Posted on March 5, 2017
So if any of you have been living under a rock – yesterday, Trump tweeted multiple times about how Barack Obama is “bad (or sick)” for tapping his phones in Trump Tower during the campaign last year. Where do we even start with this?
First, we need to realize that the current president is accusing the previous president of a serious crime. We need to ask a few questions to put this in context.
- Is there any supporting evidence for this?
- What does Trump stand to gain by making this accusation?
- Does he know something we don’t?
- What does this have to do with the legitimacy of the congressional investigation?
Is there evidence? In short – at this time – there is nothing new that the President has offered to make his case. However, there is evidence that the media will simply ignore when talking about this – even though they are the ones that reported it. Let’s go over the facts available.
- The Obama administration and the intelligence community DID monitor people surrounding Trump during the campaign as early as spring 2016 (SOURCE)
- The Obama team responded “simply false” (SOURCE)
- The Obama administration has monitored US citizen’s communications in the past (SOURCE) (SOURCE)
- The Obama Administration did submit FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act) requests for warrants to monitor Trump several times (SOURCE)
- FISA court seems to have granted a request in October of 2016 (SOURCE)
- Nothing of substance was found by the subsequent investigations
- Trump tweets to congress to investigate Obama admin abuse of power
So what conclusions should we draw from all of this? President Trump is unbelievably bad at presenting an idea to the American people – especially when he uses Twitter. Making an accusation of this size using poorly worded social media posts is beneath the office of the President of the United States – and this greatly frustrates me. Trump doesn’t stand to gain much from this type of finger pointing and it opens him up for more criticism for making up stories based on thin evidence. And he deserves every slap he gets on that front – because he should know the President doesn’t officially have the power to legally surveil anyone. What he should have done was send an official letter to congress (citing evidence of abuse of power and the reports mentioned below) requesting that they investigate this along with other claims of Russian connections to his campaign — all of this NOT pointing out Obama by name. This would do two things — it would make him look like he is only interested in the truth — and it would widen the scope of the congressional investigation to any wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration and or intelligence communities stepping outside the bounds of a FISA issued warrant.
The team Obama response to this accusation leaves a lot to be desired. In the source cited above, Team Obama states “neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen.” That’s carefully crafted to say that Obama may not have directly ordered this – but the intelligence community and DOJ stocked by Obama may have done all of the above. We already know Obama’s DOJ wrongfully investigated and surveilled a reporter in 2013 as cited above. Is it really that much of a stretch to think they may have over-reached in monitoring Trump or his team? Moreover, is it a stretch to think Obama knew about the actions of SIX government agencies including the DOJ and the rulings of the FISA court?
However, Trump is pointing out what the main stream media will not – that Obama is and has been working against his presidency since before he took office. This is the truly unprecedented story that people seem to be ignoring. Not only was an incoming presidential candidate intensely scrutinized for political purposes, the breadcrumb trail that has, so far, lead to nowhere was disseminated to every branch of the intelligence agencies to make things difficult for Trump in the future. (SOURCE) Additionally, as cited above, the FISA court did not grant a warrant to investigate Trump and his team until October of 2016 – when the reporting specifically says this monitoring has been occurring since spring of 2016. Doesn’t that suggest they must have been doing so without a proper warrant? Trump’s tweets don’t undermine people’s trust of government, but rather highlight the fact that people ALREADY distrust government as well as the media. It’s why he was elected as a political outsider. So far, FBI investigations, DOJ inquiries with FISA warrants, and horrendously intense media scrutiny have yielded no evidence that there was any wrongdoing on behalf of the Trump campaign. The media can’t even get it’s own story together.
In the interest of transparency, congress should accept this second facet of the forthcoming investigation to reveal the truth to the American people and entertain an investigation into government abuse of surveillance power – if nothing else because of “the seriousness of charge.” Isn’t that what the media said about the rumors surrounding George H.W. Bush flying to meet with the Iranians on an SR-71? Either that or dismiss this whole Russian narrative altogether – as it’s obviously just as flimsy, if not more so, than Trump’s wiretapping tweet. I am extremely disappointed with the media bias and inconsistency surrounding the entire narrative, the apparent ignorance of President Trump about how the legal system works, and what constitutes smart communication to the American people. We all need to continue to hold EVERYONE to a reasonable standard – especially in chaotic times like this.