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Key Republican: if Trump tweets on Obama phone-tapping are taken “literally,” they’re “wrong”

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Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

It’s been a week and a half since President Trump angrily tweeted that President Obama had had Trump’s “phones” tapped “in Trump Tower,” and the accusation is looking more and more bogus.

The latest indication is that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), a loyal Trump ally who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that if Trump’s tweets are taken “literally,” then “the president was wrong.”

“I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” Nunes said.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, added, “There is absolutely no evidence of that and no suggestion of evidence of that.”

Nunes went on: “You have to decide, as I mentioned to you last week, are you going to take the tweets literally? And clearly if you are, the president was wrong.”

However, Nunes said that he still had concerns about “other surveillance activities looking at [Trump] and his associates.” He also expressed concern about leaks from within the intelligence community, like those about what former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

But the president’s initial claim that Obama tapped his phones appears at this point to be utterly false.

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