President Donald Trump does not accept an assertion from FBI Director James Comey that former President Barack Obama did not order an illegal wiretap of Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign, a White House spokeswoman said Monday.
Trump leveled the explosive accusation on Twitter over the weekend, delivering it without any evidence. Through a spokesman, Obama has flatly denied the charge, as has James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence under Obama. White House officials have yet to offer any proof to back Trump’s claim, instead suggesting that the matter should be investigated.
And while Comey has not publicly addressed Trump’s allegation, multiple media outlets have reported that he asked the Department of Justice to knock down the president’s accusation because it suggests that the FBI broke the law by carrying out the alleged wiretap.
Asked by ABC “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos if Trump was willing to accept the denial of his FBI director, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he was not.
“You know, I don’t think he does, George,” Sanders said. “I think he firmly believes that this is a storyline that has been reported pretty widely by quite a few outlets. The wiretapping has been discussed in The New York Times, BBC, Fox News and we believe that it should be looked at by the House Intelligence Committee.”
As he would wind up doing multiple times throughout their interview, Stephanopoulos interjected at that point to tell Sanders that what she had said was incorrect and that none of the media reports to which she referred actually backed up Trump’s accusation. All told, the “Good Morning America” anchor stopped Sanders five times to correct her over the course of their five-and-a-half minute interview.
Asked if Trump had reached out to the FBI or anyone else in the intelligence community, of which he is in charge, to verify his claim that Obama illegally tapped his phones, Sanders said she did not know.