. "There's a code of federal regulations, rules – statute, really -- that says if you're involved as a Department of Justice employee in a campaign, have a role in that campaign, you can't investigate your own campaign.

“Even though you may not have nothing whatsoever to do with anything improper, you should not investigate your own campaign. So I have recused myself” from election-related matters.

In a series of tweets posted March 4, Trump accused President Obama of wiretapping his phones at Trump Tower in New York City during the campaign.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that Trump was not talking literally or specifically when he accused Obama of "wiretapping" his campaign.

"If you look at the president's tweet, he said wiretapping in quotes. There's been substantial discussion in several reports," Spicer said, referencing "surveillance that occurred."

Sessions also reiterated today that he and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, held meetings but did not discuss politics or the U.S. election.

The two "discussed issues like Ukraine and things of that nature," he said.

He added: "I never considered meeting with the Russian ambassador to be anything improper."

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