The top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee opened Monday's hearing on Russian election meddling by immediately disavowing President Trump's claim that he was wiretapped by President Obama. 

“I’ve been saying this for several weeks, we know there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower,” chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said during a brief opening statement. “However, it is still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.” 

Ranking member Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mueller has subpoenaed Bannon in Russia probe: report MORE (D-Calif.) — in a lengthy opening statement — said that the committee has found "no evidence whatsoever to support that slanderous accusation."

The intelligence panel leaders made the statements during the committee's first open hearing on Russia's election interference.

Both Nunes and Schiff have previously said there is no evidence of Trump's claim that Obama had his "wires tapped" in Trump Tower ahead of the presidential election, a charge he made on Twitter earlier in March. Trump has stood by his claims, though the White House has worked to walk back the accusation, saying it referred more broadly to surveillance activities by the Obama administration. 

The Justice Department last week sent documents to the committee related to Trump's claims. 

Committee members will question FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers Monday on the investigation into Russian interference in the election.