Monday Mar 06, 2017 · 7:23 AM EST
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement.
Mr. Comey, who made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter, has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.
A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment. Sarah Isgur Flores, the spokeswoman for the Justice Department, also declined to comment.
A statement by the Justice Department or Mr. Comey refuting Mr. Trump’s allegations would be a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement officials in the position of questioning the truthfulness of the government’s top leader. The situation underscores the high stakes of what the president and his aides have unleashed by accusing the former president of a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump’s young administration.
This is all about Trump running from the Russian connection and trying to distract while feeding his conspiracy theory habit. More on that below.
David Frum ? @davidfrum
If report is accurate, the director of the FBI is rebuking the president of the United States as a fantasist & liar https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/05/us/politics/trump-seeks-inquiry-into-allegations-that-obama-tapped-his-phones.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share …
4:36 PM - 5 Mar 2017
Comey Asks Justice Dept. to Reject Trump’s Wiretapping Claim
The F.B.I. director wants the Justice Department to refute Mr. Trump’s contention that Barack Obama ordered the tapping of his phones, a claim that Mr. Comey says is false, officials said.
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