President Donald Trump made a stunning claim Saturday, alleging without offering evidence that his predecessor, Barack Obama, wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 election.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump tweeted early Saturday morning in one part of a six-tweet tirade that began just after 6:30 a.m.
The President went on to compare the alleged tapping of his phones to Watergate and called Obama “bad (or sick).”
“How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy,” Trump tweeted.
But two former senior US officials quickly dismissed Trump’s accusations out of hand.
“Just nonsense,” said one former senior US intelligence official.
Another former senior US official with direct knowledge of investigations by the Justice Department under the Obama administration said Trump’s phones were never tapped.
“This did not happen. It is false. Wrong,” the former official told CNN.
A spokesman for Obama, Kevin Lewis, called “any suggestion” that Obama or any White House official ordered surveillance against Trump “simply false.”
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” Lewis said in a statement early Saturday afternoon. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”