Trump sidesteps blame over wiretap row with Britain

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A United Kingdom intelligence agency has strongly denied White House allegations it spied on U.S. President Donald Trump on behalf of former President Barack Obama during the 2016 election.

Director James Comey has said it in private and will be public that such wiretapping/surveillance did not happen, and that Obama never ordered such wiretapping/surveillance as Trump alleges. "I just don't want anybody jumping to any conclusion on any side of this, other than the fact that we know that Obama didn't physically wiretap Trump Tower", Nunes told CNN Friday.

When the issue was raised during Trump's joint conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the President said: "We said nothing. He can do what he thinks is in his best interest, but this is something that will probably linger". Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, confirmed that they gave Comey until this past Wednesday to inform the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism about whether the FBI is investigating President Trump's wiretapping claim about Obama.

"As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common perhaps", Trump said.

Hurd, who also sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also weighed in on news that a Secret Service laptop with floor plans and evacuation protocol for Trump Tower was stolen from an agent's auto.

Spicer took Trump to task for not taking responsibility for the claim.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer continued his defense of President Donald Trump's unfounded claims that the Obama administration spied on Trump Tower during the election.

Trump said he tweeted the accusation because he had read about wiretapping in The New York Times and heard Fox News anchor Bret Baier "mention the word 'wiretap'".

For almost two weeks now, President Donald Trump and his aides have floated a conspiracy theory involving President Barack Obama wiretapping then-candidate Trump's phone lines in his Manhattan office building. "The statement clearly says at this time they don't believe it", said Mr Spicer.

Spicer's comments were a rebuttal to the top two members of the Senate intelligence committee, who released a statement earlier Thursday declaring there is no indication that Trump Tower was "the subject of surveillance" by the USA government before or after the 2016 election.

According to a Western diplomat, Britain's ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch, had told the White House Tuesday that Napolitano's assertions were not true.

His comments came shortly after the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate intelligence commmittee said there was no evidence that any surveillance had taken place.

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee say sanctions imposed on Russian Federation over its involvement in Ukraine must not be lifted without drastic changes by Moscow.

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