Comey: ‘No Information That Supports’ Trump’s ‘Wiretap’ Tweets

By Susan Jones | March 20, 2017 | 11:33 AM EDT

FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House intelligence committee on Monday, March 20, 2017. (Screen grab from C-SPAN)

( – FBI Director James Comey told the House intelligence committee on Monday that he has looked carefully but found “no information” to support President Donald Trump’s accusation that President Obama “wiretapped” him.

With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI.

The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The Department has no information that supports those tweets.

On March 4, President Trump tweeted:

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” at Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

Trump issued three more tweets in quick succession:

-- “Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”

-- “I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”

-- “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

Comey told the intelligence committee on Monday that, in general, the courts must grant permission for electronic surveillance, based on a showing of probable cause.

“No individual in the United States can direct electronic surveillance of anyone. It has to go through an application process, ask a judge. The judge can then make the order.”

Comey added that “no president” could order a wiretap of anyone.

Asked if the FBI or the Justice Department requested surveillance of Donald Trump but was turned down by a court, Comey refused to answer: “That’s one of those subjects I can’t comment on, one way or another,” he said.

Schiff noted that Trump, in one of his four tweets, compared the alleged Obama wiretap to Watergate, which began with a break-in of Democratic headquarters at the Watergate hotel.

Schiff asked Comey: “But there is evidence, is there not, of a break-in of the Democratic headquarters by a foreign power using cyber means?”

“Yes, there was,” Comey said. He said the Russian intelligence services broke into a number of enterprises in the U.S., including the Democratic National Committee.

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