FBI director James B Comey asked the Justice Department on Sunday to publicly reject President Donald Trump's claim that former president Barack Obama had ordered for his phones to be tapped. The move is significant as the top law enforcement official in the US is questioning the president's truthfulness.
The director of national intelligence at the time of the US election, James Clapper, also denied the wire-tap claim. He said that he knew of no court order to allow monitoring of Trump Tower in New York. "There was no such wire-tap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time, as a candidate, or against his campaign," Clapper said.
Comey said that the charge is false and must be corrected. Comey has been working to get the Justice Department to publicly denounce the claim since it insinuates that the FBI broke the law.
Trump, on Saturday, said in a series of Tweets, "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! 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! 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 tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"
The White House press secretary Sean Spicer said there had been "very troubling" reports "concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election".
Trump also demanded a congressional inquiry over the claims he made. He said that the Congress should examine the "very troubling" wiretapping claims as part of its investigations regarding Russian interference in the elections.
He, however, presented no evidence that Obama had ordered the wire-tapping. Obama's spokesperson said that the charge was "simply false."