President Trump aides defend wiretapping claim - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

President Trump aides defend wiretapping claim

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WASHINGTON -

White House advisers aren't backing away from President Donald Trump's claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped his campaign.
    
They insisted that Trump believes the explosive allegations he made over the weekend, for which he provided no evidence. The allegations were swiftly denied by an Obama spokesman and by Obama's intelligence chief.
    
Kellyanne Conway told "Fox & Friends" Monday that "credible news sources" suggested there was politically motivated activity during the campaign. She added that as president, Trump "has information and intelligence that the rest of us do not."
    
Likewise, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy White House press secretary, told NBC's "Today" show that the president "firmly believes that the Obama administration may have tapped into the phones at Trump Tower."


    
When asked whether Trump's assertions were based on media reports or U.S. intelligence, Sanders said "he may have access to documents that I don't know about."
    
The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin is distancing the Kremlin from President Donald Trump's claim.  The claim comes amid the swirl of revelations about contacts between Trump aides and Russia's ambassador to the U.S., both during and after a presidential election Russia is believed to have meddled in.
    
When asked about the allegation, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday that the Kremlin "should not be in any way linked to U.S. domestic issues" and "doesn't have the slightest inclination or intention to be associated with these affairs."
    
Trump has been trailed for months by questions about his campaign's ties to Russia. Disclosures about his aides' contacts with the Russian ambassador cost Michael Flynn his job as national security adviser.
    
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3:30 a.m.
    
Key members of Congress say they will honor President Donald Trump's request to investigate his unsubstantiated claim that Barack Obama overstepped his authority as president and had Trump's telephones tapped during the election campaign.
    
A U.S. official said the FBI has asked the Justice Department to dispute Trump's allegation, though no such statement has been issued.
    
Obama's intelligence director also said no such action was taken.
    
Trump made his startling claim of presidential abuse of power in a series of tweets early Saturday. They capped a week in which the positive reaction to his address to Congress quickly evaporated amid the swirl of allegations and revelations about contacts between Trump aides and a Russian official, both during and after the presidential election that Russia is believed to have meddled in.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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