Donald Trump managed to get “This is McCarthyism” and “This is Nixon/Watergate” into the same string of tweets as he reportedly “just found out” that “bad (or sick)” President Obama had tapped his phones prior to the election.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
An hour after spewing off these tweets — and mixing in the shocking news that the Russian ambassador had visited the White House during the Obama administration — Trump has provided no details of this “wire tapping.”
But considering that it’s Donald Trump, there’s a good chance that “just found out” doesn’t mean it was part of a briefing from the intelligence community. Trump doesn’t trust those. Instead, he may well have been sitting at Mar-a-lago in his jam jams, reading his favorite source.
He could be referencing to a Breitbart article posted Friday that claimed the Obama administration made two Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) requests in 2016 to monitor Trump communications and a computer server in Trump Tower focusing on possible links with Russian banks.
According to Breitbart, those communications revealed no wrongdoing, which is as trustworthy as any other Breitbart article. What’s extremely clear is that Trump is trying to get in front of something and blow smoke at the way the evidence was collected before the rest of the story tumbles out.
As more and more hidden contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials are revealed, Trump is throwing out pictures of very public meetings between the Russian ambassador and Democratic lawmakers in an attempt to obscure the meetings that were happening with his team—including at least one meeting that took place in Trump Tower.
Might some of the communications out of Trump Tower been under observation by intelligence agencies? If not, they probably should have been.
Trump Tower isn’t just home to Trump and his real estate “organization.” Paul Manafort, who is under investigation for his relationship to pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, has lived in Trump Tower for a decade. It’s where Felix Sater and the Bayrock are located. And it is where Jared Kuschner and Michael Flynn secretly met with the Russian ambassador.
There are a lot of very good reasons why some of the communications at Trump Tower should be tapped, including evidence of money laundering and that email server that at least appeared to be in communications with a Russian bank.
While Trump’s phone tapping accusations are just as likely to be sourced from the rantings of right-wing radio as any verifiable facts, the purpose of tweeting about them is clearly to try and derail of a cycles of leaks and discoveries that’s showing Trump’s team to be glued to Russia in a dozen ways.
It may also be a preemptive strike against more serious information that still hasn’t reached the public.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.