House panel gets DoJ information about Trump's wiretap claim

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Comey will address his agency's investigation into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation.

Trump was asked twice about his wiretap claim during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We don't have any evidence that that took place, " Nunes said.

HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE - The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence began its investigation of potential Russian influence on the 2016 presidential race before Trump took office on January 20.

This immediately sent Trump's defendersinto twisting themselves into rhetorical pretzels suggesting Trump never said such a thing or was misunderstood - and a statement by White House press spokesman Sean Spicer is expected soon.

Spicer also asserted that House Intel Chair Devin Nunes still stands in the administration's corner, despite Nunes' statement yesterday contradicting the president's wiretapping claim.

Mr Ryan also said there was no evidence of surveillance. Spicer aggressively pushed back on journalists' questions about the apparent disconnect and read from a long list of news articles - reporting he said was further verification of the president's claims and "merit looking into".

President Donald Trump can't seem to stop talking about his predecessor.

"Are you going to take the tweets literally?" Offense being the best defense, Spicer began asking questions of the press in the room: "Where was your passion, where was your concern when the committees said there was no connection to Russian Federation?"

The committee members had to push for full access to information collected by the CIA, FBI and other agencies, but more recently they have said their access has improved.

Donald Trump's accusation that his office was bugged by the Obama administration during the election campaign has been comprehensively rubbished by the US Congress. "There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign", Clapper said last week on NBC's "Meet the Press".

The Russian government has rejected an accusation by United States intelligence agencies that it worked to influence the election in Mr Trump's favour by hacking computer systems, among other methods. During an early morning Twitter rant two weeks ago, Trump made a series of accusations, including asking whether it was legal "for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election", and saying that "a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October".

Mr Trump has been dogged by allegations that his associates had ties to Russian officials.

Both Russia's clandestine interference in US politics and Trump's disturbing habit of making explosive political charges without supporting evidence have dramatically overshadowed the first two months of his presidency.

"I had been reading about things" that mentioned wiretapping, he said. On Monday, the department asked for more time to submit evidence to the House Intelligence Committee to back up Trump's claim.

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