White House advisor Kellyanne Conway admitted there is “no evidence” that Barack Obama wiretapped Donald Trump’s phones during the US election.
The President’s spokeswoman u-turned after claiming that Obama could have illegally spied on the billionaire businessman using a MICROWAVE.
In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Conway insisted she had been speaking “generally” — and invoked a 1980s cartoon detective to back up her argument.
“Chris, I’m not Inspector Gadget. I don’t believe people are using the microwave to spy on the Trump campaign,” Conway said.
“However, I’m not in the job of having evidence. That’s what investigations are for.”
She continued: “I’ve said many, many times throughout the week that the President is pleased that the House and Senate intelligence committees have agreed with him that this should be part of the investigation that already exists about Russia and the campaign.
“An investigation that apparently has gone nowhere so far.”
Conway came under fire after claiming Obama’s unproven surveillance of Trump spanned far beyond wiretapping in an interview with Bergen Record.
She told the newspaper: “What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other.
“You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways.”
Conway even insinuated that Trump had been spied on through kitchen equipment, claiming there are “microwaves that turn into cameras.”
“We know this is a fact of modern life,” she told The Record.
However, in interview with “Good Morning America” on Monday, she admitted having “no evidence” for the claim.
She admitted: “Of course I don’t have any evidence for those allegations and that answer had nothing to do with what the President said last week.”
Her comments came a week after the Trump administration asked Congress to probe his claim, without evidence, that President Obama wiretapped his phones during the US election.
A spokesman for Obama said the charge was “simply false.”
Trump made the shock allegation on Twitter, claiming: “This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
On Monday, the Department of Justice said it had requested more time to respond to the request from lawmakers on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.
A department spokeswoman said it had requested “additional time to review the request in compliance with the governing legal authorities and to determine what if any responsive documents may exist.”
The committee said in a statement it wanted a response by the time of a planned hearing on March 20, suggesting it would use a subpoena if that did not happen.
“If the committee does not receive a response by then, the Committee will ask for this information during the March 20 hearing and may resort to a compulsory process if our questions continue to go unanswered.”
White House spokesman Sean Spicer got into a lively exchange with a reporter at Monday’s press briefing when asked whether President Trump’s word can be trusted.
Spicer responded, “If he’s not joking, of course.”
When asked whether the president was joking when he said more than 3 million Americans voted illegally, Spicer said, “He still believes that.”
Trump made the wiretapping accusation in a series of early morning tweets last Saturday amid expanding scrutiny of his campaign’s ties to Russia.
He wrote: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
“Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!
“I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp (sic) my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
An Obama spokesman denied the charge, saying it was “a cardinal rule” that no White House official interfered with independent Justice Department investigations.
The spokesman added: “Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen.
“Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Under U.S. law, a federal court would have to have found probable cause that the target of the surveillance is an “agent of a foreign power” in order to approve a warrant authorising electronic surveillance of Trump Tower.