White House spokesman says president wants alleged abuse of executive powers to be included in probe of Russian activity.
U.S. President Donald Trump is asking Congress to probe “potentially politically motivated investigations” during the 2016 campaign, the White House said on Sunday.
The announcement came one day after Trump took to Twitter to accuse his predecessor Barack Obama of tapping his phones ahead of the November election, without providing evidence of the explosive charge. An Obama spokesman has denied Trump’s accusation as “simply false.”
In his statement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred to unspecified reports of “potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election” as “very troubling.”
“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,” Spicer said. He added that there would be no more comment on the matter from Trump or the White House.
Trump leveled his charges against Obama early Saturday, at the end of a week in which his administration was battered by controversy over communications between Russian officials and some of his senior aides including Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “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!” Trump wrote. “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!” he wrote in another tweet, referring to the political scandal that toppled president Richard Nixon in 1974.