(Luis M. Alvarez / Associated Press)

President Trump accused Obama of wiretapping his phones during the 2016 election, an escalation of tit-for-tat allegations between Trump and Democrats as pressure mounts for an independent investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia.

Trump cited no evidence that Obama deployed what Trump described as a "Nixon/Watergate" effort to monitor his campaign.

"Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found," Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday, adding: "This is McCarthyism!"

It would be highly unusual for a sitting president to be aware of such requests. By blaming Obama directly, Trump accused the former president of reaching into a federal investigation and signing off on an illegal wiretap, which is a felony.

"How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!" Trump wrote in a series of four tweets.

If federal investigators did monitor Trump’s phones or computers lawfully, a court would have demanded information about potential criminal misconduct or unlawful foreign contacts. Such investigations are closely held and rarely, if ever, shared with the White House.

It is also possible Trump has no evidence his phones were tapped and is repeating unfounded reports circulating in conservative media circles.

Trump has pushed back hard against accusations his campaign had improper contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

U.S. intelligence officials concluded in January that Russia had launched covert actions and cyber hacking to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and help Donald Trump win. But it is unclear if those actions were coordinated with people in Trump’s inner circle.

In the meantime, a pattern of Trump officials downplaying their contact with Russia has stirred calls for further investigation.

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions did not disclose meeting Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak when asked about contacts with Russians during his Senate confirmation hearing. On Thursday, Sessions recused himself from any potential investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned last month when it was disclosed that he had misled Trump administration officials about conversations with Kislyak about U.S. sanctions against Russia.

(Shawn Thew/ European Pressphoto Agency) Peace advocates protest extrajudicial killings in the Philippines that were cited in the State Department’s human rights report.

This article was sourced from http://news4reno.com