Over the weekend, Donald Trump once again became unhinged and this time, via Twitter, of course, accused President Obama of wiretapping him. This is ludicrous for a few reasons, but the first is that it would be illegal for Obama to do so and without a warrant (which means probable cause) no phone company would obey the order. There’s an even bigger hole in Trump’s story though, and it was pointed out by former CIA director Michael Hayden on Fox and Friends on Monday. It didn’t happen because Trump would have the proof of it right in his hands.
Michael Hayden told “Fox and Friends” that “my instinct is no,” President Obama did not order that Trump be wiretapped. The White House has demanded that Congress investigate Trump’s claim.
“It looks as if the President just for a moment forgot that he was President,” Hayden continued. “Why didn’t he simply use the powers of the presidency to ask the acting director of national intelligence, the head of the FBI, to confirm or deny the story he apparently read from Breitbart the evening before?”
“President Trump, in order to clear this up, could he demand to see this? Again, it would be unprecedented, but we’re in unprecedented circumstances,” Hayden said.
Source: Talking Points Memo
Trump, who has access to intelligence, instead chose to listen read a story in Breitbart and either Trump took the story, which said that Obama has been undermining his presidency, as fact or he’s using it as a distraction from his imploding administration. Either way, Trump shot himself in the foot with the accusations. If they’re true or not, (they probably aren’t), he’s opening up an investigation into something he really don’t want investigated: his Russian connections.
Still, there’s no evidence Trump plans to drop this line of attack anytime in the near future. His Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, had this to say on his Monday morning briefing:
“There’s no question that something happened. The question is it, is it surveillance, is it a wiretap or whatever?” Spicer said during an off-camera briefing at the White House. “There has been enough reporting that strongly suggesting something occurred.”
“There’s enough out there now that makes one wonder how some of this happened without the existence of surveillance,” Spicer said.
I am not a legal expert, but it seems that Spicer is screwing Trump even more. If all of the damning evidence coming out against Jeff Sessions and other members of Trump’s team weren’t true, the White House would be defending the truth. Instead, they seem to be acknowledging that the information is true, and their strategy is to question how the information was obtained. And as Hayden mentions, if the accusations of surveillance were true, Trump would have all the evidence he needs right at the tip of his fingers, if he wants it.
Featured image via Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images.