The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee has said there is no indication that President Donald Trump was wiretapped during his election campaign.
The Republican had claimed Trump Tower in New York was bugged during his run for president – blaming former president Barack Obama for the alleged intrusion.
Trump wrote on Twitter on 3 March: "How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
"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!"
However he did not provide any evidence to support his claim, and thus far no evidence is thought to have been produced.
Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr said in a statement seen by The Hill on Thursday (16 March): " 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."
Burr's statement follows a number of similar releases from other political figures, including the chief of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, who said on 15 March: "I don't believe, just in the last week of time, the people we've talked to, I don't believe there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."
And former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told interviewers that he had no knowledge of wiretaps ordered against Trump or his campaign, adding that he would "certainly hope" he would be aware of any such court orders. For his part, Comey has reportedly asked the Department of Justice to publicly refute Trump's accusations, though no such refutation came about.
Obama is said to be livid at the accusation, and the idea that Trump is questioning the integrity of the office of the President.
However, White House press secretary Sean Spicer has said Trump believes the Justice Department will find the evidence that will "vindicate him" and prove he was wire-tapped, also adding Trump stands by the wire-tapping claims he made.
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