WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping him in October during the late stages of the presidential election campaign, but offered no evidence to support the allegation.
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!,” Trump said in a series of Tweets on his Twitter account early on Saturday.
Obama’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. The White House also did not respond to a request to elaborate on Trump’s accusations.
In one of the Tweets, Trump said the alleged wiretapping took place in his Trump Tower building in New York, but there was “nothing found.”
Trump’s administration has come under pressure from Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional investigations into contacts between some members of his campaign team and Russian officials during his campaign.
Obama imposed sanctions on Russia and ordered Russian diplomats to leave the United States in December over the country’s involvement in hacking political parties in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.
On Saturday, Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that Trump “is not credible when it comes to talking about Russia.”
Swalwell downplayed Trump’s allegation. “I think this is just the president up early doing his routine tweeting, he said. “Presidents don’t wiretap anyone. These are pursued by the Department of Justice in accordance with the FBI and signed off by a judge.”
Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned in February after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.
Flynn had promised Vice President Mike Pence he had not discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russians, but transcripts of intercepted communications, described by U.S. officials, showed that the subject had come up in conversations between him and the Russian ambassador.
Trump has often used his Twitter account to attack rivals and for years led a campaign alleging that Obama was not born in the United States. He later retracted the allegation.
By David Shepardson, Reuters