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Obama and Russia: Congress Moves Forward With Investigation

Donald Trump Podium
Donald Trump Podium

The chairman for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said that they would open an investigation to determine whether there was any interference by the Russian government during the presidential campaign. 

The statement comes after the White House demanded that Congress examine whether former President Barack Obama abused his executive powers in connection with that campaign. 

"One of the focus points of the House Intelligence Committee's investigation is the U.S. government's response to actions taken by Russian intelligence agents during the presidential campaign," Chairman Devin Nunes said Sunday. "As such, the Committee will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party's campaign officials or surrogates, and we will continue to investigate this issue if the evidence warrants it."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer made the request to Congress in a statement Sunday. He referred to "very troubling"  reports "concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election." 

The request from the White House came after President Trump sent out a series of tweets claiming that  Obama tapped the telephones in his  New York CityTrump Tower. 

"President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016," Spicer said.

Trump was unable to offer supporting evidence nor did he mention what sparked those accusations.

However, Spicer's chief deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said she thinks Trump is "going off of information that he's seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential." If the conduct alleged is confirmed, Sanders said it would amount to the "greatest overreach and the greatest abuse of power that I think we have ever seen and a huge attack on democracy itself."

A spokesman for Obama said the claims were "simply false", but lawmakers from both parties are asking for proof. 

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