Donald Trump's accusation that his office was bugged by the Obama administration during the election campaign has been comprehensively rubbished by the US Congress.
Leaders of both the House and Senate intelligence committees, including from Trump's Republican Party, have said they have found no evidence to substantiate Trump's claims that Obama ordered U.S. agencies to spy on Trump or his entourage. "That really covers surveillance and many other things", Trump said in a Fox News interview. "I'm going to let the tweet speak for itself", he said. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a joint statement, providing no other details.
The US Justice Department on Friday said it delivered documents to congressional committees responding to their request for information that could shed light on President Donald Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama ordered US agencies to spy on him. He said reporters had not focused enough on comments from officials denying evidence of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
"At least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump said Friday, motioning to Merkel, a reference to how the US National Security Agency had tapped the German Chancellor's phone in the past.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the president stands by his claims.
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff have flatly said that Trump Tower was clearly not wiretapped.
Intelligence officials have said that Russian Federation was behind the theft of Democratic National Committee emails last summer.
The House intelligence committee is to begin hearings Monday into Russia's role in cybersecurity breaches at the Democratic National Committee.
In the latest twist it has been revealed that former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was sacked last month by Mr Trump for lying about his connections to the Russian ambassador, was paid more than $33,750 (£27,300) by Russia's state-run broadcaster for giving a speech during the election campaign.
Obama said through a spokesman it was "simply false".
Burr joins a steady drumbeat of Republicans who have explicitly contracted President Trump's explosive claims that he was surveilled during the campaign.
The Republican operative has acknowledged having a Twitter exchange with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker that USA officials believe has ties to Russian Federation. Those include situations when the communications contain information that a crime has or is about to be committed, when the Americans' identity is necessary to understand the importance of the foreign intelligence collected or when the communication provides information that an American may be an agent of a foreign power.
"I've been reading about things", Mr Trump said.
With the statement from the Senate Intelligence Committee chiefs, it's a bicameral bipartisan assessment that the president accused his predecessor of wiretapping him without any evidence to back up the claim.
"We've cleared that up", Ryan said, adding that he'd received a briefing and seen no evidence of Trump's wiretap claims. Schiff says he and Nunes are willing to take steps to compel the department to comply with their request if it refuses by the March 20 deadline they've given the Justice Department.