US President Donald Trump on Monday said his allegations that his predecessor Barack Obama illegally tapped his phones during the 2016 presidential election campaign “have been proven very strongly”.
“I think our sides been proven very strongly and everybody’s talking about it, and frankly, it should be discussed — I think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens,” CNN quoted Trump as saying in an interview with CBS’ John Dickerson that aired on Monday.
“I don’t stand by anything. I just, you can take it the way you want. I think our side’s been proven very strongly,” he added.
In March, Trump claimed in a series of tweets that Obama ordered Trump’s phones wiretapped during the presidential campaign.
Trump never provided evidence for the claims, and he and his aides have since walked back aspects of the claim, insisting Trump was referring to any kind of surveillance of his campaign or associates.
Trump broached the topic in his interview by saying he has had “some difficulties with Obama”.
“You saw what happened with surveillance and I think that was inappropriate,” Trump said.
But Trump refused to dive deeper into his comments, declining to explain his comment or explicitly say that he stands by his claim. Trump eventually ended the interview as Dickerson continued to press Trump to explain his claims about Obama.
“That’s enough. Thank you,” Trump said as he gestured for Dickerson to leave the Oval Office.
The White House has refused to provide evidence to back up Trump’s claims since he made the wild allegations nearly two months ago, instead calling on the congressional intelligence committees to investigate the claims.
Members of both parties have said they have seen no evidence to back up Trump’s allegations about Obama.
Trump claimed he had been vindicated in late March when Rep. Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House intelligence committee, said he had uncovered incidental surveillance of members of the Trump transition team — meaning they were not the targets of the surveillance.