Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse on Saturday released a statement responding to President Trump’s accusations that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign, demanding Trump offer the public more information behind his claims.
“The president today made some very serious allegations, and the informed citizens that a republic requires deserve more information,” Sasse said. “If without [an authorization], the President should explain what sort of wiretap it was and how he knows this. It is possible that he was illegally tapped.”
However, Sasse said if there was a legal authorization for a phone tap, then Trump should disclose that application.
“If it was with a legal FISA court order, then an application for surveillance exists that the court found credible. The president should ask that this full application regarding surveillance of foreign operatives or operations be made available, ideally to the full public, and at a bare minimum to the U.S. Senate,” Sasse added.
“We are in the midst of a civilization-warping crisis of public trust, and the President’s allegations today demand the thorough and dispassionate attention of serious patriots. A quest for the full truth, rather than knee-jerk partisanship, must be our guide if we are going to rebuild civic trust and health.”
my statement on wiretapping… pic.twitter.com/OzYkOCXeEh
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) March 4, 2017
Sasse was one of the first Republicans to respond to Trump’s accusations. Sen. Lindsey Graham also spoke out about the claims, saying he was “very worried” about them.
Graham explained that if the taps were illegal, it would be “the biggest political scandal since Watergate.” He also said that if Obama or another federal agency was able to legally obtain a warrant to monitor Trump’s campaign, that too would be a scandal — the implication being something must have been awry to convince a judge to give a legal warrant to tap Trump Tower.
Trump on Saturday claimed President Obama had his “wires tapped” in Trump Tower before Election Day, tweeting the accusation without offering evidence.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” he wrote.
“Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!” he added in subsequent tweets. “I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”
— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) March 4, 2017