On Monday, the heads of the FBI and the National Security Agency dismissed President Trump’s accusations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phone lines before November’s election. NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey said there was no evidence of any such wiretap while testifying before the House’s Intelligence Committee.
The Trump administration had also floated a suggestion, originally made by Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano, that Obama had gotten the British intelligence agency GCHQ to carry out surveillance on Trump. When asked if he agreed that the allegation was “utterly ridiculous,” Rogers said he did.
“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,” said Comey. “And we have looked carefully inside the FBI.”
Despite repeated calls to provide evidence for his claims, Trump has so far refused to apologize or back down. Even fellow Republicans, including Sen. John McCain(R-AZ), have said they don’t know where from where his claims were derived.
“I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the President of the United States could clear this up in a minute,” McCain told CNN’s Jake Tapper last week. “All he has to do is pick up the phone, call the director of the CIA, director of national intelligence and say, ‘OK, what happened?’”
In order for intelligence agencies to monitor a target, a court-issued warrant must be obtained from a secret court.
Trump’s team has been plagued with reports of collusion with the Kremlin. Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Carter Page were all involved with Trump’s campaign and let go after their connections to Russian intelligence or pro-Russian figures in Ukraine were revealed.