Trump claims Obama wiretapped him.
Paul Ryan: “No such wiretap existed.” pic.twitter.com/rwBn25e8u3
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 16, 2017
The day after the House Intelligence Committee determined that President Donald Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped was false, both Speaker Paul Ryan and the Senate Intelligence Committee followed suit. For despite Sean Spicer’s unsuccessful attempt to downplay the matter, congressional Republicans at least offered the White House a chance to explain itself. It didn’t, hence today and yesterday’s announced conclusions on the subject.
Referencing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ comments on Wednesday, Ryan told the press “no such wiretap existed”:
“After we heard about this, we did see a number of press reports that made this allegation, that made this suggestion. So yeah, those press reports did exist. Frankly I didn’t know about it until Brett Baier asked me about it. This is something I was unaware of until we did see a few press reports on this, but the point is the Intelligence Committees — in their continuing, widening, ongoing investigation into all things Russia — got to the bottom, at least so far with respect to our intelligence community, that no such wiretap existed.”
In feigning ignorance regarding the initial claims, Ryan repeatedly referenced “press reports” about President Obama’s supposed wiretaps that may or may not have been a reference to a report about a Breitbart story influencing Trump. Plus, he never once mentioned Obama’s name or the previous administration in his comments.
The official statement by the Senate Intelligence Committee, however, was far more concise and blunt. “Based on the information available to us,” wrote Chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Virginia), “we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”
Neither Ryan, Burr, nor Warner said anything about microwaves though. Makes you think.