Comey asks Justice Department to deny Trump's wiretapping accusations

By Brooks Hays  |  Updated March 6, 2017 at 5:55 AM
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March 5 (UPI) -- FBI Director James Comey asked officials at the Justice Department to deny Trump's wiretapping allegations, law enforcement officials said.

The Justice Department has yet to comment on the accusations.

Early Saturday morning, in a series of tweets, President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of tapping Trump's phones at Trump Tower during the run-up to the November presidential election. Trump did not offer any evidence of the alleged surveillance.

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

Senior U.S. officials told The New York Times that Comey told officials at the Justice Department that Trump's allegations are false and need to be corrected. Law enforcement officials confirmed Comey's statements to NPR.

Of particular concern is Trump's insinuation the FBI broke the law during its investigation of Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

Though neither Comey, the FBI nor the Justice Department have commented on the matter officially, both the Obama administration and a former intelligence official have rebuked the charges.

While discussing the accusations on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said no Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act wiretap request was granted for Trump during his tenure.

"There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign," Clapper said.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer released a statement calling the latest reports "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," Spicer said. "Neither the White House nor the president will comment further until such oversight is conducted."

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