FBI Director James Comey reportedly asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election.
Senior American officials told The New York Times on Sunday that Comey has said the president’s wiretapping allegations are not true and asked the Justice Department on Saturday to publicly correct the record.
The report comes after President Trump, in a series of early Saturday tweets, claimed President Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower.
The FBI and the DOJ declined to comment to the Times.
Comey wants the Justice Department to deflate Trump’s claim because there is no evidence to support it, the Times reported, and it insinuates that Comey’s FBI broke the law, the officials told the paper.
The president laid out the wiretapping claims without any evidence and questioned whether it was legal for a sitting president to be “‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election.”
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process,” the president tweeted. “This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Sunday called the reports about “potentially politically motivated investigations” before the 2016 presidential election “very troubling.”
In a series of tweets, he said the president is “requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigation powers were abused in 2016.”
Spicer said that neither the White House nor the president would “comment further until such oversight is conducted.”
An Obama spokesman said Saturday that Trump’s accusations were false.
“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.