Donald Trump 'doesn't really think' Barack Obama wiretapped him, says Sean Spicer

White House press secretary Sean Spicer takes a question during a press briefing on March 13, 2017.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer takes a question during a press briefing on March 13, 2017. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday (March 13) sought to clarify President Donald Trump's claims that Barack Obama had wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower during last year's presidential election.

"He doesn't really think that president went up and tapped his phones personally," Mr Spicer told reporters in response to a question concerning Mr Trump's explosive claims on March 4.

"I think there's no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election.

"The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities."

Mr Trump had, without providing any evidence, levelled the accusations against Mr Obama in a series of tweets, labelling his predecessor a "bad" or a "sick" guy.

Mr Obama's spokesman dismissed the charge as "simply false".

Prior to his comments on Monday, CNN noted that Mr Spicer said last week Mr Trump's tweet spoke for itself but declined to explain further.

Meanwhile, the US Justice Department on Monday asked for more time to respond to a request from lawmakers on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee for evidence on Mr Trump's allegations.