The U.S. President Donald Trump has asked Congress to investigate his allegations that former President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of his phones during the election campaign, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced in a statement on Sunday.
The White House request came a day after Mr. Trump accused his predecessor of ordering a wiretap of the phones at Trump Tower – his New York residence and campaign headquarters – during the presidential campaigns for the Nov. 8 polls.
“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very 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.”
On Saturday, Mr. Trump tweeted: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.
“Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
The President added: “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!”
Mr. Trump also accused Democrats on Sunday: “Is it true the DNC would not allow the FBI access to check server or other equipment after learning it was hacked? Can that be possible?
“Who was it that secretly said to Russian President, ‘Tell Vladimir that after the election I’ll have more flexibility?’ @foxandfriends”
However, Obama, in a statement on Saturday through his spokesman Kevin Lewis, denied the allegations.
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.
“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen.
“Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” Mr. Lewis said.
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, also denied Mr. Trump’s claims.
“No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” Mr. Rhodes wrote on Twitter in a response to Mr. Trump.