A day after claiming that Republican "dirty tricks" operatives plotted to wiretap his office and disrupt his daughter's wedding, Ross Perot acknowledged yesterday that he has no evidence to support the charges and said he accepted the word of White House and Bush campaign officials that they had not been involved in any such effort.

But interrupting a press briefing by his son in Dallas, the independent presidential candidate did not retract the charges. He insisted that his concern for his daughter was what prompted him to abandon his campaign in July and suggested that the fact that nobody from the White House has "personally" denied the charges to him meant they could be true.

Perot said he wanted to end the controversy he himself began over the weekend and focus attention on the issues important to the presidential campaign. But in a sometimes vitriolic exchange with reporters, he criticized the news media for challenging his veracity, charged that Democratic nominee Bill Clinton wanted to move the country "toward socialism" and acknowledged that he had installed a secret taping system on his office telephone to record phone calls from threatening people.

"I am sick and tired of you all questioning my integrity without a basis for it," Perot told reporters. "I am sick and tired of you ignoring the people who can confirm the articles when you print or run your stories."

Both Clinton and President Bush said little about the controversy, on a day when the Texas billionaire again dominated the presidential campaign as it moves into its final week. But White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater compared Perot to someone who believes in UFOs and said the news media are the "only ones left who can investigate . . . and prevent us from electing a paranoid person who has delusions."

At rallies Sunday in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and on CBS's "60 Minutes" Sunday night, Perot charged that three people told him that top Republicans were planning to use an altered photograph of his daughter to humiliate her at the time of her wedding, scheduled for Aug. 23. He also said that after he quit the race, he learned of supposed Republican attempts to wiretap his office and electronically manipulate his international business communications to harm him financially so he could not rejoin the presidential contest. White House officials were quoted as denying the charges.

"I accept their word," Perot said yesterday. But then he said, "If you wanted the millions of people who supported {Perot for president} to support you, wouldn't you at least call back and say, 'We've looked into this, we didn't do it, we don't know anybody that did it?' "

Perot for years has shown a penchant for what his critics charge are stories alleging vast conspiracies arrayed against the country or him personally. One man with whom Perot has regularly traded such information, Scott Barnes, is a central figure in Perot's latest allegations against the Republicans. Barnes is a former police officer who government officials say has fabricated many stories about working as a secret agent.

Perot has refused to identify those who told him that top Republicans were planning dirty tricks against him, but has said Barnes was one of his main sources of rumors that Republicans planned to alter a photograph of his daughter Caroline and to wiretap his office.

"Mr. Barnes, it seems, has been playing into Mr. Perot's worst instincts and dark side and it was not a pretty picture," said James Oberwetter, the chairman of the Bush-Quayle campaign in Texas, who was the apparent target of an FBI sting attempt based on Barnes's allegations the Republicans had hired Barnes to wiretap Perot last summer.

Barnes could not be reached for comment yesterday. His business and home telephones had been disconnected.

After announcing in July that he would not run, Perot said yesterday, Bush called him to ask for his support, and they agreed on an Aug. 4 meeting. Perot said he then told an intermediary that at the meeting "one thing that's going right at the top of the agenda" was "this plan to smear my daughter at her wedding."

Perot said the White House then canceled the meeting. White House officials have said it was postponed.

Later, in the weeks before rejoining the race, Perot twice visited White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III at home, where Perot said he again brought up the charge.

"He did not ask Baker to do anything," Margaret Tutwiler, Baker's top political aide, said yesterday. "Mr. Baker's immediate reaction was it seemed far-fetched."

Perot's account of learning of a doctored photograph of his daughter is one version of a rumor that was circulating among his campaign aides when he suddenly abandoned his presidential bid.

"It was your typical nut-case kind of deal that comes up in presidential campaigns and nobody pays any attention to," said Sal Russo, one of Perot's former media advisers. "But Perot is not used to political campaigns. . . . I could see how this kind of thing could have mushroomed in his mind."

Referring to the report about the photo, Perot said yesterday: "I could not prove that this occurred, but I had these multiple reports, and it was a risk {of disrupting her wedding} I could not take."

Perot said he was first tipped off by "a prominent Republican" of a discussion about his family. Then Barnes told him GOP leaders were going to leak a doctored photo of his daughter to tabloids. Later another Republican mentioned the same story, Perot said.

It was Barnes who apparently convinced Perot of the other part of the alleged Republican plot -- a supposed plan to wiretap his office telephone. According to Republican campaign officials, Barnes began calling the Bush campaign repeatedly last summer, offering them secret documents and other material that he claimed would embarrass the Texas businessman.

At the same time, Barnes was calling Perot and contacting news organizations, claiming he had been hired by the Bush campaign's "opposition research" unit to wiretap Perot. The FBI initiated an investigation in August and even sent an undercover agent posing as a colleague of Barnes to offer Oberwetter a tape of Perot, which Oberwetter refused.

In a rare public statement on an ongoing investigation, FBI Director William S. Sessions yesterday said the allegation of conspiracy to wiretap Perot's telephone "was investigated and no evidence of criminality has been found."

Oberwetter said he had rebuffed four efforts this year -- three by Barnes and one by the undercover FBI agent -- to feed him damaging information on Perot, adding: "I believe I'm owed an apology by the FBI."

Perot said he had said all he was going to say about the alleged plots, and accused reporters of unfairly focusing on the subject. "I'm sure you'll want to play with this all week," he said. "I'm not going to fool with it anymore."

Perot became angry when he was asked about two stories by ABC News that disputed his account of an incident in 1970 in which allegedly five armed hitmen sneaked onto his Dallas estate, but were chased away by a security dog.

Perot did not report the incident to authorities. The then-head of the Dallas police intelligence unit said the event never happened, ABC reported, and Harold Birkhead, a dog handler who guarded the Perot estate then, has said he never heard about the incident.

Perot has denied Birkhead was the man on duty that night, but yesterday declined to name the man who was because, he told reporters, "It's none of your business."

Perot sought to qualify his assertion at the news conference that Clinton and the Democrats "want to go toward socialism." Asked later what he meant, Perot said: "I don't want to overstate that. I'm just saying they're moving toward more and more and more and more government, and the world's experience has been that that is not effective, too."

At Perot headquarters, campaign aides reported that a vast majority of about 15,000 voters who called the campaign telephone bank joined with Perot in denouncing the news media.

"The people think that type of story doesn't have anything to do with our campaign," said Tommy Attaway, director of the Perot telephone operations.

Staff writer David Maraniss in Dallas contributed to this report.