Republican congressman Tom Cole tells Trump: Apologise to Obama over wire-tapping

Harriet Sinclair

A Republican lawmaker has called for US President Donald Trump to apologise for accusing former president Barack Obama of wire-tapping him during the election campaign.

Oklahoma congressman Tom Cole is the first member of the GOP to suggest Trump should apologise for his comments. Trump has still not revealed any evidence to back his claims.

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In comments carried by The Hill, Cole told reporters: " I see no indication that's true. It's not a charge that I would ever have ever made, and frankly unless he can produce some pretty compelling proof, then I think President Obama is owed an apology.

"If he didn't do it, we shouldn't be reckless in accusations that he did," he added.

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Trump made the surprising claim in a series of Tweets on 4 March.

"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!"

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Obama has also denied the claim.

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."

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Burr's statement follows a number of similar reactions by other political figures, including the chief of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes.

He said: "I don't believe there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to play down Trump's accusations, however.

"The president has already been very clear that he didn't mean specifically wiretapping," he said.

"He had it in quotes. So I think to fall back on that is a false premise. That's not what he said. He was very clear when he talked about it yesterday."

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