House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said Friday that President Trump should apologize to former President Obama – and the American people – for his unsubstantiated charge that Mr. Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped during the 2016 campaign. The Democratic leader spoke with Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson in an interview that will air Sunday.
Pelosi commended Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who suggested Friday that Mr. Trump should apologize to his predecessor. “Good for him. Good for him for saying that,” she said.
“It’s not just about this allegation that President Trump has made,” Pelosi explained. “It’s about the frivolity of it all. I call him the Deflector-in-Chief. He’ll come up with anything to change the subject from something that’s not going well for him...he comes up with these schemes, which are beneath the dignity - not only beneath the dignity of the office of the president, beneath the responsibility of the President of the United States to respect the office he serves in.”
Mr. Trump first leveled the accusation about wiretapping earlier this month:
In the weeks since, no evidence has emerged to back up the president’s claim. His administration has tried to walk it back, arguing the quotes around the words “wires tapped” in the president’s tweet suggested he didn’t mean for the charge to be taken literally. Top Intelligence Committee lawmakers in both parties and both chambers have said they’ve seen no evidence Mr. Trump was surveilled by the government during the campaign. The FBI has reportedly even pressured the Justice Department to publicly disavow the president’s tweet – something the DoJ has not yet done.
FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify Monday before Congress, and Pelosi said she hopes members ask him for clarity on the wiretapping controversy.
“I hope that…they would ask him to deny…that what the president charged President Obama with, wiretapping him, is not true,” Pelosi said.
The Democratic leader also addressed the simmering controversy over the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, repeating her call for an outside, independent investigation of the issue and arguing that investigations “can only go so far within the Congress.”
“Let’s take it away from Congress or any political motivation, and just put it outside, apolitically,” she said. “There can be some form of an independent counsel, a special prosecutor – it has different names – that the Justice Department could appoint, and that would be a path as well. Not as good as the independent commission, but a path.”
For more from our interview with Pelosi, tune into Face the Nation on Sunday. Check your local listings for airtimes.
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.