Yes, Trump just accused Obama of having tapped his phones at Trump Tower

Speaking with Andrea Mitchell last night on MSNBC, Delaware Senator Chris Coons suggested that the FBI was in possession of transcripts of calls that could not only prove useful in the ongoing congressional inquiries into Russia’s involvement in our 2016 presidential election, but might also demonstrate collaboration between Putin’s government and the Trump campaign. “There are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not Russian intelligence and senior Russian political leaders, including Vladimir Putin, were cooperating, were colluding with the Trump campaign at the highest levels to influence the outcome of our election,” Coons told Mitchell.

Coons, when asked by Mitchell if he had seen such transcripts, responded that he had not. He added, however, “I believe they exist.

And it would appear, based on his Twitter stream this afternoon, that our President might also believe that such transcripts exist. Here’s some of what he tweeted out earlier.

For what it’s worth, the President can’t just request a phone tap. So, if Trump’s phones at Trump Tower were tapped, it likely wasn’t Obama doing the tapping. It would have been the FBI. And, for the FBI to have done it, they would have first needed to get a FISA warrant, which means that there would have been significant evidence of wrongdoing on their part. So, if you strip away all the “Obama is Nixon” stuff, I think what you’re left with is this… Trump, if he’s saying that he knows the government bugged his phones, may have just confirmed that there was an active FBI investigation into his business and political dealings prior to the election, which would imply that there was significant evidence of criminal activity.

Or, of course, he could just be succumbing to his paranoia, and completely losing his mind.

My, how quickly things have changed in just three days… On Thursday night, people were falling all over themselves to say how “presidential” he sounded in his first speech before the joint chambers of congress. And now, just a few days later, he’s peeking out through the blinds of his Florida estate, tweeting that Obama has his phones bugged. I don’t get the sense that this is going to end well.

update: Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for Obama, responded to Trump’s claim in a statement this afternoon: “A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.” [This, by the way, does not seem to be the policy of the Trump administration.]

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28 Comments

  1. Steve
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Maybe a judge approved a wiretap. I have a feeling Obama ain’t done trolling the Orange Nixon and saving our Democracy.

  2. Val
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    If a single Trump supporter on my fb feed would post a “gee it would be nice if he stopped tweeting such crazy stuff” status I might feel a bit more more hopeful. I can’t believe it doesnt make them cringe a little! Even just a little? The silence is heartbreaking.

  3. Steve
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I think Trump has problems …Mental…When he stays at the WH instead of Mar a Lago or Trump Tower. The ghosts fuck with his head. He’s a weak man mentally. He’s always unstable in the House.

  4. charlieRomeo
    Posted March 5, 2017 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    It’s going to be very entertaining watching this phony con-man in the whitehouse blow a head gasket.

  5. Eal
    Posted March 5, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile the Russians with ties to the Trump campaign have started to die off. Yes, things are getting curiouser and curiouser.

  6. Eal
    Posted March 5, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ex-kgb-spy-cited-in-the-trump-blackmail-dossier-just_us_588e3f0de4b0cd25e4904a24

  7. Eal
    Posted March 5, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-diplomats-deaths-theories-putin-kremlin-a7602201.html

  8. Anonyouus
    Posted March 5, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Former Bush AG Mukasey on ABC’s This Week: Wiretap would mean “there was some basis to believe somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians.”

  9. Posted March 5, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    As Trump hasn’t been able to prove his claim that Obama tapped his phones, he’s now calling for a formal investigation.

  10. jean henry
    Posted March 5, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Remember the investigation trump called for re his unfounded accusation of 3 million illegal votes? Not happening. So I doubt there will be any investigation into these accusations either. I really kind of miss Hyborian at these times because he always could be relied upon to reveal the alt right conspiracy perspective. It was useless going back over the election but would have been handy moving forward. I last about 15 minutes on breitbart. I just can’t read deep into the conspiracies but their perspective is useful

  11. jean henry
    Posted March 5, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Interesting development:
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/05/us/politics/trump-seeks-inquiry-into-allegations-that-obama-tapped-his-phones.html

  12. Anonyouus
    Posted March 6, 2017 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    You left out the best part of Spicer’s statement, Mark.

    Sean Spicer‏Verified account
    @PressSec
    (4/4) Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.

    So you can stop asking for evidence. They will not comment any more on the matter.

  13. Meta
    Posted March 6, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    From the New York Times:

    President Trump does not accept the contention of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, that Mr. Trump falsely claimed that President Barack Obama had him wiretapped, a White House spokeswoman said on Monday.

    The New York Times reported on Sunday that Mr. Comey had asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject Mr. Trump’s assertions. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is untrue and must be corrected, but the department has not released any such statement.

    A White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was asked early Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” whether Mr. Trump accepted Mr. Comey’s contention. “I don’t think he does,” she said.

    “I think he firmly believes that this is a story line that has been reported pretty widely by quite a few outlets,” said Ms. Sanders. She went on to cite several news reports about the F.B.I.’s investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

    George Stephanopoulos, the ABC News host interviewing Ms. Sanders, pointed out that the articles Ms. Sanders cited did not back up Mr. Trump’s claims that Mr. Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped the month before the election.

    Mr. Trump started the controversy on Saturday when he made a series of posts on Twitter that said he had just learned that Mr. Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower in October.

    Read more:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/trump-rejects-comeys-assertion-that-wiretapping-claim-is-false-spokeswoman-says.html

  14. M
    Posted March 6, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I friend in New Jersey just submitted the following letter to the editor to his local paper. Perhaps it’s not a bad idea for lots of people to submit similar letters to their local papers.

    To the Editor:

    Donald Trump tweeted that his telephones were tapped while Barack Obama was President.

    In order to tap Trump’s lines, a warrant is required. It could be issued by either a criminal or a FISA court. In either case, before a judge issues a wire tap warrant he must find probable cause that either (1) a crime was committed or (2) national security is threatened.

    Trump demands that a full investigation be undertaken immediately. He’s right. Not only he, but the American public, need to know what led a court to believe that a wiretap of Trump’s telephone was necessary. Was it to further a criminal investigation? Or was it to protect our national security? Does it involve Trump’s tax returns, his international business relationships or his involvement with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government? Besides Sessions, Kurschner and Flynn, who else in Trump Towers has been talking to the Russians?

    Of course, the agencies President Obama would have to approach to get a wiretap strenuously deny that any such order was given. (FBI Director James Comey comes close to calling Trump’s statements a lie.) However, we’re getting used to a Whitehouse loose with the truth. In fact, we have learned that the Trump Administration takes the official position, contrary to that of the Bush and Obama administrations, that Federal ethics rules don’t apply to it.

    It’s beginning to look more and more like an independent investigation, something like the 9/11 commission, is needed. We need to determine the extent to which a foreign government interfered with the 2016 presidential election. This and other questions call for a wide reaching independent inquiry like Trump demands. However, he may not like its results.

  15. Stephen King
    Posted March 6, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Trump should know OBAMA NEVER LEFT THE WHITE HOUSE! He’s in the closet! HE HAS SCISSORS!

    https://twitter.com/StephenKing/status/838111226211233793

  16. LUMOS
    Posted March 6, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    James Hohmann had a god article in the Washington Post. Here’s how it begins.

    THE BIG IDEA: It is easy to pooh-pooh Donald Trump’s predawn Saturday tweetstorm – accusing Barack Obama of the worst political crimes since Watergate while offering no evidence – as an undisciplined rant from someone who has long embraced conspiracy theories.

    That neither gives the president enough credit nor reflects the gravity of his unfounded accusations.

    It is past time to dispense with the fiction that Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is trying to distract us. And, at least this weekend, he succeeded.

    — The country’s chief law enforcement officer made a false statement to Congress, while under oath, about his contacts with one of this nation’s biggest adversaries. (Legal experts, including Republicans, note that others have been prosecuted for less.) When he got busted, the attorney general initially claimed through a spokeswoman that he couldn’t recall specifics of what had been said during his undisclosed sit-down with the Russian ambassador, except that it wasn’t political in nature. Then, with his job on the line, he miraculously remembered supposedly exculpatory details.

    This is a big dang deal, no matter how hard Sessions tries to spin it. It’s such a big deal that, after weeks of refusing to do so and with the president publicly urging him not to, the AG agreed to recuse himself from any investigations related to the 2016 campaign.

    Last Thursday, Sessions said at his press conference that he would write the Judiciary Committee “today or tomorrow” to clarify his misleading testimony. It’s now been four days, and he has yet to formally clean things up. A spokesman said he’ll submit amended testimony later today. We’ll see. Either way, a delay this long only happens when one is trying to get one’s ducks in a row.

    But the press didn’t spend this weekend talking about Sessions. He had confirmed to attend the Gridiron Dinner in Washington on Saturday night, but he skipped it and flew to Florida to be with Trump. The Sunday shows did not dwell on debates over the AG’s duplicity. Instead, everyone talked about whether Obama wiretapped Trump Tower last October.

    And Trump was happy as a clam about that. A White House official told The Post that the president was in a brighter mood on Sunday morning than he was on Saturday because he was pleased that his allegations against Obama were the dominant story on cable and led the newspapers.

    The president knows the media cannot ignore him when he says something so inflammatory, and he believes there will be no real consequences for him if it turns out that everything he said was nonsense. After all, there haven’t been up until now.

    Moreover, Trump’s core supporters also got a new talking point. Whenever they’re confronted by the links between Trump associates and Russia, millions of people are now going to reply that the real story is Obama’s wiretapping – even if that claim is shown definitively to have no basis in reality.

    HOW HE DECIDED TO TWEET:

    — The president was seething mad as he watched round-the-clock cable news coverage about Sessions. He was angry that the positive marks he received for his Tuesday speech to Congress, which made him jubilant, had been replaced by the Wednesday night news about Sessions. The Post’s Phil Rucker, Bob Costa and Ashley Parker have a tick tock on the fury that followed, based on interviews with 17 top White House officials, members of Congress and friends of the president:

    “Inside the West Wing (on Wednesday night), Trump’s top aides were furious with the defenses of Sessions offered by the Justice Department’s public affairs division and felt blindsided that Sessions’s aides had not consulted the White House earlier in the process…

    “The next morning, Trump exploded, according to White House officials. He headed to Newport News, Va., on Thursday for a splashy commander-in-chief moment. The president would trumpet his plan to grow military spending aboard the Navy’s sophisticated new aircraft carrier. But as Trump, sporting a bomber jacket and Navy cap, rallied sailors and shipbuilders, his message was overshadowed by Sessions…

    “Then, a few hours after Trump had publicly defended his attorney general and said he should not recuse himself from the Russia probe, Sessions called a news conference to announce just that — amounting to a public rebuke of the president…

    “Back at the White House on Friday morning, Trump summoned his senior aides into the Oval Office, where he simmered with rage, according to several White House officials. He upbraided them over Sessions’s decision to recuse himself, believing that Sessions had succumbed to pressure from the media and other critics instead of fighting with the full defenses of the White House…

    “In a huff, Trump departed for Mar-a-Lago, taking with him only his daughter and (son-in-law), who is a White House senior adviser. His top two aides, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and (Stephen) Bannon, stayed behind in Washington.

    “Stories from Breitbart News, the incendiary conservative website, have been circulated at the White House’s highest levels in recent days, including one story where talk-radio host Mark Levin accused the Obama administration of mounting a ‘silent coup,’ according to several officials.”

    THIS IS TRUMP’S MODUS OPERANDI:

    — Whenever he is under fire for something in a sustained way, he makes a shocking claim or provocative declaration about something else to change the subject. He is a master practitioner at the politics of distraction. These five examples might jog your memory:

    After struggling during the first GOP primary debate to explain his disparaging comments about women, he attacked Megyn Kelly. “There was … blood coming out of her wherever,” he said, ensuring that the media focused on the new Trump-Kelly “feud.”

    When the 2005 Access Hollywood video came out, he brought Bill Clinton’s former accusers to St. Louis as his guests to the second debate.

    In November, the morning after agreeing to settle a fraud lawsuit against Trump University for $25 million, he demanded that the cast of “Hamilton” apologize to Mike Pence.

    Days after firing Michael Flynn, he held a rambling 77-minute press conference because he knew that it would get the Flynn story out of the news.

    Perturbed when critics pointed out that he lost the popular vote, he claimed that three million to five million people voted illegally.

  17. Meta
    Posted March 6, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    From the New York Times Editorial Board.

    The Times reported on Sunday that the F.B.I. director, James Comey, was so alarmed by Mr. Trump’s fact-free claim — which implicitly accused the F.B.I. of breaking the law by wiretapping an American citizen at a president’s behest — that he was asking the Justice Department to publicly call it false. In other words, the F.B.I. director was demanding that Justice officially declare the president to be misleading the public.

    This is a dangerous moment, which requires Congress and members of this administration to look beyond partisan maneuvering and tend to the health of the democracy itself.

    In four tweets, capped by one about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “pathetic” ratings on Celebrity Apprentice, Mr. Trump declared as fact a theory he apparently encountered on alt-right websites: “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!”

    Read more:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/05/opinion/when-one-president-smears-another.html

  18. wobblie
    Posted March 6, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    from twitter

    Rogue POTUS Staff‏ @RoguePOTUSStaff 3h
    3 hours ago

    More
    POTUS wants Congress to be too busy looking for non-existent wiretap evidence that they can’t investigate Russiagate.

  19. Demetrius
    Posted March 7, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    If there are any grownups left in Washington, I hope some of them have a “Plan B” for making critical decisions and especially for securing the nation’s nuclear arsenal. At this point, it is becoming increasingly clear that we aren’t just dealing with a President who is “crazy,” but one who is actually *crazy*.

    Anyone who continues enabling this … including Republicans who refuse to condemn his behavior, as well as Democrats who continue to vote for his cabinet or Supreme Court nominees, etc., shares responsibility in whatever happens going forward.

    Again, at what point will the American people (and its supposed leaders) be willing to say “this is no longer ‘normal’, and for the good of the country, it has to stop.”

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted March 7, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I found this fascinating. I’m not keen on conspiracy theories, but I do like seeing how, and with whom, they originate, and how they are promulgated. In this case, the wiretap story seems to have begun with a Libertarian, anti-Trump ‘journalist,’ also the wife of Metallica’s Manager. I wish I had time to diagram this web.

    It’s only a narrative bonus that she also believes Putin killed off Breitbart in order to install Bannon.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/the-woman-behind-the-story-behind-the-trump-twitter-storm-032718563.html

  21. Meta
    Posted March 7, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    He said this weekend that he had evidence of a wire tap. Now he’s asking investigators to find evidence of a wire tap. Which is it.

    The Washington Post:

    On Tuesday afternoon, in his first on-camera briefing in a week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said this when asked for proof of Trump’s wiretapping claims: “It’s not a question of new proof or less proof or whatever.” Instead, he insisted, the goal of Trump’s tweets was simply to get congressional investigators to look into the possibility of wiretapping. Congress is now doing this, so, in Spicer’s mind, mission accomplished.

    Except that what Trump tweeted and what Spicer is now saying aren’t the same thing. Not at all. And it is a question of “new proof.” Or, at the very least, some — any? — proof.

    Trump tweeted on Saturday that he had “just found out” that former president Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign. That means conclusive evidence existed and had been presented to Trump about the wiretapping. There’s no other interpretation for the language in that tweet.

    What Spicer is saying now is that Trump believes the right thing to do is have Congress investigate to find out whether wiretapping occurred.

    But Trump already stated definitively that it had! Why does Congress need to investigate something the president of the United States already has evidence of?

    The most likely answer — and Spicer didn’t mention this — is that Trump doesn’t really have evidence of Obama wiretapping him during the 2016 campaign. Instead, as has been well documented, he read a Breitbart News story detailing conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin’s theory of an attempted “silent coup” by Obama during the campaign and simply tweeted it.

    In the aftermath of that tweet, everyone from Obama to FBI Director James B. Comey to former director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. insisted that Trump’s claim was without merit, that no wiretap of Trump Tower had ever been approved by the Obama administration.

    With no actual evidence to go on, the White House decided to pivot. It’s no longer a question of what evidence Trump had (or didn’t have), Spicer argued Tuesday. Instead it’s about Congress doing its due diligence by investigating whether Trump Tower was wiretapped.

    Read more:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/07/the-trump-white-house-is-changing-its-tune-on-wire-tapping-and-hoping-you-dont-notice/

  22. Kim
    Posted March 7, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Two Russian websites & Milo Yiannopoulos have begun pushing the theory that CIA hacked the Dems.

  23. Posted March 9, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I remember the Nixon Years and all the Controversy surrounding Watergate…..Nixon went down in Disgrace as a Private Citizen stepped down never to be heard of again except for the occasional interview………Nixon got blamed for Vietnam War when in Fact he never started that War but only took it over from Previous Popular Presidents Kennedy&Johnson……..Nixon actually stopped those Wars……..Now the Scenario is PresidentTrump took over a Mess of 7 Wars fought in Middle Eastern Countries and temporary Travel Bans to restrict the Illegal Mass Migration of People..Everything has to be done by the Rule of Law …….Out of Chaos comes Order…….

  24. site admin
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    According to Kellyanne Conway, it’s even more sinister than we thought. She told the Bergen Record yesterday that Obama could have been watching Trump though his microwave. Here’s the exchange with columnist Mike Kelly:

    KELLY: Let me ask you about one of the things that seems to be dogging, at least this past week, is the wiretaps — the allegation that Trump Tower was wiretapped. What can you say about that? Do you know whether Trump Tower was wiretapped?

    CONWAY: What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately.

    KELLY: Do you believe that was…

    CONWAY: There was an article that week that talked about how you can surveil people through their phones, through their — certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways. And microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. We know that is just a fact of modern life.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/13/yes-kellyanne-conway-just-suggested-trump-tower-could-have-been-monitored-through-tvs-and-microwaves/

  25. anomymous
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Conway was asked about the microwave claim and responded with the following.

    “I’m not in the job of having evidence. That’s what investigations are for.”

  26. Meta
    Posted March 14, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    WAPO: “Sean Spicer just explained why ‘wire tapping’ is different from wiretapping”

    Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he was going to let President Trump’s tweets alleging wiretapping by former president Barack Obama speak for themselves. This week, Spicer is not merely speaking for the tweets; he is rewriting their meaning.

    “If you look at the president’s tweet, he said very clearly, quote, ‘wire tapping’ — in quotes,” Spicer said during Monday’s news briefing, making air quotes with his fingers to emphasize his point. “There’s been substantial discussion in several reports. … There’s been reports in the New York Times and the BBC and other outlets about other aspects of surveillance that have occurred. The president was very clear in his tweet that it was, you know, ‘wire tapping’ — that spans a whole host of surveillance types of options.”

    Ah, the old air-quotes defense. According to Spicer’s new argument, Trump didn’t necessarily mean wiretapping when he said “wire tapping” — and reporters should know this because he put the phrase in quotation marks. By “wire tapping,” Trump could have been referring to any one among “a whole host of surveillance types.” Obviously.

    This is quite a remarkable standard Spicer is trying to set for his boss. None of the “several reports” Spicer referenced actually claim that Trump or his aides were wiretapped, despite claims to the contrary. Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy said on the air Monday morning that “there’s no doubt about the fact that at least Michael Flynn was wiretapped,” and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said on CNN a short time later that “we know that General Flynn was wiretapped.”

    Wrong. The Washington Post reported last month that pre-inauguration phone calls between Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser, and Russia’s ambassador to the United States were intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies because the ambassador was wiretapped. That’s a key distinction that the president’s aides and media boosters seem determined to obscure.

    If Trump has evidence that Flynn or anyone else on his team was bugged, he has not produced it, and news reports do not support his charge against Obama.

    Read more:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/13/sean-spicer-just-explained-why-wire-tapping-is-different-from-wire-tapping/

  27. M
    Posted March 17, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    It gets even worse. Sean Spicer yesterday accused the British intelligence agency, GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), of wiretapping Trump Tower.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/17/us-makes-formal-apology-britain-white-house-accuses-gchq-wiretapping/

  28. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Yeah, what’s up now?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udayjuwp1vY

3 Trackbacks

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  3. […] very same President who, with absolutely no evidence to back it up, suggested a few weeks ago that Barack Obama had tapped his phone lines, essentially just insinuated that he was guilty of having done the same exact thing. And, yes, […]

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