14:12 GMT18 September 2020
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    The allegation that former President Barack Obama ordered US agencies to wiretap the campaign headquarters of Donald Trump during the 2016 election is either untrue or an instance of unprecedented misconduct in the United States, US Congressman Jim Himes said in an interview Monday.

    NEW YORK (Sputnik) — On Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to accuse Obama of having his Trump Tower headquarters' "wires tapped" prior to the 2016 presidential election, describing this as the former administration's "new low."

    The president went on to compare the alleged surveillance to McCarthyism and the Watergate scandal. The claims have been rejected by Obama's representative.

    "On the face of it, the tweet is either wrong or points to the scandal unlike we've ever seen," Himes told MSNBC. "The president cannot order a wiretap."

    The White House called on Congress to investigate the matter as part of its ongoing probe of Russia's alleged interference in the election.

    The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence plans to investigate and quickly establish the merits of Trump's accusations, committee member Marco Rubio said on Sunday.

    The news comes amid reports of alleged Trump's team's ties with Russian officials. On February 15, The New York Times reported, citing phone records and intercepted calls, members of Trump’s presidential campaign team and several associates allegedly contacted Russian intelligence and government officials prior to the 2016 US election. Both Washington and Moscow have repeatedly refuted the allegations.

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    Tags:
    wiretapping, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, United States
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