U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey said on Monday there was no evidence to support U.S. President Donald Trump's claim that his predecessor Barack Obama ordered wiretapping of the Trump Tower in the 2016 election.
"With respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets," said Comey at a congressional hearing in Washington.
"And we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The Department has no information that supports those tweets," he added.
Meanwhile, Comey confirmed publicly for the first time that the FBI was investigating alleged Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, including possible links between Moscow and the campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump.
The probe included investigating the "nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts," said Comey.
On March 4, Trump claimed in a tweet storm that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower before his election victory, offering no evidence.
Hours after Trump tweeted, Obama's spokesman said Trump's wiretapping accusation is "simply false".
Speaking at the beginning of the hearing on Monday, Republican lawmaker Devin Nunes, chairman of U.S. House Select Intelligence Committee, also acknowledged that "there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower."
"However, it's still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President's Trump and his associates," he said.