Obama chief of staff: ‘The president cannot order a wiretap’

Former President Obama’s chief of staff on Thursday pushed back against President Trump’s wiretapping allegations.

“The president cannot order a wiretap, the president does not order a wiretap, and the president did not order a wiretap,” Denis McDonough said on CBS “This Morning” when asked if the president can order a wiretap.

Trump earlier this month accused his predecessor of ordering surveillance on Trump Tower before the election. In a series of tweets, Trump questioned whether it was legal for a sitting president to be wiretapping a “race for president prior to an election.”

{mosads}”How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process,” the president tweeted earlier this month. “This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

On Wednesday, Trump defended his unsubstantiated wiretapping claim.

“Wiretap covers a lot of different things,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson.

“I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”

Trump referenced The New York Times’s reporting when asked about the source of his wiretapping accusations.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer earlier this week said the president’s tweets weren’t meant to be taken literally, noting Trump could have been referring to a broad range of surveillance activity.

“He doesn’t really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally,” Spicer said.

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