I begin my day at 0100 hours…..I read and post as I finish my research. Most days I have two posts waiting for the earlier ones I post and then I set about getting my stuff together for the rest of the day.
And this is what happens when I take the weekend off…..
Today is Monday and the big news is this wiretapping accusation by the man in the White House….our fearless leader is a paranoid tool….and what better way to try and change the conversation fro his and his boyz involvement with the Russians and than a new scandal in the making.
Before I start let me say that I do not say this NEVER happened but I am a bit suspicious at the timing of this revelation.
President Trump started his Saturday with a series of extraordinary allegations against his predecessor. In a series of early-morning tweets, Trump accused Barack Obama of having his “wires tapped” in Trump Tower during the election campaign, the Guardian reports. “Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump tweeted. In follow-up tweets, he claimed a court order had rejected the alleged surveillance, wondered if it was “legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election” and said: “How low has President Obama gone to tapp (sic) my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
“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!” Trump said in yet another tweet. He didn’t provide any evidence or make it clear what report he was basing the accusations on, though the Hill notes that Breitbart reported Friday on radio host Mark Levin’s claim that the Obama administration used “police state” tactics to undermine Trump.
Of course the Obama team has denied all such allegations…….
A spokesperson for Barack Obama says President Trump’s accusations about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower are “simply false,” NBC News reports. “Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen,” Kevin Lewis says. The Obama camp wasn’t the only one denying the veracity of Trump’s claim, which came in a flurry of tweets Saturday morning and was presented without evidence. A senior US official says Trump didn’t speak to anyone in the government who would have knowledge of a wiretap. And a former deputy national security adviser says presidents don’t have the power to order wiretaps on citizens.
Nancy Pelosi responded to Trump’s tweets by calling him the “deflector-in-chief” and demanding an independent investigation into his alleged Russia connections, USA Today reports. According to CBS News, Howard Dean pointed out that if Trump Tower was actually wiretapped, it means a judge found probable cause of Trump being involved in something criminal. And Paul Ryan says he doesn’t believe the Obama administration was conducting surveillance on Trump. But Lindsey Graham said he was concerned about the accusations and promised “to get to the bottom of this” during a town hall meeting Saturday. In recent days, right-wing media has started accusing Obama of leading a “silent coup” to take down Trump.
This is starting to smell like a “Fire” moment that I have been waiting for…..the alt-Right has embraced this so-called incident with both hands….I expect to see the blogosphere blow up with these accusations.
But what promoted this outrage and accusations from the Prez?
So where did President Trump’s bombshell accusation that his predecessor tapped his phones come from? The White House tells the Fact Checker blog at the Washington Post that he’s relying on reports “from BBC, Heat Street, New York Times, Fox News, among others.” After an analysis, the Post finds that the two most important ones are from the right-leaning Heat Street and the BBC. (Other reports have cited an article at Breitbart News, but it relies on the Heat Street piece.) The two articles say that US intelligence officials went to the FISA court (which deals with intelligence matters) because they wanted to investigate possible activity between two banks in Russia and a computer server in Trump Tower (which, to make matters more confusing, might actually be located in Philadelphia). Excerpts:
- Heat Street: “Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.”
- BBC: It says Justice Department lawyers went to the FISA court. “Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.”
Obama’s DNI has called this a falsehood (I would expect him to do so…so this is nothing new)……you would think that the leak atmosphere in DC these days it would a simple thing to find the FISA warrant, right?
The Fact Checker’s assessment? Even if the stories are accurate, and that hasn’t been confirmed, they do not say that President Obama was behind the request. Plus, they involve a computer server, not the tapping of phone lines. And, finally, they “do not back up the administration’s revised claim of politically motivated investigations.” As a result, Trump gets the blog’s worst rating of Four Pinocchios.
The man who was the director of national intelligence until January 20 wasted little time in shooting down President Trump’s claim that former President Obama’s administration wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election, reports the AP. “There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, as a candidate or against his campaign,” James Clapper told Meet the Press on Sunday, shortly after the White House demanded a congressional investigation into the issue. Clapper says he would have been aware of a “FISA court order on something like this. Absolutely, I can deny it.”
Now fearless leader is calling on Congress to get involved…..something they are good at…wasting time and money on investigations…..
The White House demanded on Sunday that Congress investigate whether former President Obama abused his executive powers in connection with the 2016 presidential election, reports the AP. President Trump leveled that claim Saturday when he accused his predecessor of tapping telephones at Trump Tower. But Trump offered no supporting evidence, a spokesman for Obama denied the claim as “simply false,” and lawmakers in both parties asked for proof. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement Sunday that reports “concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling.”
“President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016,” Spicer said. It was unclear what reports Spicer was referring to, and what prompted Trump to make the allegation. Spicer ended the statement by saying that neither the White House nor Trump will comment further “until such oversight is conducted.” In a series of morning tweets Saturday, Trump suggested Obama was behind a politically motivated plot to upend his campaign. He compared the alleged events to “Nixon/Watergate” and “McCarthyism!” And he called Obama a “Bad (or sick) guy.”
Is that really a good idea, Mr. President?
This could backfire on him.
Like I have said….stranger things have happened….but this sounds like an attempt to change the tone of the news…a diversion from all the Russian noise these days.
Instead of blaming Obama maybe Trump should look to his VP….whose side is he really on?
See what happens when I step away from the keyboard? Sorry but Pence has a look about him….I would not trust him one inch…just saying…..
News Update: FBI Director James Comey has waded into the controversy surrounding President Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by Barack Obama last fall, the New York Times reports. Officials say Comey has asked the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump’s explosive claim, both because he believes it is false and because he believes it suggests the FBI was engaged in illegal behavior. The Times‘ sources say senior FBI officials are also worried that if the public believes there was a court-approved Trump wiretap, they might expect them to find solid evidence of Russian interference in last year’s election.
You just cannot make this stuff up…..this is looking more and more like reality TV…..what can we expect from a star of that genre?