White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that President Donald Trump “doesn’t really think” that Barack Obama “tapped his phone personally,” seeming to walk back Trump’s claim that his predecessor ordered an illegal wiretap of Trump Tower, POLITICO reports.
“He doesn’t really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally,” Spicer told reporters at the afternoon press briefing.
Spicer argued that Trump had accused the Obama administration of general “surveillance” activities, and not a literal wiretap, though Trump himself had use the term “wire tapping” in one of several tweets making the claim without evidence on March 4. Spicer said that the fact that Trump put quotation marks around the words “wire tapping” in one tweet was proof that he was not speaking literally.
“I think there is no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election. That is a widely-reported activity that occurred back then,” Spicer said. “The president used the word wiretap in quotes to mean broadly surveillance and other activities during that.”
Read more at POLITICO.