The heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee have seen no evidence that the Obama administration “wiretapped” Trump Tower, according to a brief statement issued Thursday.
“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,” Sens. Richard BurrRichard BurrFive questions for the House's new Russia investigator Why an independent counsel is necessary in an election probe Senators aim to extend federal conservation fund MORE (R-N.C.) and Mark WarnerMark WarnerSo what if banks push fancy cards? Give consumers the steak they want Five questions for the House's new Russia investigator Why an independent counsel is necessary in an election probe MORE (D-Va.) said in a joint statement, providing no other details.
Burr joins a steady drumbeat of Republicans who have explicitly contracted President Trump’s explosive claims that he was surveilled during the campaign.
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), also disavowed the claim on Wednesday, calling any literal interpretation of Trump’s tweet “wrong.”
"As I told you last week about the issue with the president talking about tapping Trump Tower, that evidence still remains the same, that we don't have any evidence that that took place," Nunes told reporters.
"In fact, I don't believe just in the last week of time, the people we've talked to, I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."
Trump earlier this month tweeted that former President Obama "had my wires tapped."
The Justice Department has been under fierce pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to disclose whether there is any truth to the president's claims.
Most experts have argued that the accusation is far-fetched under current U.S. surveillance law.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday said Trump is "extremely confident" that the Justice Department will produce evidence to back up his assertion. He said Trump believes the evidence will “vindicate him.”
“I think there’s significant reporting about surveillance techniques that existed throughout the 2016 election,” Spicer said.
Both Burr's and Nunes's committees are investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election, including any links between Trump campaign officials and Moscow.
--Updated 2:34 p.m.