Senate Intelligence Committee finds 'no indications' of wiretapping, wider surveillance at Trump Tower

Questions raised after President Trump tweeted unsubstantiated claims.

ByABC News
March 16, 2017, 3:13 PM

— -- Senate Intelligence Committee leaders released a joint statement Thursday saying that they have no reason to believe that President Donald Trump's wiretapping claims against then-President Barack Obama are true.

"Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016," Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said in the statement.

They visited CIA headquarters last week and also met with FBI Director James Comey. Both senators have been privy to relevant classified documents.

This statement comes on the heels of what House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, concluded Wednesday.

In a press conference on Capitol Hill yesterday, Nunes, R-Calif., said, "We don't have any evidence that that took place. ... I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."

Schiff, D-Calif., said that there is "no basis" for Trump's accusations, adding that it "deeply concerns me that the president would make such an accusation without basis."

Trump first made his accusations against Obama in a series of tweets March 4.

"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" Trump wrote.

In an interview with Fox News that aired Wednesday evening, Trump said he didn't necessarily mean wiretapping.

"When I say 'wiretapping,' those words were in quotes. That really covers, because wiretapping is pretty old-fashioned stuff, but that really covers surveillance and many other things," he said.

Two of Trump's four March 4 tweets related to wiretapping include the term in quotes.

In the interview, he said the sources of information behind his tweets were a Jan. 20 New York Times article and a Fox News report from anchor Bret Baier. However, neither the Times article nor the Fox News report said Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower.

Trump, asked why he didn't reach out to intelligence agencies to gather evidence backing his allegations, said he didn't want to do "anything that's going to violate any strength of an agency."

Despite the growing number of people saying they have found no proof of his claims, Trump did not back down.

"I think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks," he told Fox News.

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