This weekend marked the beginning of a showdown between Donald Trump and Barack Obama, with the current POTUS accusing his predecessor of bugging Trump Tower last year.
began flying on Twitter early Saturday morning, when Trump accused Obama of setting up wiretaps of his New York campaign headquarters ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He said Obama had sunk to a "new low" and called the former president "sick."
the White House stepped things up by calling for the congressional committee members who are already investigating Russian interference in last year's election to also examine whether an abuse of "executive branch investigative powers" occurred.
To be clear, Trump has provided no evidence whatsoever in support of this allegation.
categorically deny that he tapped Trump's phone. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said this is all complete nonsense. "There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign."
You can bet there will be more on Wiretapping-gate in the future, but for now, check out how the battle unfolded, what's at stake, and what's ahead as the investigation unfolds.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
The Latest News
Over the weekend, F.B.I. director James Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly reject President Trump's claims that President Obama had wire tapped him during the election season,
The New York Times reported.
However, the president reportedly rejected Comey's assertion.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House's deputy press secretary, was asked
by George Stephanopoulos on whether the president accepted Comey's denial that wire tapping ever took place on Trump Towers. Good Morning America
"You know, I don’t think he does, George," she responded.
Can A President Order A Wiretap On A Private Citizen?
No. The Department of Justice can seek wiretap surveillance, but a judge must grant it.
Ben Rhodes, Obama's ex-foreign policy advisor and speechwriter, has been defending Obama on Twitter. "No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,"
On Sunday, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied any suggestion of wiretapping in Trump Tower communications before the election. For the part of the national security apparatus that he oversaw, "there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign," Clapper told Chuck Todd in an exclusive interview on Sunday's
. Meet The Press Photo: Getty Images. More
What Does the White House Say It Is Investigating?
The White House said on Sunday that the administration wants the congressional committee members who are already investigating Russian interference in last year's U.S. presidential election to examine whether there was an abuse of "executive branch investigative powers," i.e., wiretapping, in 2016.
On Sunday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters there would be no further White House comment until the committees conclude their work.
Here's the full statement, as reported by
Politico: "Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling. 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. Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted."
Just before Spicer's statement, Trump sent out two early morning tweets, sent around 3:40 a.m. ET on Sunday morning. The first one took aim at the Democratic National Committee. "Is it true the DNC would not allow the FBI access to check server or other equipment after learning it was hacked? Can that be possible?"
Shortly afterward, Trump took a swing at Obama referring to a statement he made as he was running for a second term in 2012. "Who was it that secretly said to Russian President, 'Tell Vladimir that after the election I'll have more flexibility?'"
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