Former White House press secretary Josh Earnest said President Trump‘s claim that his boss, President Obama, wiretapped phones at Trump Tower is an attempt to divert attention from questions over contacts between Trump associates and Russia.

“President Trump is working very hard to try to distract the American public and the news media from the growing scandal about why his administration and why he himself has, at best, not been forthcoming about their talks and their ties with Russia,” Earnest, who was former President Obama’s press secretary, told ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz.

“There is one page in the Trump White House crisis-management playbook, and that is simply to tweet or say something outrageous to distract from a scandal, and the bigger the scandal, the more outrageous the tweet,” Earnest said on “This Week” on Sunday.

President Trump made the claim about a wiretap in a series of tweets Saturday morning.

Earnest said, “This may come as a surprise to the current occupant of the Oval Office, but the president of the United States does not have the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of an American citizen,”

For the FBI to be able to use a wiretap on an American citizen, “It would require FBI investigators, officials at the Department of Justice, going to a federal judge and making a case and demonstrating probable cause to use that authority.”