Washington, U.S. (Reuters): American President Donald Trump accused ex-president Barack Obama on Saturday of wiretapping him during the late stages of the 2016 election campaign , but offered no evidence for an allegation which an Obama spokesman said was "simply false".
"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!"
The remarkable tussle between the current and former presidents just 45 days since the handover of power is the latest twist in a controversy over ties between Trump associates and Russia that has dogged the early days of his presidency.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last year that Russia hacked and leaked Democratic emails during the election campaign as part of an effort to tilt the vote in Trump 's favor. The Kremlin has denied the allegations.
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said it had been a "cardinal rule" of the Obama administration that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.
Lewis said in a statement, "Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false."
Trump said the alleged wiretapping took place in his Trump Tower office and apartment building in New York, but there was "nothing found." The White House did not respond to a request to elaborate on Trump 's accusations.