White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it’s time to investigate claims made by several media sources that the Barack Obama administration wiretapped President Donald Trump‘s campaign during the days leading up to the presidential election.
Clip via ABC News
Huckabee Sanders also observed on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that the media are engaged in a bit of double-standard reporting.
“You guys are always telling us to take the media seriously — well we are today … multiple outlets reported this,” the White House deputy press secretary told host Martha Raddatz.
“All we’re saying is let’s take a closer look. Let’s look into this. If this happened, if this is accurate, this is the biggest overreach and the biggest scandal,”
“If, if, if, if….,” Radiate pressed, “Why is the president saying it did happen?”
“Look, I think he’s going off of information that he’s seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential,” Huckabee Sanders replied. “I think he’s made very clear what he believes, and he’s asking that we get down to the bottom of this, get the truth here.”
Raddatz wondered why President Trump is taking the claims made by Breitbart and Heat Street seriously when they relied on anonymous sources, which “the president constantly says he doesn’t like.”
“I love how anonymous sources don’t count when it’s something positive in this administration and against the former one,” Huckabee Sanders shot back.
“Yes we do,” Radiate admitted. “Yes we do.”
“I think the bigger story isn’t who reported it but [rather] is it true,” Huckabee Sanders said. “And I think the American people have the right to know if this happened.”
She also observed that other media outlets have reported on at least the possibility of the surveillance having taken place.
“The New York Times, BBC, have also talked about and reported on the potential of this having had happened. I think the bigger thing is, ‘Let’s find out. Let’s have an investigation.’ If they’re going to investigate Russia ties, let’s include this as part of it,” Huckabee Sanders said.
In a quartet of tweets, White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded to the president’s call for a Congressional investigation of the surveillance claims.
“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling,” Spicer said. “President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016. Neither the White House nor the president will comment further until such oversight is conducted.”
Also Sunday, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway challenged FBI Director James Comey to initiate an agency investigation to either prove or disprove that the wiretapping took place.
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