Republican Representative Tom Cole from Oklahoma said Friday that President Trump owes former President Obama an apology for accusing him of ordering an illegal wiretap of his Trump Tower phone lines. He cited lack of public evidence as his reasoning.
“I see no indication that that’s true,” Cole told reporters of Trump’s claim. “And so it’s not a charge I would have ever made. And frankly, unless you can produce some pretty compelling proof, then I think the president, you know, President Obama is owed an apology in that regard.”
Earlier this month, President Trump accused his predecessor of wiretapping his phones and swiftly demanded that the House and Republican Intelligence Committees launch an investigation into the claim, even though he has been unable to offer any proof to back it up. The accusation had circulated conservative outlets, starting with a claim by radio host Mark Levin that appeared in a Breitbart article.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump wrote on Twitter, following it up with similar tweets.
Former President Obama, his former director of intelligence and FBI Director James Clapper have all publicly denied the allegations. This week, leaders in both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees revealed that they have found no evidence to support it. President Trump, however, has refused to back down from the claim, standing by it in his Wednesday interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and joking about it during Friday’s joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“If [Obama] didn’t do it, we shouldn’t be reckless in accusations that he did,” Cole added.