On Saturday, Trump tweeted an accusation to former President Obama of tapping his phones during the campaign, he called his predecessor a “bad (or sick) guy.”
An unfounded Twitter rant:
Despite offering no evidence or announcing the source of the information, Trump tweeted heatedly his claims that Obama “had my ‘wires tapped.’ He compared the claimed tapping to “Watergate/Nixon” and “McCarthyism.”
According to a news report, Trump aides refused to state whether the president’s allegations were based on intelligence briefings or law enforcement officials or on something else entirely.
Kevin Lewis, Obama’s spokesman, dismissed the claims in a statement, saying: “A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” he said. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Trump’s accusation are shocking and untrue, according to Obama administration officials. They stressed that presidents cannot wiretap a rival for political purposes due to longstanding laws and procedures.
The absence of proof makes Trump’s decision to lend the power of his office to such a claim is remarkable, even though he has proven to be a leader who makes false proclamations or based on rumors.
Trump tweeted at ^:35am that he had “just found out” that his phones had been tapped before the election. Online, people speculated that the source of his info is a Breitbart News article or something said by conservative radio host Mark Levin; both outlets have discussed the theory in recent days.
Former top national security aide to Obama Ben Rhodes tweeted at Trump: “no president can order a wiretap” and added, “Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.”
Federal agents working within the law wouldn’t have had the ability to obtain a wiretap order to target Trump’s phone conversations unless the Justice Department had gathered sufficient evidence to convince a federal judge of probable cause to believe he had committed a serious crime or was an agent of a foreign power, depending on whether it was a criminal investigation or a foreign intelligence one.
Investigating the Russia connection:
However, a federal investigation had begun during the 2016 presidential campaign to explore links between Trump associates and the Russians.
Last January, The New York Times reported that associates whose links to Russia are being examined are: Trump’s onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort, businessman and foreign policy adviser to the campaign Carter Page, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican who had said he was in speaking to WikiLeaks before it released hacked Democratic National Committee emails last summer.
The FBI uses FISA warrants to eavesdrop on the communications of foreign leaders inside the United States, which it used during the transition and overheard conversations between the Russian ambassador to the United States and Trump’s national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.
Mr. Flynn was pushed out of his post by the White House after The Washington Post had reported that Mr. Flynn and the Russian ambassador discussed sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on Russia. The reason that was given for the pushing Flynn out was because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of the calls.
Trump has frequently clashed with the intelligence agencies over the Russia inquiries since becoming president due to their work on examining the attempts by that country to influence the presidential election and the contacts between Trump’s aides and the Russian government.
Trump has seemed increasingly angry in the past few days due to the leaks of information. He believes they come from law enforcement and intelligence officials who were a part of Obama’s administration.
Trump is determined to stop them from sabotaging his administration, according to people close to him. Officials who are leaking information to the news media are being searched for extensively across the government.