Senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway has said, without evidence, that “microwaves that turn into cameras” are commonly used by spy agencies.
Her comments came after the Bergen Record’s Mike Kelly asked: “Do you know whether Trump Tower was wiretapped?” Watch the clip, below.
"What I can say is there are many ways we can surveil each other now unfortunately,” Conway replied.
“There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets. Any number of different ways.
“Microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. So we know that that is just a fact of modern life.”
Microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. So we know that that is just a fact of modern life. Kellyanne Conway
Asked on Monday by ABC Good Morning America why she would make such a claim without evidence, Conway said: “I wasn’t making a suggestion about Trump Tower. I answered [Kelly] about surveilling generally,” she said.
“I have no evidence, that’s why there’s an investigation in Congress,” she added.
She later tweeted: “Response to Bergen Record was about surveillance articles in news & techniques generally, not about campaign. Headline just wrong.”
Conway’s comments are unlikely to dampen criticism of Trump’s tweets earlier this month claiming that Obama had wiretapped Trump Towers in the run-up to the US Presidential elections.
The House intelligence committee has asked Trump’s administration to provide evidence of the allegation by Monday at the latest, the Associated Press reported.
Trump’s critics have slammed him for making explosive wiretapping claims on his Twitter account without evidence.
Wiretapping a US citizen would require special permission from a court, and Trump as president would have the ability to declassify that information.
James Clapper, who was Obama’s director of national intelligence, has said that nothing matching Trump’s claims had taken place.
WikiLeaks earlier this month released nearly 8,000 documents that purportedly reveal secrets about the CIA’s tools for breaking into targeted computers, cellphones and even smart TVs.
It appears it was these revelations which inspired Conway’s comments to the Bergen Record.
FBI director James Comey has privately urged the Justice Department to dispute Trump’s claim but has not come forward to do so himself.
Senator John McCain, an influential Republican, said Sunday: “I think the president has one of two choices: either retract or to provide the information that the American people deserve, because, if his predecessor violated the law, President Obama violated the law, we have got a serious issue here, to say the least.”
The House Intelligence Committee’s request for evidence by Monday was made in a letter sent to the Justice Department by members of the intelligence panel.