Leon Panetta: Trump 'Should Apologize' To Obama For Wiretapping Claim

President Trump was not backing down Monday from his claim that the Obama administration "wiretapped" Trump Tower during the campaigning, despite the Federal Bureau of Investigation director testifying that there was no evidence, said the White House.

The committee is due to begin hearings into Russia's role in cybersecurity breaches at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), as well as Mr Trump's unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor had authorised a wiretap of Trump Tower, on Monday (US time).

Other congressional committees also are investigating the possible Russian connection, mostly behind closed doors.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey said the investigation is also exploring whether there was any coordination between the campaign and the Kremlin, and "whether any crimes were committed".

"There was circumstantial evidence of collusion; there is direct evidence, I think, of deception", Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said.

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"I don't know the basis for President Trump's assertion and that's what I wish he would explain to us, on the Intelligence Committee, and to the American people and I do believe he owes us that explanation", Collins told "NBC's "Meet the Press", when asked if the accusations were true". "Is there any shadow of a doubt, is there any possibility, any way, Obama could have tapped Trump Tower in any way?" "However, it's still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates".

Mr Nunes said the committee would also examine whether the Russians were trying to sow doubt in the USA electoral system or whether they were trying to help Mr Trump get elected to the White House.

USA officials are taking fingerprints of asylum seekers in an Australian-run camp on the Pacific island of Nauru, signaling that vetting of applicants for resettlement in what Trump calls a "dumb deal" has restarted.

For Panetta, Trump's distractions are in no way benign. He repeated an unsubstantiated claim that Britain's cyber intelligence organization conducted the surveillance at Obama's behest, a claim the agency GBHQ flatly denied; and mentioned during German Chancellor Angela Merkel's first visit to the Trump White House the Obama administration's monitoring of Merkel's cellphone, a bruising incident in German-U.S. relations.

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