So on March 4, President Twitter tweets out that former President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower.
There were no quotation marks, nor anything to make it seem as if he decided just to get up at 3am and goad his predecessor, a bit.
The House Intel Committee and pretty much all of the nation latched on to it, with Trump’s loyalists ready for Obama’s head on a platter (with CIA guts as relish), and the rest feeling a bit skeptical.
Trump was asked to provide proof by March 13, midnight, but the White House asked for more time.
As RedState’s Joe Cunningham pointed out earlier today, that evidence has not been forthcoming, and the Senate Intelligence Committee released a statement today, saying that based on the information they have, there is no indication of wiretapping or any kind of surveillance of Trump going on.
Is that enough to stop Trump?
If you think that, you haven’t been paying attention. That man creates his own reality.
According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Trump is standing by his unsubstantiated claim.
They’re nuancing it now to say that by “Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in October” what the president was actually referring to was just a general sort of all-encompassing kind of surveillance, and that he didn’t mean that he was the target.
Trump Tower = Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, or anyone within the circle of Trump who may have been connected to Russia, in some way, or just got caught up in the investigation into Russian tampering.
“There’s been a vast amount of reporting, which I just detailed, about activity that was going on during the 2016 election. There’s no question there were surveillance techniques used throughout this,” he said.
“The president has already been very clear that he didn’t mean specifically wiretapping. He had it in quotes.”
Dude. Melissa McCarthy is going to be a blast to watch on SNL this weekend.
The Senate intelligence panel said today:
“We see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”
Pretty cut-and-dried, right?
“No, they’re not findings,” Spicer responded. “The statement clearly says that at this time they don’t believe that. They have yet to go through the information.”
“He meant it; he put it in quotes,” Spicer added later of Trump’s wiretapping tweets. Pressed on whether it was phone tapping, as Trump initially claimed, he added, “No, it was surveillance.”
That’s not stopping Spicer, who went near unhinged at today’s press briefing.
If I might borrow and paraphrase from Chelsea Clinton’s upcoming book: He persisted.
He pointed to comments from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who said it was “very possible” that Trump associates’ communications had been indirectly swept up in surveillance activity.
“You choose not to cover that part,” Spicer told ABC News’s Jon Karl. “Where was your passion and where was your concern when there was no connection to Russia?”
But Spicer also glossed over Nunes’s assertion that the GOP chairman does not “believe there was an actual tap at Trump Tower,” based on the evidence he has seen.
Trump tried to do a bit of glossing over on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show last night, himself, by saying “wiretap” covers a lot of different things.
Ok, man. Ok.