Law enforcement officials have found no evidence supporting President Donald Trump’s assertions that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election, FBI Director James Comey said Monday.
“With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets,” Comey said during a House intelligence committee hearing on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. “We have looked carefully inside the FBI.”
Comey added that the Justice Department hasn’t turned up any evidence backing Trump’s claims, either. “The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components: The department has no information that supports those tweets,” he said.
Comey’s remarks on Monday are the latest public rejections of Trump’s wiretapping claims from high-ranking officials, many of whom have called on the president to apologize for the accusation. Trump, however, has refused to back down from his claims, despite increasing pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
At the hearing, when asked by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) whether as part of the Obama administration Comey had engaged in McCarthyism, Comey jokingly responded that he tries “not to engage in any ‘isms’ of any kind, including McCarthyism.”
Moments later, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers dismissed suggestions by the Trump administration that the Obama administration had asked a British spy agency to conduct surveillance on Trump during the campaign.
“Did you ever request that your counterparts in GCHQ [the British version of the NSA] should wiretap Mr. Trump on behalf of President Obama?”
“No, sir. Nor would I,” responded Rogers.
Schiff then asked if there was any evidence that anyone else in the Obama administration did so.
“No, sir,” Rogers said again. “I have seen nothing on the NSA said that we engaged in such activity, nor that anyone ever asked us to engage in such activity.”
This story has been updated.