Senate Intel leaders were 'fully briefed' on wiretapping allegations: report

Senate Intel leaders were 'fully briefed' on wiretapping allegations: report
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A spokesperson for the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is pushing back against the White House's claim that the panel has not yet been briefed on information regarding alleged wiretapping of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE's presidential campaign.

Press secretary Sean Spicer's comments came hours after Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrDemocratic incumbents bolster fundraising advantage in key Senate races McConnell gets GOP wake-up call Senate approves short-term debt ceiling increase MORE (R-N.C.) and ranking member Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Biden seeks to quell concerns over climate proposals Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Intelligence report warns of climate threats in all countries The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Biden holds meetings to resurrect his spending plan MORE (D-Va.) released a joint statement on Thursday saying they had seen no evidence suggesting that the Obama administration ordered surveillance of Trump Tower during Trump's campaign.

"The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee would not have made the statement they made without having been fully briefed by the appropriate authorities," a spokesperson for Warner said, according to NBC News.

Spicer sparred with reporters at his daily press briefing Thursday afternoon, asserting that the president was standing by his unsubstantiated claim that former President Obama had ordered surveillance of his campaign last year.


The statement from Burr and Warner, Spicer said, did not undermine the White House's confidence that the president's unsubstantiated allegation would be vindicated because "the investigation by the House and Senate has not been provided all the information."

But Burr and Warner aren't the only lawmakers to cast doubt on Trump's claim. House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) said at a news conference earlier on Thursday that "no such wiretap existed."

Ryan's comments came a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said that his panel had not seen any evidence to back up Trump's wiretapping allegations.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party Bannon eyed as key link between White House, Jan. 6 riot MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters on Thursday that he expects FBI Director James Comey to put an end to the allegations when he appears before the committee next week.

"I think the director will have an opportunity to put the final exclamation point on that and put this to rest, and then it will be up to the president to explain why he would make such a baseless accusation," he said.

The Justice Department is expected to turn over any information relevant to Trump's claim on Monday, though it is unclear what, if any, evidence will be presented. Spicer said on Tuesday that the president is "extremely confident" that the Justice Department will be able to back up the accusation and that he will be "vindicated."