Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly responding to questions on the subject said that President Trump possesses “convincing evidence” that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower.
Early in the morning on Saturday, in a series of tweets from his Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump, without offering any evidence, claimed that he “just learned” that Obama had his “wires tapped” in Trump Tower during the presidential campaign last year.
Appearing on CNN’s ‘Situation Room,’ Kelly said in response to host Wolf Blitzer that “If the president of the United States said that, he’s got his reasons to say it. He has got some convincing evidence that that took place.”
Kelly added that he had learned of the claims by the President from watching CNN moments before his appearance on the show. He refused to speculate why the Obama administration would want to wiretap a presidential candidate.
“I don’t know anything about it other when I was sitting off-studio here watching CNN,” he said. “I don’t pretend to even guess what the motivation may have been for the previous administration to do something like that.”
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump tweeted on Saturday.
“Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!” he added in subsequent tweets.
“I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”
A spokesperson for Obama categorically denied Trump’s claims later in the morning, stating that they were “simply false.”
“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” said Kevin Lewis, Obama’s spokesperson.
“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen,” he added. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”