The attorney general was a top surrogate for Trump's campaign
Trump has alleged -- without providing evidence -- that Obama had his "wires tapped" at Trump Tower
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday he never gave President Donald Trump any reason to believe the GOP candidate had been wiretapped by the Obama administration during the campaign.
Asked by a reporter at an event on crime in Richmond, Virginia, if he ever briefed Trump on “investigations related to the campaign or did you ever give him any reason to believe that he was wiretapped by the previous administration,” Sessions replied, “Look, the answer is no.”
Sessions went on to reiterate that he has recused himself from any investigations involving the Trump campaign and transition and said he was not speaking with the President or the people who are investigating the case. He added that he was “unable to comment on any of these details.”
The attorney general – who was a top surrogate for Trump’s campaign – also defended meeting with the Russian ambassador to the US last year and reiterated his previous position that he was doing so in his capacity as a senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I never considered meeting with the Russian ambassador to be anything improper in any way,” Sessions said. “We did not discuss politics or campaigns. He came in and we discussed issues like Ukraine and things of that nature.”
Earlier this month, Trump alleged – without providing evidence – that President Barack Obama had his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower toward the end of his campaign.
Obama, through a spokesman, has denied the accusation and the White House appeared to walk back the allegation earlier this week when press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump was speaking broadly about surveillance of his campaign.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican, said Wednesday that neither he nor the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, have seen any evidence that Obama wiretapped Trump last year and want the Justice Department to respond to their requests for information by March 20.
“We don’t have any evidence that that took place and, in fact, I don’t believe – just in the last week of time, the people we’ve talked to – I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” Nunes said at a news conference on Capitol Hill.
FBI Director James Comey will testify at a March 20 hearing and there will be a second hearing in the committee March 28.
Also Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said on CNN’s “New Day” that he’ll subpoena information from the FBI over the wiretapping allegations if Comey does not provide information about whether there is any validity to the claims.
CNN’s Eleanor Mueller contributed to this report.