White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday defiantly responded to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s determination that there was no evidence of surveillance by the United States.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s vice chairmen, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), said that they saw “no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”
ABC Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked Spicer to react to the statement but the press secretary told the reporter to “calm down” before reciting a monologue about news reports — even though they do not refute the committee’s findings.
“Are you saying that the president still stands by his allegation that President Obama ordered wire tapping of Trump Tower despite the fact that the Senate Intelligence Committee says they see no indication that it happened?” Karl said. “They said they see no indication.”
“He stands by it!” Spicer replied. “The bottom line is the president said last night that there will be additional information coming forward. There’s a ton of media reports out there that indicate that something was going on during the 2016 election.”
CNN’s Jim Acosta noted that Spicer was “citing Sean Hannity” over lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee and FBI officials.
“How do you seem to be such an expert?” Spicer snapped.
“I’m saying this has been looked at,” Acosta said.
“How do you know that it’s been looked at?” Spicer shot back.
“There have been hearings,” Acosta noted.
“I’m sorry, can you tell me how you know that all of this is — quote — being looked at?” Spicer asked.
“You have a Senate and House intelligence committee, both leaders from both parties on both of those panels saying that they don’t see any evidence of any wiretapping,” Acosta pointed out.
“It sounds like, Sean,” the CNN reporter continued, “that you and the president are saying now, ‘We don’t mean wiretapping anymore, that’s not true anymore. So now we’re going to expand it to other forms of surveillance.’ What’s it going to be next?”
“Jim, I think that’s cute, but at the end of the day, we’ve talked about this,” Spicer replied. “The president had the quote wiretapping in quotes, he was referring to broad surveillance.”
“The bottom line is the investigation by the House and the Senate has not been provided all of the information,” Spicer concluded.
Watch the video below from CNN.