There seem to be two camps in Washington, now.
Camp A read Trump’s tweet about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower and want to chase down any remnant of a conspiracy.
Camp B look at Trump’s history of saying bizarre, inflammatory things, and then walking away from them, and have decided to add a hefty helping of skepticism to anything he says.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is probably pretty firmly in Camp B.
After a confidential meeting with FBI Director James Comey, Schiff is unconvinced that there was a wiretap on Trump Tower before the November 2016 election.
“I haven’t seen any evidence whatsoever to substantiate that,” Ranking Member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told CNN.
The Democratic lawmaker also criticized White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s refusal to talk about his boss’s claims, and for calling one reporter’s question about it “cute.”
“I think when Sean Spicer isn’t even willing to talk about it, you know there’s a real problem,” Schiff said.
Could this be partisan puffing?
Given the climate of harsh political discourse, these days, I’d say it was possible, but not necessarily without merit.
He even has bipartisan support in his doubts.
Republican leaders, such as Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Jason Chaffetz have all said they’ve yet to see the evidence that backs up Trump’s tweet.
Director Comey will testify later this month in a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian involvement in the 2016 election, and according to Schiff, is prepared to answer any questions about potential wiretapping of Trump Tower, as well.
Comey traveled to Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon to discuss with top intelligence clearance not only the wiretap issue, but also this week’s WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” CIA document dump.
In one meeting, he spoke with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.; and Schiff. On the Senate side he met with Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C.; ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va.; Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C.; and ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va.
New reports state that the FBI is investigating a connection between a Russian financial institution’s computer servers and the Trump organization.
All these added details provide fresh fodder for the ongoing debate about just how “close” the Trump administration is to Russia, but nothing yet points to Obama or any sort of “deep state” tampering with Trump’s phone lines.
It is widely believed that the president’s Saturday tweets about wiretapping were a reaction to a Breitbart story, which explored conservative radio host Mark Levin’s claim about “police tactics” the Obama administration used to undermine Trump’s campaign. The article discussed reports about the Obama administration applying for a FISA court warrant to tap Trump Tower in New York City to investigate suspected links to a Russian bank.
“Applied for,” but how far did it go beyond that?
Maybe we’ll know before this month is out.