White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today that she doesn't think President Trump accepts the FBI’s reported denial of his claims about being wiretapped in New York last year, adding she didn't know whether he had spoken to the law enforcement agency about the matter.
Answering a question from ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America” about whether Trump accepted FBI Director James Comey's reported denial of his claims, Sanders replied, "You know, I don’t think he does, George."
Comey told the Justice Department to publicly refute Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that his predecessor, President Obama, ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower phones prior to the November 2016 election, government sources familiar with Comey's thinking told ABC News Sunday.
Comey expressed concerns that the president's tweets created the impression that the FBI acted improperly, and he wanted to set the record straight, the sources said.
Sanders, deputy White House press secretary, suggested to “Good Moring America” today that Trump's accusations could be right, and seemed to be referencing the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass collection of telephonic metadata from millions of Americans as evidence to support the claim, although she did not mention it directly.
"The administration was wiretapping American citizens," Sanders said. "His administration could have done this."
A spokesman for former President Obama issued a strong denial to Trump's accusation, and said that no White House official under his administration had ever ordered surveillance on a U.S. citizen.
"A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice," Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement Saturday. "As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false."
Trump spokeswoman Sanders said the president wants Congress to investigate his claims.
"The president wants the truth to come out to the American people through the house intelligence committee and that is the process we go through," she said.
Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the Republican who serves as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement this weekend that the committee "will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party's campaign officials or surrogates."