By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — U.S. President Donald Trump has asked Congress to examine whether the Obama administration abused its” investigative powers” during the 2016 campaign, the White House said on March 5.
The statement came a day after President Trump accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of wiretapping his New York office during the election campaign, without offering evidence.
An Obama spokesman denied the claim as “simply false.”
The director of national intelligence at the time of the election denied there was any wiretapping of the Trump campaign.
“There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign,” former director of national intelligence James Clapper said in a March 5 interview with NBC.
He said that as intelligence director he would have known about any “court order on something like this. Absolutely, I can deny it”.
But he said he can’t speak for “other authorized entities in the government or a state or local entity.”
In his statement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred to unspecified reports of “potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election” as “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,” Spicer said.
“Neither the White House nor the president will comment further until such oversight is conducted,” Spicer added.