The Senate Intelligence Committee released a statement on March 16 regarding an allegation made by President Donald Trump that he was wiretapped by former President Barack Obama during the election campaign. The committee notes that no evidence supports the wiretapping claim.
"Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of a surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016," the bipartisan statement, issued by Sens. Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, and Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said, according to The Associated Press.
On March 15, Republican Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin supported the statement issued by the House Intelligence Committee, reports CNBC.
"The intelligence committees in their continuing, widening ongoing investigation of all things Russia, got to the bottom -- at least so far with respect to our intelligence community -- that no such wiretap existed," Ryan said.
According to NPR, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, a Republican from California, concluded that, based on available evidence, he does not believe "there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."
Speaking with Fox News on March 15, Trump continued to defend his claim.
"When I say wiretapping, those words were in quotes," the president explained. "That really covers -- because wiretapping is pretty old-fashioned stuff -- but that really covers surveillance and many other things. And nobody ever talks about the fact that it was in quotes, but that's a very important thing."
Trump's March 4 tweet reads: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
Trump then continued the accusation in three more tweets:
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!
"I think there is significant reporting about surveillance techniques that have existed throughout the 2016 election," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said of the President's claims, reports NPR. "I think he feels very confident that what will ultimately come of this will vindicate him."