Time: 9:28 p.m. CEST
The U.S. President Donald Trump is asking Congress to investigate if the previous administration abuse its executive power during presidential election in 2016, the White House press secretary Sean Spicer explained in a statement on Sunday. This step follows yesterday’s tweets by President Trump who claimed former President Barack Obama, wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower in New York City.
“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling.” Spicer published in the statement. Spicer posted the statement on Twitter, saying that, “President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.” Spicer said, neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.”
Senator Marco Rubio, who is in the Senate Intelligence Committee explained to CNN’s Jake Tapper that he’s “not sure what it is (Trump) is talking about. But, he added it is possible that “perhaps the President has information that is not yet available to us or to the public.” Rubio underlined the Senate Intelligence Committee is already in the process of reviewing Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections. The Senate Intelligence Committee explained Rubio in the CNN’s “State of the Union,” works in a bipartisan way to collect facts that involve reviewing classified and sometimes unclassified and open-source information.
Multiple senior officials refuted Tramp’s allegations, and former President Obama, rejected the claim he ordered Trump’s phones tapped. As https://cnn.com reports, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Federal Bureau of Investigation did not obtain a court order through Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor Trump’s phones and claimed Trump was not wiretapped by intelligence agencies. Clapper spoke to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he said he couldn’t deny it about the existence of a FISA court order.
On Saturday morning, Trump posted series of tweets, suggesting President Obama “was behind a politically motivated plot to upend his campaign,” the Associated Press reports. In his tweets, Trump compared reported events to “Nixon/Watergate” and “McCarthyism!” Trump called Obama a “Bad (or sick) guy.” Trump claimed the wiretapping happened in October 2016 at Trump Tower, skyscraper in NYC, which was not only place for residence of Trump, but also headquarter of his political campaign.
Soon after Trump posted on Twitter, Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis explained that “cardinal rule” of Obama’s White House was that no official ever interfered in Justice Department investigations. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizens,” Lewis said.
The AP says, presidents cannot legally order wiretaps against U.S. citizens and obtaining wiretaps would require official request permission of FISC, “which is shrouded in secrecy.”
Former White House press secretary Josh Earnests talked with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week,” YahooNews publishes. “We know exactly why President Trump tweeted what the tweeted. Because, there is one page in the Trump White House crisis management playbook, and that is simply to tweet or to say something outrageous to distract from the scandal,” Earnest said. As Earnest stated, “The President of the United States does not have the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of an American citizen.”
Obama’s former National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes was among the first ones of former administration who responded on Twitter to Trump’s claims. Rhodes said, “No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” Rhodes tweeted.
As https://cbs.news.com writes, the claim had surfaced around conservative media in recent days, including from conservative radio host Mark Levin and Breitbart News.