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Trump asks Congress to investigate wiretapping allegations

By Lalit K Jha
March 05, 2017 20:30 IST

United States President Donald Trump has asked Congress to investigate the allegations of him being wiretapped by his predecessor Barack Obama before the 2016 elections, the White House said on Sunday, terming the reports “very troubling”.

“President 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,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement.

Spicer said reports concerning “potentially politically motivated investigations” immediately ahead of the November election are “very troubling”.

“Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted,” Spicer said a day after Trump alleged that Obama had ordered for his wiretapping at the Trump Towers just before the presidential elections.

The allegations, which has created a political storm in the US, has been denied by Obama’s spokesperson Kevin Lewis.

“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,” Lewis has said.

Trump made the allegations against Obama in a series of tweets on Saturday, but did not provide evidence to substantiate his claims. He also likened the alleged surveillance of his communications to McCarthyism and ‘Watergate’, the scandal in the early 1970s which brought down President Richard Nixon.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump said.

“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!” he said.

 

Lalit K Jha
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