Sean Spicer has taken time during his latest press briefing helpfully explain when we can believe what the President of the United States says is true.
Turns out it’s not as straightforward as you think it would be and we now appear to have three versions of the truth according to the White House.
During a press briefing on Monday, Sean Spicer sparred with reporters over Donald Trump’s claims that President Obama had him “wiretapped” and his sudden change of heart about the validity of employment statistics.
Trump’s assertions have put his administration in a bind. Current and former administration officials have been unable to provide any evidence of the Obama administration wiretapping Trump Tower, yet the president’s aides have been reluctant to publicly contradict their boss.
Compounding the ongoing debacle, last week Trump praised a job report he had once described as “phoney”. When questioned about this last week, Spicer quoted the President as saying: “They may have been phoney in the past but it’s very real now.”
Unsurprisingly Spicer took quite a bit of flack for the briefing.
Her comments came after the Bergen Record’s Mike Kelly asked: “Do you know whether Trump Tower was wiretapped?”
Trump himself has not commented on the matter since his March 4 tweets, in which he said he had “just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.” He also wrote: “Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president?”
In two other tweets, Trump described Obama tapping his phones, but did not put the phrases in quotation marks, reports the Associated Press.
The president’s accusations against Obama came amid numerous political questions surrounding his associates’ possible ties to Russia. The FBI is investigating Trump associates’ contacts with Russia during the election, as are House and Senate intelligence committees.
The White House has asked those committees to also investigate Trump’s unverified wiretapping allegations against Obama. The House committee has turned the matter back on the Trump administration, setting the Monday deadline for the Justice Department to provide evidence.
In a response Monday evening, the Justice Department said it needed extra time to “review the request in compliance with the governing legal authorities and to determine what if any responsive documents may exist.”
Other congressional committees are also pushing the administration to clarify Trump’s claims.