Sean Spicer passes the buck for Trump's Obama wiretapping theory to Congress

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated the executive branch will no longer comment on President Donald Trump's unfounded claim that Barack Obama had his campaign wiretapped until a congressional investigation into the matter is completed, CNN reported Sunday.

"Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling," Spicer said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. "President Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016."

"Neither the White House nor the president will comment further until such oversight is conducted," Spicer added.

The move could be interpreted as a clever sleight of hand to conveniently relieve Spicer and fellow White House staff of the need to further evidence Trump's claims.

Backing Trump up here could be difficult. As with previous theories Trump has had about supposed interference in the 2016 elections, the president didn't offer any information that might justify his conclusions, and his own staff seemed blindsided that he floated them in the first place.

However, the idea does seem to be an extrapolation of other reports, particularly that the FBI sought Foreign Intelligence Service Act warrants on associates of Trump to determine the extent of their ties to the Russian government, which is much different than the Watergate-style act of political espionage the president is asserting. In fact, the president may have unintentionally offered another insight into just how far those investigations have penetrated into his inner circle.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Why Republicans aren't saying health care is over and Democrats aren't ready to cheer its defeat

"It's not over till it's over and it's not dead until it's dead."

Senate Republican health care plan has dismal 17% approval, new poll finds

Not even Republicans approve of their own party's health care plan, an NPR/PBS poll found.

Sarah Palin has filed a long-ditch lawsuit against the 'New York Times'

Palin's lawsuit comes at a time when President Donald Trump has threatened to "open up" libel laws.

Mic Original Video: Meet Jackson Faw, the lifelong Republican who went blue for Jon Ossoff

"Don't think that just because I'm a white, middle aged redneck ... you can judge me by that."

Reporter takes Sarah Huckabee Sanders to task during briefing over "inflammatory" media comments

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed "fake news" and went after CNN.

Why Republicans aren't saying health care is over and Democrats aren't ready to cheer its defeat

"It's not over till it's over and it's not dead until it's dead."

Senate Republican health care plan has dismal 17% approval, new poll finds

Not even Republicans approve of their own party's health care plan, an NPR/PBS poll found.

Sarah Palin has filed a long-ditch lawsuit against the 'New York Times'

Palin's lawsuit comes at a time when President Donald Trump has threatened to "open up" libel laws.

Mic Original Video: Meet Jackson Faw, the lifelong Republican who went blue for Jon Ossoff

"Don't think that just because I'm a white, middle aged redneck ... you can judge me by that."

Reporter takes Sarah Huckabee Sanders to task during briefing over "inflammatory" media comments

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed "fake news" and went after CNN.