Trump 'lied' about being wiretapped - report

  • 03/09/2017
Trump supporters outside Trump Tower in New York.
Trump supporters outside Trump Tower in New York. Photo credit: Reuters

The US Justice Department says it has no evidence to support the unsubstantiated claim made by President Donald Trump that Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.

There has never been any evidence to support Mr Trump's assertion on Twitter that "Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory", despite continued insistence from some conservative websites and commentators.

But in a court filing late on Friday, the Justice Department added itself to the list of entities debunking the allegation.

The FBI and the Justice Department's National Security Division "confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described" by tweets from Trump posted on March 4, the department said in a court filing in Washington.

The filing was in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by American Oversight, a government watchdog group.

Trump Tower served as Mr Trump's New York campaign headquarters during the election.

The surveillance claim, which first appeared in conservative media before being picked up by Mr Trump, prompted a rare rebuke by Mr Obama, who responded at the time through a spokesman to denounce the idea that he had ordered surveillance against then-candidate Mr Trump as "simply false".

In a statement, American Oversight said the Justice Department filing "confirmed in writing that President Trump lied when he tweeted that former President Obama 'wiretapped' him at Trump Tower".

Asked for comment, a White House spokeswoman said on Saturday, "This is not news. We answered this weeks ago."