Put up or shut up.
The Trump administration has twisted itself into every imaginable angle to try and back up the president’s March 4 Twitter claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped by former President Obama, except for the “provide evidence” part.
One of the more hollow and blustery claims came from Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano, who gave a tabloid-ready account of Obama asking GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, to put then-candidate Trump under surveillance.
Napolitano’s claims, much like Trump’s, were unsubstantiated, as he only mentioned “sources,” but gave no indication as to who those sources were.
Later, while trying to cover for his boss, White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, repeated the fantastical tale of British betrayal during a press conference.
This riled the British government and it was reported on Friday that both Spicer and national security adviser H.R. McMaster both issued apologies to the British government.
Of course, now the White House is saying there was no apology, because diplomacy and commonsense don’t really mesh well with this administration.
Also on Friday, President Trump had an uncomfortable meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
During a Q&A session with reporters, Trump doubled down on his claims that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower.
Keep in mind that Trump keeps pushing this, even though there is a committee prepared to take this one, right away. He just won’t provide the evidence, and by Friday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisles had issued statements saying they’ve seen no evidence to back up his claims.
Fox News’ Shepard Smith covered the press conference during his show on Friday and made some solid points.
Fox played video of Trump joking at the press conference. “As far as wiretapping, I guess,” he offered, “by you know, this past administration, at least we have something in common perhaps.”
“In other words that they were both wiretapped,” Smith explained. “When there’s no evidence of that.”
“Of course,” he added, “the president could learn first-hand whether the building in which he lives was wiretapped. All he’d have to do is ask the intelligence services. They work for him.”
Yeah, there’s a thought. As has been pointed out, over and over, Trump could request to see any FISA warrants, but for some reason, he prefers to make accusations, rather than get answers.
Then again, the only people Trump has been as abusive and dismissive of as he has of the press, has been the U.S. intelligence community.
“Further the German reporter asked President Trump,” Smith continued, “about his Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s citing of the Fox News senior judicial analyst. Judge Andrew Napolitano commented on the morning show, ‘Fox and Friends,’ that he has sources who say British intelligence was involved in surveillance at Trump Tower. Our White House team will have much more on that from the White House in just a moment.”
“Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary,” Smith intoned. “Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way, full stop.”
Of course, there are still Trump loyalists out there pushing the #PizzaGate hoax around social media. I don’t expect this to go away anytime soon – if ever – because our president refuses to be a grown up about it.
Shep: "Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way, full stop." pic.twitter.com/W3XkViL4ES
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) March 17, 2017