In this case, considering the target is allegedly Trump Tower in New York – which would definitely have involved American citizens – this would have been hard to argue.
James Clapper, who was director of national intelligence under President Obama, has categorically denied a FISA court order existed.
Leading Democrats have called on the White House to produce evidence to support Donald Trump’s claim.
Meanwhile, the White House has called on Congress to investigate whether the Obama administration had abused its powers.
Both Congress and the FBI are currently investigating contacts between the Trump election campaign and Russian officials, after US intelligence agencies assessed that Russia had interfered with the election to help Donald Trump win against his Hillary Clinton.
The Electoral College was set up by the US founding fathers as a compromise between allowing Congress and the people to elect the president.
Technically, Americans cast votes on Election Day for electors, not the candidates themselves.
The electors are mostly elected officials or party functionaries whose names are not on the ballot. They are generally unknown to the public apart from one or two exceptions such as former President Bill Clinton, who was a New York elector in 2016.
There are 538 electors in all, one for each member of Congress. A candidate needs to take at least 270 electoral votes – half of the total plus one – to win the White House.
In 2016, Donald Trump won 306 electors from 30 states.
If no candidate reaches 270 in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives must vote on the next president.