Senate Intelligence Committee: No evidence Obama spied on Trump Tower

The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday refuted President Donald Trump‘s explosive claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 election.

The bi-partisan statement from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) is the latest in a string of denials from members of Congress and former Obama administration officials who say there is no evidence to support Trump’s claim that Obama spied on him, which he made without evidence.

“Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016,” Burr and Warner said in a joint statement.

Burr and Warner’s statement aligns with the statements of the House Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan leadership.

While Trump originally said that Obama had his “wires tapped” in a series of tweets on March 4, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later explained that the quotation marks around the phrase indicated that the president meant surveillance in general, not specifically wiretaps. The Burr–Warner statement addresses that expanded definition with the use of the word “surveillance.” Spicer also said Trump was “extremely confidence” the Department of Justice would find evidence that the Obama administration surveilled Trump Tower.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway revived the possibility of other surveillance methods earlier this week by commenting during an interview that microwaves can be turned into cameras.

President Obama has flatly denied Trump’s allegations as “false.”

Despite the refutations by both the Senate Intelligence Committee and House Intelligence Committee leadership, the issue of Obama’s alleged surveillance of Trump may not yet be put to rest. Trump, speaking with Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview that aired on Wednesday, said “we have a lot” of evidence, which he expects will be released “soon.”

Andrew Couts

Andrew Couts

Andrew Couts is the former editor of Layer 8, a section dedicated to the intersection of the Internet and the state—and the gaps in between. Prior to the Daily Dot, Couts served as features editor and features writer for Digital Trends, associate editor of TheWeek.com, and associate editor at Maxim magazine. When he’s not working, Couts can be found hiking with his German shepherds or blasting around on motorcycles.