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Thursday
Mar162017

Senate Intelligence Committee finds 'no indications' of wiretapping at Trump Tower

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) --  Senate Intelligence Committee leaders released a joint statement Thursday saying that they have no reason to believe that President Donald Trump's wiretapping claims against former President Barack Obama are true.

"Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016," Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said in the joint statement.

They both visited CIA headquarters last week and the two men have also met with FBI Director James Comey. Both men have been privy to relevant classified documents.

This statement comes on the heels of what House Intelligence Committee leaders concluded Wednesday.

In a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said, "We don't have any evidence that that took place. ... I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that there is "no basis" for President Trump's accusations, adding that it "deeply concerns me that the president would make such an accusation without basis."

The accusations from Trump against Obama first came in a series of tweets on March 4.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump wrote.

In an interview with Fox News that aired Wednesday evening, Trump explained he didn’t necessarily mean wiretapping.

“When I say wiretapping, those words were in quotes. That really covers -- because wiretapping is pretty old-fashioned stuff -- but that really covers surveillance and many other things,” Trump said.

Two out of Trump’s four March 4 tweets related to wiretapping included the phrase in quotes.

In the interview, Trump also said the sources of information behind his tweets stemmed from a Jan. 20 New York Times article and a Fox News report from anchor Bret Baier. However, neither the Times article nor the Fox News report said that Obama had ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower.

When asked why he didn’t reach out to intelligence agencies to gather evidence backing his allegations, Trump said he didn’t want to do “anything that's going to violate any strength of an agency.”

Despite the growing chorus of voices saying that they haven't found proof, Trump did not back down from his claims.

“I think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks,” Trump told Fox News.

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