White House Press Secretary Spicer has deflected questions about Trump's confidence in FBI Director James Comey and claimed that "no question something happened" regarding the president's wiretapping claims.
In the meantime, Comey is reported to have been "incredulous" when confronted with US President Donald Trump's allegations that former president Barack Obama had wiretapped his phones during the former's race for presidency, CNN reported on Monday, citing an unnamed source reportedly familiar with all parties involved.
FBI Director to Justice Department: Reject Trump's wiretapping claim (credit: REUTERS)According to CNN
, the same source claimed that Comey was concerned that Trump's accusations would reflect badly on the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and for that reason has decided to reach out to the US Justice Department and request that they act to refute the allegations over the weekend. The source went on to say that the FBI director "institutionally [felt] he has to push back on this," firmly believing that the president's claims were unfounded.
When asked if Comey was not concerned that his actions would lead to an attempt to dismiss him from his role, the source said: "Does he know of a possibility there might be a confrontation and that he'd be fired by the president? Sure. Does he worry about it? No."
Speaking to a CNN reporter on Monday, Spicer refused to directly comment on the new developments in the case but did say that to his knowledge, the US president and the FBI director have yet to speak since Trump made the controversial allegations concerning his predecessor. Spicer deflected repeated questions about Trump's possible weakened confidence in the FBI director, saying instead that the president was otherwise occupied with "this effort to keep the country safe."
Spicer went on to express faith in Trump's allegations, telling reporters that "there's no question something happened. The question is, is it surveillance, is it a wiretap, or whatever." Spicer added off-camera that "There's enough out there now that makes one wonder how some of this happened without the existence of surveillance."
Seeing as Trump came under public scrutiny and elevated criticism recently after members of his senior staff were revealed to have hidden different contacts with Russian diplomats (US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been accused of hiding ongoing contact with the Russian ambassador, while former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn recently stepped down from his role after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about contacts with the Russian ambassador), some are now claiming that Trump has made the allegations in a calculated attempt to divert attention from his administration's seeming unreliability, turning the heat instead onto the former White House administration.
Trump's exact allegations, expressed over the weekend on social media, were that Obama had wire-tapped his phones in October, during the late stages of the presidential election campaign. However, Trump neglected to provide further evidence to support his claims.
In a series of posts on Twitter, the US president said: "How low has President Obama gone to tapp (sic) my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"
Spicer's support of the president's claims is aligned with his earlier official statement which also alluded to Trump's dismay over what he termed as 'the Russian activity': "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."
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