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White House demands probe over Obama power use

Trump claim that Obama had his telephones tapped duriung election

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(2017 Getty Images)

WASHINGTON D.C. – The White House says it wants the congressional committees that are investigating Russian interference in last year's U.S. presidential election to also examine whether "executive branch investigative powers" were abused in 2016.

That's a reference to President Donald Trump's claim in a series of Saturday tweets that former President Barack Obama had telephones at Trump Tower wiretapped.

Trump has offered no evidence or details to support his claim, and Obama's spokesman has denied it.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says there'll be no further White House comment until the committees conclude their work.

A Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee says he believes President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated allegations that his predecessor ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower will become part of the committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton says, "We're going to follow the facts wherever they lead us. And I'm sure that this matter will be a part of that inquiry."

Trump has provided no evidence of his tweeted accusation that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.

And Cotton said he has not seen any evidence of official wiretapping.

Cotton tells "Fox News Sunday," "That doesn't mean that none of these things happened. It simply means I haven't seen that yet."

The former director of national intelligence in the Obama administration denies there was a secret court order for surveillance at Trump Tower.

James Clapper says that in the national intelligence activity he oversaw, "there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, as a candidate or against his campaign."

Clapper says as intelligence director he would have known about a "FISA court order on something like this. Absolutely, I can deny it."

He left the White House on January 20 when Trump took office.

Clapper's comments on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday came after President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower in the last stages of the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has provided no basis for his allegations.