FBI Director James Comey has asked the Justice Department to reject President Donald Trump’s claims that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones before the election, senior officials have claimed.
The New York Times reported that Comey “has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected.”
Comey reportedly made the request Saturday after Trump published his allegations on Twitter without backing up his claims. Comey was reportedly working with the department to refute the claim because it suggests that the FBI broke the law, the officials said.
The Times noted that such a statement “would be a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement officials in the position of questioning the truthfulness of the government’s top leader.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited “reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations,” suggesting to some that the basis for the president’s claim was media reports.
Trump has called for a congressional investigation of the matter. Spicer said Trump would request that intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused during the campaign. He added that the White House would not comment on the matter until such oversight was conducted.
The Hill reported that Comey was upset because “there is no evidence to support” Trump’s claim and “it insinuates that Comey’s FBI broke the law.”
Of course, Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis denied the allegations, but a spokesman for the FBI and Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment on the matter.
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H/T U.K. Daily Mail