Reuters: Trump claims Obama wiretapped him during campaign; Obama refutes it
U.S. President Donald Trump accused predecessor Barack Obama on Saturday of wiretapping him during the late stages of the 2016 election campaign, but offered no evidence for an allegation which an Obama spokesman said was "simply false".
Trump made the accusation in a series of early morning tweets just weeks into his administration and amid rising scrutiny of his campaign's ties to Russia.
"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 one tweet. "I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!"
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WNU Editor: The way the media has been handling this story gives one like myself myself a fascinating insight into how they report the news .... and why they all need to be on the same message. I always check President Trump's twitter page in the morning .... and what I saw this morning made me realise immediately that this was a big story. But when I went to the main stream media .... for the first two hours there was basically silence. There was nothing on the New York Times web site, the wire services like AP and Reuters had nothing for the first hour .... and where I live in Canada it was only reported 12 minutes into the newscast 3 hours after President Trump had made his claim (CTV News). it was almost as if everyone in the news media was waiting for their talking points. The first major outlet to start reporting on the story was the Washington Post .... and they were adamant in saying that there was no proof to the allegations. The discovery that you need to have evidence to prove an allegation is strange coming from the Washington Post .... especially since they have avoided using this evidence argument in covering President Trump and the multiple Russian allegation stories that they have posted in the past few months from "anonymous" sources. But I digress. After that Washington Post story .... within 15 -20 minutes everyone else in the media was towing the same line.
After my morning post on this story .... I had to leave to take care of a lot of personal things .... and I have been away from the news for the past 12 hours. But I did not have to check out anything .... I know that the denials would first come out from the media .... followed then by someone who speaks for President Obama .... and then the blogs/pundits/commentators/ all pile in. And guess what .... everyone followed the script. But these denials .... first from the media .... and from President Obama's spokesman .... is revealing in what has been ignored .... and the above Reuters post (to their credit) points it out ....
.... Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said it had been a "cardinal rule" of the Obama administration that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.
"Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false," Lewis said in a statement.
The statement did not address the possibility that a wiretap of the Trump campaign could have been ordered by Justice Department officials.
Exactly. President Obama or anyone in the White House would never directly make such an order .... this is not how government functions. How government functions is that people who are loyal to the President are placed in positions of responsibility, and they are there because they do not need to get an order from the President .... they know exactly what he wants. In this case .... did someone appointed by President Obama in the Justice Department order this surveillance .... at the moment we do not know. For all we know .... it could be another agency. Or even someone who decided to go rogue. The only thing that we do know is this .... President Trump is an early riser and he gets a lot of news/intel/information in his early morning briefing. He learned something this morning that really ticked him off .... and he unloaded on his Twitter account. Four tweets in one morning on one topic is a record for him (that is why I know he is ticked-off). As to what comes next .... I do not know. This could end up as a nothing-burger .... or it could be something big. But politically .... President Trump has flushed out President Obama by accusing him of undermining his administration .... and there is now going to be focus on the former President whether he likes it or not. My expectation is that he is going to respond .... if not already.
Update: Zero Hedge has posted a good analysis that there may have been a court order to conduct surveillance on President Trump .... Obama Advisor Rhodes Is Wrong: The President Can Order A Wiretap, And Why Trump May Have The Last Laugh (Zero Hedge).
Update #2: In case anyone wants to know .... Everything you need to know about FISA wiretaps (ABC News).
Update #3: The main stream media are saying today that there is no evidence of any surveilalnce .... but there is evidence .... and it was know on the eve of last year's Presidential election .... EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia (Heat Street)
Update #4: Someone has emailed me on what is my own personal take on these allegations. Well .... personally .... I am praying that it is not true. Because if it is true .... it would seriously damage President Obama's legacy (even if he had no direct knowledge or involvement), it would make the partisan divide in America even more partisan, and it would poison all political debates to a level that we have not seen in this generation.
More News And Commentary On President Trump's Claim That President Obama Ordered A Wiretap On His Campaign
Trump accuses Obama of ‘Nixon/Watergate’ wiretap — but offers no evidence -- Washington Post
Trump's baseless wiretap claim -- The CNN
Trump Relied on Breitbart to Claim Obama Tapped His Phones -- Bloomberg
With tweetstorm, Trump may have exercised exclusive declassification authority -- ABC news
Trump’s poor understanding of national security investigations may prove dangerous -- New York Daily News editorial
Trump's Unfounded Claims of a "Nixon/Watergate" Wiretapping Scheme -- The Atlantic