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Rand Paul asks Congress, White House if Obama spied on him

Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, is asking the White House and the Intelligence Committees in Congress to look into whether the Obama Administration spied on him.

"We have several sources telling us that members of the Obama administration were looking at politicians particularly people who were running for office," Paul said on Friday at a luncheon for donors of the libertarian CATO Institute in Washington D.C. The Kentucky Senator ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 before suspending his campaign and endorsing President Donald Trump. 

In a letter to Mr. Trump on Friday, Paul wrote, "an anonymous source recently alleged to me that my name, as well as the names of other Members of Congress, were unmasked, queried, or both, in intelligence reports or intercepts during the previous administration."

Regardless of the veracity of the anonymous source's claim, Mr. Trump is likely to be sympathetic to it given that just last week he doubled down on the unproven assertion that his campaign was surveilled by the Obama administration. "I think our side's been proven very strongly and everybody's talking about it and frankly, it should be discussed," Mr. Trump told CBS News chief Washington correspondent John Dickerson.

But during a hearing in late March, FBI Director James Comey publically refuted President Trump's assertion that he had been wiretapped by the previous administration.  

At the CATO event, Paul wondered how a conversation he had with just Obama could have gotten around to others. "We are hearing from people specific aspects of a private conversation I had with President Obama. How does everybody know that?" Paul asked aloud.

However, the Kentucky Senator did tell the audience that he had not seen any evidence beyond the anonymous source's allegations. The spokespersons for the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee declined to comment on Paul's request for information.

Paul, a longtime critic of the NSA and the post-9/11 security apparatus, defended Mr. Trump and former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, whose communications may have been swept up in incidental collection by the National Security Agency and then unmasked. 

The Senator vowed to keep continue pressuring the White House and the intelligence committees for more information.

"I don't know for a fact that I was, they're not going to volunteer this, someone has to ask and press them."

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