“I see no indication that that’s true,” Cole said of Trump’s claims, speaking to a group of reporters on Friday. “And so it’s not a charge that I would have ever made.”
“And frankly, unless you can produce some compelling proof, then I think the president ― President Obama is owed an apology in that regard, because if he didn’t do it, we shouldn’t be reckless in accusations that he did,” added Cole, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee who remains a deputy whip in the House Republican conference.
To date, no other elected Republican has so strongly condemned the wiretapping allegations Trump made on Twitter earlier this month.
Leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday presented their bipartisan assessment that there is no evidence of the federal government surveilling Trump Tower before or after the 2016 election. On Wednesday, the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee from both parties announced they had reached that conclusion as well.
FBI Director James Comey will have the opportunity to comment on the claims on Monday, when he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.
Trump has refused to admit he was wrong, however. In a Wednesday interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, he attributed the allegations to unnamed news reports and suggested evidence would soon emerge to validate him.
“I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks,” he said.