"The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities," claimed the White House press secretary on Monday

By Lindsay Kimble
March 13, 2017 05:07 PM
Alex Wong/Getty

During his press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer seemed to backpedal on President Donald Trump‘s claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 election, CNN reports.

Citing the president’s original tweet that claimed, “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,” Spicer said, “I think there’s no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election.”

The press secretary added that “the president used the word ‘wiretaps’ in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.”

Spicer further claimed that Trump wasn’t directly blaming President Obama, but rather his predecessor’s entire administration, reported CNN.

Trump’s other March 4 tweets included, “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!”

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He added in another message, “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,” and, in yet another, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

Last week, a White House spokeswoman said that she didn’t believe the president accepted FBI Director James B. Comey’s reported denial of the unsubstantiated claims.

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Comey reportedly asked the Justice Department on Saturday to publicly refute Trump’s accusations because Comey said the claims are false and suggest that the FBI broke the law.