World Bulletin / News Desk
President Donald Trump does not believe the FBI director's reported denial that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump be wiretapped during last year's presidential campaign, his spokeswoman said Monday.
Previously Trump has, without proof, blamed a number of leaks -- which have contributed to his administration's rocky start -- on Obama, who has dismissed the claims.
In a Twitter outburst, Trump said without offering proof, "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!"
The comments prompted FBI Director James Comey to reportedly ask the Department of Justice to publicly refute the allegations, according to The New York Times.
Asked on ABC's Good Morning America program if the president accepts Comey's refutation, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "You know, I don't think he does."
"I think he firmly believes that this is a storyline that has been reported pretty widely," she said before host George Stephanopoulos interjected: "I have got to stop you right there -- every single article you just mentioned does not back up the president's claim that President Obama had him wiretapped."
Sanders appeared to be referring to the mass collection of telephone metadata under the Obama administration, which was later curtailed amid mass outrage, rather than an illegal order targeting Trump.
"The administration was wiretapping American citizens," said Sanders. "His administration could have done this."
On Sunday, former White House spokesman Josh Earnest strongly denied that Obama ordered Trump be wiretapped.
"This may come as some surprise to the current occupant of the Oval Office, but the President of the United States does not have the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of an American citizen," he told the This Week Sunday political show.
"If the FBI decided to use their wiretapping authority in the context of a counter-intelligence or criminal investigation, it would require FBI investigators, officials at the Department of Justice, going to a federal judge and making a case, and demonstrating probable cause to use that authority to conduct an investigation. That is a fact."