House Intelligence Committee, John McCain, ask Trump to prove or retract Obama wiretapping claim

Sen. John McCain asks Trump to prove or refute his Obama wiretapping claim
(Image credit: CNN/YouTube)

A week after President Trump accused his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, of tapping his phones at Trump Tower during the campaign, then asked Congress to investigate, Congress appears to be getting a bit impatient with the lack of evidence. The heads of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), sent the Justice Department a letter last week giving the Trump administration until Monday to turn over any evidence it has to support the explosive claim, congressional aides told The Associated Press and NBC News over the weekend. FBI Director James Comey, who reportedly asked unsuccessfully that the Justice Department refute Trump's claim, was sent a copy of the letter as well.

Nunes suggested last week that Trump was either just asking questions about wiretapping or being taken too "literally" by the media, saying Trump is a "neophyte in politics." On Sunday, Schiff said he doesn't expect to see any evidence but plans to ask Comey about Trump's claims at a March 20 hearing. "I don't think anyone has any question about this, George," he told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "The only question is why the president would make up such a thing." House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who receives high-level intelligence briefings, also said on CBS Sunday that he has not seen any evidence to support Trump's wiretapping claim.

On CNN's State of the Union, Jake Tapper reminded Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that nobody in government has really backed up Trump's accusation. "President Trump has to provide the American people, not just the intelligence committee but the American people, with evidence that his predecessor, the former president of the United States, was guilty of breaking the law," McCain said. "The president has one of two choices: Either retract, or provide the information that the American people deserve," he added, noting that this shouldn't be hard for Trump to prove: "All he has to do is pick up the phone, call the director of the CIA, director of national intelligence, and say, 'Okay, what happened?'" Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.