(CNN) – The FBI director briefed senators Wednesday on the investigation into President Trump’s claim he was wiretapped during the presidential campaign.
But the president now says — cryptically — that “wiretap covers a lot of different things” and “You’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”
Wednesday, members of President Trump’s own party are openly challenging his claim – that Trump Tower had been wiretapped – under the orders of President Barack Obama.
Rep. Devin Nunes, (R) Intelligence Committee Chairman, said, “We don’t have any evidence that that took place. And in fact I don’t believe, just in the last week of time, the people we talked to, I don’t believe there was an actual tap at Trump Tower.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham said official answers over Trump’s allegation of wiretapping may soon be coming. “Today they said they were extremely confident there was some kind of surveillance of the campaign. I have no evidence of that. Apparently the FBI has contacted my staff that they will be at some date in the future providing us an answer to this in a classified manner.”
This comes as FBI director James come privately briefed senators about its ongoing investigation. A move to diffuse tensions with Republican judiciary chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is holding up a key confirmation of a top Justice Department official until he gets more answers.
Grassley said, “I expect people to respond according to what they told me. And in this particular instance we were not given the respect that the Constitution gives us of oversight of the executive branch of government. And so that’s very irritating.”
The House Intelligence Committee is calling on the Justice Department to immediately provide any information to support President Trump’s allegations that were made during a Saturday morning tweetstorm 11 days ago.
Rep. Nunes says, “President Obama wouldn’t physically go over and wiretap Trump Tower, so now you have to decide are you going to take the tweets literally, and if you are then clearly the president was wrong. But if you’re not going to take the tweets literally and if there’s a concern that the president has about other people, other surveillance activities looking at him or his associates, either appropriately or inappropriately, we wanna find, we wanna find that out.”
But Nunes and the top Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, disagree on one key piece of their investigation: whether the Trump campaign had any improper contacts with Russians who were meddling in the elections.
When asked if they have evidence of that, Nunes said, “Not that I’m aware of.”
Rep. Schiff said, “I wouldn’t answer that question as categorically as my colleague can. You know, we’re not privileged to talk about the contents of the investigation but I know you, I think we need to be very precise when we talk about this and I just don’t think we can answer that categorically and not in this forum.”
And one Democrat said Comey failed to meet a Wednesday deadline to confirm this central question: is the FBI conducting a criminal probe over any Trump campaign contacts with Russia?
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said, “We needed to know by then whatever the FBI wanted to tell us ongoing an criminal investigation so as not to bump into one another. We gave them a date and today’s the day.”
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