President Obama never wiretapped Donald Trump—that was fake news
Less than two weeks ago, President Donald Trump set the political world afire with a series of pre-dawn tweets publicly accusing Barack Obama of “wiretapping” Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign. The White House provided no evidence for this explosive claim, which, if true, meant that our 44th president and our Intelligence Community engaged in conspiratorial high crimes against our current president.
There was no reason to take these Trumpian flights of fancy seriously, despite the immense seriousness of the charges made against Obama, yet the president’s hardcore fans accepted this unique tweetstorm hook, line and sinker. Strong denials from a host of top intelligence officials, explaining that President Trump’s accusations were preposterous, cut no ice among White House true believers, who castigate any media coverage they dislike as “fake news.”
As I explained shortly after this strange scandal broke, while some of Trump’s associates seem to have wound up on Western intelligence radar in 2016 due to their frequent calls to top Kremlin officials—senior spies and politicos in Moscow who are very much the targets of Western spy services—the notion was absurd:
The scenario painted by President Trump of his predecessor tasking the IC with wiretapping Trump Tower simply could not have happened without a far-reaching and highly illegal conspiracy involving the White House and several of our spy agencies, above all the National Security Agency. My friends still at NSA, where I served as the technical director of the Agency’s biggest operational division, have told me without exception that Trump’s accusation is wholly false, a kooky fantasy.
Over the last week-and-a-half, just how kooky the president’s fantasy was has become painfully evident. To resolve this touchy matter, the House Intelligence Committee ordered the Department of Justice to hand over evidence of any “wiretapping” by Monday—a deadline that came and went without anything proffered. On Monday afternoon, the DoJ lamely asked Congress for an extension, but there’s no reason to think they will find what the White House seeks, no matter how much time they’re granted.
Read the rest at The Observer …