Obama spokesman says Trump's wire-tapping claims "simply false"
U.S. President Donald Trump.[Photo:163.com]
U.S. President Donald Trump's accusation that his predecessor Barack Obama had his "wires tapped" in Trump Tower before Election Day is "simply false," Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said Saturday.
"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," Lewis said in a statement.
"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," said Lewis.
Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser to Obama, tweeted that presidents can't simply order wiretaps as Trump suggests.
Earlier Saturday, Trump claimed in a tweet storm that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower before his election victory. It remains unclear whether Trump had any proof or was referencing a report.
"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" Trump tweeted in a series of five tweets on Saturday morning.
"Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!" he added in subsequent tweets. "I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!"
"How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad( or sick) guy!" Trump said on Twitter, spelling "tap" as "tapp."
Breitbart News on Friday reported on conservative radio host Mark Levin's claim that Obama executed a "silent coup" of Trump via "police state" tactics.
White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon had been Breitbart CEO before joining Trump's campaign team in general elections last year.
Trump's "wire-tapping" accusation came after days of media reports about his campaign team's contacts with Russian Ambassador to Washington Sergei Kislyak.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he will recuse himself from any current or future investigations into Russia's possible link with Trump's presidential campaign, after admitting he met with Kislyak twice last year but didn't reveal it at the Senate hearings for his confirmation.
There have been suggestions that contacts between Trump campaign team and Russia were picked up by intelligence agencies as part of routine surveillance of the Russians. Trump and his aides have denied there were any improper contacts.