President Donald Trump has revealed his claim of being "wiretapped" by the Obama administration was based on news reports.
The admission was made in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, reports the Daily Mail. Still, he vaguely promised to be in possession of "some very interesting items" that could substantiate his wiretapping claim. '"Wiretap' covers a lot of different things," Trump told Carlson.
It all began on March 4, when Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign, notes The New York Times.
At that time, Trump tweeted: “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
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Trump was previously suspected to have gotten his information from Breitbart News, but in the Carlson interview he cited a Jan. 20 New York Times article "where they were talking about wiretapping."
And he also "read other things," he added, without specifying what those things were. Fox News was also implied to be a source. "I watched your friend Bret Baier the day previous where he was talking about certain very complex sets of things happening, and wiretapping," said Trump, referring to Carlson's colleague on Fox.
"I said, 'Wait a minute, there's a lot of wiretapping being talked about,'" explained Trump, referring apparently to what he saw on Baier's report. "I've been seeing a lot of things," he repeated to Carlson.
His administration "will be submitting certain things" to congressional committees that are investigating the matter, he added. "And I will be perhaps speaking about this next week."
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Carlson, who interviewed Trump after riding with him on Air Force One, did not press for specifics. But he did ask Trump why he went public with such a serious charge before having evidence that he was willing to present publicly.
To which Trump replied: "I think that frankly we have a lot right now. I think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks," he answered.
On March 14, White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted that Trump will ultimately be proven correct. "There is significant reporting about surveillance techniques that have existed throughout the 2016 election ... I think he feels very confident that what will ultimately come of this will vindicate him," he told reporters.
The politicians on Capitol Hill are still skeptical. "To date I've seen no evidence that supports the claim that President Trump made," said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the Democrats' ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee. "It deeply concerns me that the president would make such an accusation without basis," he said.
The intelligence committee's Republican chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes of California added: "Thus far we have seen no basis for that whatsoever."