- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 11, 2017

President Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by his predecessor has yet to be publicly supported by evidence, but he isn’t ready to apologize for the accusation either.

Absent details concerning the supposed eavesdropping effort alleged by Mr. Trump on Twitter last weekend against former President Barack Obama, the White House on Friday refused to say whether an apology is in the works.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Friday when asked if the president will apologize to Mr. Obama if his allegation is debunked. “I think it’s important to see where that goes, and I don’t want to prejudge their work at this time.”

Mr. Trump alleged in a series of tweets last Saturday that Mr. Obama had let U.S. officials conduct surveillance on the current president’s Manhattan residence last year.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Mr. Trump insisted, paving the way for the White House to urge Congress on Sunday to investigate president’s “very troubling” allegations.

Mr. Trump’s claim has been widely refuted in the week since, however, and reportedly prompted FBI Director James Comey to seek a public rejection from the Department of Justice.

Asked about the lack of evidence Friday, Mr. Spicer told ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl that he didn’t want to comment on an ongoing probe.

“I’m not going to get into a series of hypotheticals, prejudging the outcome of a report or an investigation that hasn’t occurred yet. I think once that’s done, we’ll respond appropriately,” Mr. Spicer said.

On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee have asked the Justice Department to surrender any applications, court orders, search warrants or other evidence by Monday proving Mr. Trump or his associates were subject to surveillance during the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

The House inquiry comes as lawmakers continue to investigate accusations concerning the Russian government’s involvement in last year’s White House contest. Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, California Republican, told reporters earlier this week that his panel will probe Mr. Trump’s claim during the course of reviewing contacts that occurred between last year’s presidential campaigns and foreign entities, the likes of which may have been intercepted during routine eavesdropping efforts undertaken by U.S. authorities against Russian diplomats and other targets.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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