Trump alleges Obama ordered Tower wiretap

Donald Trump has accused Obama of ordering a wiretap on Trump Tower during last year’s  election.

No evidence so far.  Is it a leak from an anonymous ‘source’? Trump has slammed leaks and anonymous sources.

NBC News: President Says Obama Wiretapped Trump Tower During Campaign

On Friday, Fox’s Brett Baier asked House Speaker Paul Ryan whether he was concerned “that the Obama Administration may have been surveilling members of the Trump campaign in a pretty detailed investigation during the election?”

Ryan responded by saying: “I don’t think that’s the case.”

Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser to Obama, said in a tweet that presidents can’t simply order wiretaps as Trump suggests.

So, is this a conspiracy theory? An attempted diversion? Both?

I think that would be illegal.

The Hill: Obama spokesman: Trump wiretap accusation ‘simply false’

No Obama administration official interfered in Justice Department investigations or ordered surveillance on any American, much less President Trump, a spokesman for former President Obama said Saturday.

“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,” Kevin Lewis said in a statement.

“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen,” he added. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

I’d be looking for what Trump may be trying to blow a smokescreen over.

It was not immediately clear whether Trump had any proof or was referencing a report. Breitbart News on Friday reported on conservative radio host Mark Levin’s claim that Obama executed a “silent coup” of Trump via “police state” tactics. White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon was the executive chair of Breitbart before joining Trump’s team.

A common Breitbart tactic is to accuse others to divert from attacks – and the more outlandish the accusation the better as it attracts more attention.

And it appears that Trump’s accusation is based on a Breitbart story.

Donald Trump Questions ‘Sick Guy’ Barack Obama for ‘Wire Tapping’ His Campaign

Trump is likely referring to calls from talk radio hosts Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh to investigate the nature of the Obama administration’s investigations of his campaign aides for their communications with Russia, as Breitbart News editor Joel Pollak reported. 

Breitbart also have a record of getting false stories circulating amongst their (and Trump’s) base. And the Pollak story seems to be accusing Obama as a diversion from what Trump’s campaign is accused of doing.

In summary: the Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.

Levin called the effort a “silent coup” by the Obama administration and demanded that it be investigated.

In addition, Levin castigated Republicans in Congress for focusing their attention on Trump and Attorney General Sessions rather than Obama.

Perhaps Levin should be investigated.

Some actual background in this Twitter thread:

72 Comments

  1. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 5, 2017

    Strikes me that 1) this is a reprise of trumps birther allegations about Obama, and 2) the media are closing in on something seriously amiss in the extensive trump-Russia relationships, hence 3) the use of outrageous diversionary tactics to sidetrack the public’s attention.

    The Breitbart connection pretty much seals the whole fake news / false allegation / diversionary tactics package deal.

    Well done trumpy. This’ll have your alt-right snowflakes spitting acid over something completely divorced from your administration, irrespective of the lack of evidence or credibility.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 5, 2017

      I think that he will be left looking incredibly stupid,

      He may be thinking of the ‘tapping’ that means that key words like bomb are picked up by a computer (as I understand it, I could well be wrong) and discarded when the context is ‘driving an old bomb’.

      • Keyloggers4U

         /  March 5, 2017

        I think he probably means tapping, as in Obama wanting to surreptitiously know his private affairs.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 5, 2017

          Oh, yes. I did realise that-but wondered if he knew the difference.Or if he hoped that other people didn’t !

  2. David

     /  March 5, 2017

    Trump could well have had his phones tapped, legally but politically, because obviously Americans can have their phones tapped as incidental to when the agencies are monitoring foreigners so the well worded denials are just a bit cute. Not saying it happened just that it could.
    General Flynn was recorded for example because they were monitoring the Russian Ambassador and given Obama in his last days downgraded the security level of Russian intelligence gatherings so it could be more widely distributed making it almost certain that things would be leaked is an almost treasonous offence.

    • Of course it’s carefully worded.

      Unlike Trump’s Tweets or Breitbart’s articles. They are aimed at impact, not accuracy.

      • David

         /  March 5, 2017

        I was curious about Breitbart and there is an amazing article on Podesta,s links to the Russians as well as the Clinton Foundation and the Russian takeover of a Canadian company that owned 20% of the US uranium stockpile. Clinton Foundation recieved 145 million and Uranium One was approved by the US government to go to Russia…all well documented.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  March 5, 2017

          Another diversionary threadjack – straight out of trumps smoke-and-mirrors playbook

          • Joe there exists a comprehensive collection of emails that have been validated by Wikileaks which demonstrate the link between Hillary Clinton and the Uranium One Company, and also evidence showing the extent of the funding for the Clinton Foundation from this transaction also exists. Those who believe otherwise are being deceptive or naive.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  March 5, 2017

              really? So the f*uck what? The post is entitled “Trump alleges Obama ordered Tower wiretap”.

              what on Ghod’s good earth has the link between Hillary Clinton and Uranium One got to do with trump alleging that Obama ordered Tower wiretap?

              Anyone who claims that Hillary and Uranium One is relevant to this post is being deceptive or naive

          • David

             /  March 5, 2017

            Funny kind of smoke and mirrors, they have some actual evidence.

            Isn’t saying something is smoke and mirrors, just smoke and mirrors?

            • artcroft

               /  March 5, 2017

              You need to check out a definition of thread jacking so you know what it is. Also look up bullshit and lying. That will help you understand Trump better.

            • David

               /  March 5, 2017

              Crying ‘Thread jack!’ is straight out of the Trump smoke and mirrors playbook.

              The FBI did put Trump under surveillance. The only news here is Trump’s claim Obama ordered it directly.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  March 5, 2017

              Of course saying that something is the cliched smoke and mirrors isn’t smoke and mirrors itself-that’s nonsense. It’s like saying that saying that something is incorrect or a lie is also incorrect, or a lie . You appear not to know what the expression means.

  3. artcroft

     /  March 5, 2017

    Donald’s confused. Its the Russians that wiretapped and videoed you Trumpster, not Obama.

    • David

       /  March 5, 2017

      I thought they were too busy hacking Hillary and the DNC for that carry on…..

      • artcroft

         /  March 5, 2017

        Russia is a large country.They can do more than one thing at a time.

        • Corky

           /  March 5, 2017

          You packing Russian iron, Arty?

        • David

           /  March 5, 2017

          Amazing. Given their skills at skulduggery, I wonder, why are they so poor?

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  March 5, 2017

            He may think that Obama’s real name is Obamavich.

          • Gezza

             /  March 5, 2017

            Sanctions by the US & toady European NATO payment defaulters have had quite a negative impact on their economy I gather.

  4. David

     /  March 5, 2017

    If it is illegal for the President to order a wiretap, why is it legal for the President to order the execution of a US citizen?

    • artcroft

       /  March 5, 2017

      The US state can order the wire tapping of an US citizen if a warrant is signed by a judge. But Trump (on a whim) can not. Nor can Trump simply sign a executive order to have a US citizen executed. Rather the intelligence agencies can order the execution a US citizen (I guess your referring to the guy in Yemen) but because this is a big deal they have to go right to the top to get approval.
      Its different senarios

      • David

         /  March 5, 2017

        “The US state can order the wire tapping of an US citizen if a warrant is signed by a judge.”

        Didn’t Snowden show the NSA was already wire tapping everyone?

        ” Nor can Trump simply sign a executive order to have a US citizen executed. Rather the intelligence agencies can order the execution a US citizen ”

        The US intelligence agencies most certainly cannot order the execution of a US citizen.

        ” but because this is a big deal they have to go right to the top to get approval.”

        Which is the US President. When did this become legal?

    • artcroft

       /  March 5, 2017

      The fact remains that Trump complains about fake news and anonymous sources but does exactly the same thing. He could be a contributer to Whaleoil cos its straight from cam’s play book.

    • It is not legal for the President to order the execution of any US person. All he can do is confirm or deny the finding of a Federal Court conferring the Death sentence on the US person. The same applies to State Governors in relation to State Courts sentences.

      • David

         /  March 5, 2017

        Yet Obama did exactly that.

        • When and to whom? Without trial?

          • David

             /  March 5, 2017

            Anwar Al-Awlaki, September 2011.

            Killed by Presidential order by a drone attack. He was a US citizen. No trial and no judge. No actual crime was alleged, he was on Obama’s kill list as an figure of influence.

            His son, 16 yo and also a US citizen, was killed two weeks later, also by drone.

            My question still stands, why is it legal for a President to execute a US citizen, but illegal for the President to order a wiretap?

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  March 5, 2017

              “no trial and no judge” – meh, alternative facts…

              Anwar Al-Awlaki was placed on the Presidential targeted killing programme (what a ghastly programme for any administration to have to operate).

              Hisdeath was challenged through the federal court system.

              The case Al-Awlaki vs Panetta examined whether the US Government’s killing of Al-Awlaki and his son amounted to “the deprivation of life without due process of law”.

              The federal judge hearing the case dismissed the challenge primarily because the bench recognised that the targeted killing programme was grounded in the executive and legislative branches’ powers to “wage war and provide for national security,”

            • David

               /  March 5, 2017

              “The federal judge hearing the case dismissed the challenge primarily because the bench recognised that the targeted killing programme was grounded in the executive and legislative branches’ powers to “wage war and provide for national security,””

              That would also justify a wiretap on a person who is a potential threat to the national security now wouldn’t it?

              Which is my point. If it is legal for a US President to have a kill list with US citizens on it, it is also legal for the US President to wiretap anyone he wishes if there is any case they are a national security threat.

              The claim Obama didn’t wiretap Trump because it is illegal is bunk. The precedent has been set.

            • The man was by definition an agent of a foreign power operating and armed in a hostile war environment. By becoming an agent of a foreign power he loses his protections as do all spies in armed conflict.
              It is not illegal for the President to order a wire tap under a FISA warrant which is actually what occurred in October 2016 when Obama obtained a FISA warrant against Trump, some other persons and a Russian Bank as confirmed today by Ryan the Chairman of Republican Congress to the chagrin of Former President Obama.

            • David

               /  March 5, 2017

              “By becoming an agent of a foreign power he loses his protections as do all spies in armed conflict.”

              Does that mean Trump can be ‘droned’?

              “It is not illegal for the President to order a wire tap under a FISA warrant which is actually what occurred in October 2016 ”

              Ben Rhodes is wrong then isn’t he. The President can order a wiretap.

  5. duperez

     /  March 5, 2017

    When a 7 year old boy is having a tantrum, screaming and throwing things around, it sometimes pays to check. He may have crapped his pants and wants to create a fuss which disguises the accident. And the smell.

    • David, to be declared an agent of a foreign power, as a US citizen, requires evidence to a FISA Court that the individual meets the definition of an agent of a foreign power. It actually is very hard to prove, and requires substantive evidence. Have a look at the Zaoui (?spelling) case in NZ for an example in law.

      • David

         /  March 5, 2017

        “David, to be declared an agent of a foreign power, as a US citizen, requires evidence to a FISA Court that the individual meets the definition of an agent of a foreign power. It actually is very hard to prove, and requires substantive evidence.”

        Yes, incredibly hard to prove. Yet they manged to do just this to kill Anwar al-Awlaki and no evidence has been presented that comes anything like close to ‘substantive’.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/a-ray-of-sunlight-on-obamas-extrajudicial-killings/373247/

        If Obama could dodge the 5th so easily as that to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a wiretap on Trump is trivial.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 5, 2017

      But, of course, it does the exact opposite.

    • David you asked :” Ben Rhodes is wrong then isn’t he. The President can order a wiretap.”
      Answer is, only if he can get a FISA warrant for a US citizen. He has no legal power to order such a thing, and the US Forces .are specifically ordered not to obey an illegal order from a superior and can be charged if he does.

  6. Nelly Smickers

     /  March 5, 2017

    You can see from the look on their faces, how much the Obama’s are enjoying just sitting back and watching all this shit go down XD XD

  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 5, 2017

    So your links are saying the FBI did wiretap Trump House under the Obama administration?

    • David

       /  March 5, 2017

      That is beyond doubt isn’t it? The only news here is Trump saying it was Obama who ordered it directly.

      I doubt he did, but he wasn’t exactly objecting….

      • duperez

         /  March 5, 2017

        Tell us how you know he wasn’t exactly objecting. How long were the discussions? How much was Obama involved in the discussions to wiretap?

        • Na Duperez the question is how does David know Obama didn’t order it! You know the old “I could not say this but what if …?” question. With a wink and a nod?

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  March 5, 2017

      The FBI would only have been able to wiretap trump if:

      1) they believed he had credible links to a foreign power, and

      2) if they had sufficient evidence as to satisfy a judge such that a warrant was issued by the bench

      As I recall this was made very transparent last year when the FBI announced that they had investigated the use of a server in Trump Tower that had been communicating with Russia’s Alfa Bank, itself reportedly with strong ties to Vladimir Putin.

      So clearly the FBI provided evidence that there were credible links between trump and Russian interests, and that evidence was enough to convince the judiciary.

      Linking the FBI investigation to the Obama Administration is a little like claiming that Nixon’s Watergate was done during the Age of Aquarius, therefore all Aquarians are guilty by association… too much tinfoil. Too little credibility. So Sad. Loser.

      trump is obsessed with Obama, and clearly more than a little jealous. He’s also desperately trying to deflect attention away from his Russian issues

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 5, 2017

        The serious question is how much info from the FBI wiretaps was passed up the chain to Obama and his team.

        As for the “wiretaps” themselves, there’s no secret that all phone calls passing through the US are bugged. The only question is which the spooks get to look at and listen to and what they do with the info.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 5, 2017

          As for who ordered it, how would or could you ever know? Unless you are at the top of the hierarchy you have no way of knowing how far up the chain the orders and approvals came. The actual operation may be a lot further down it than the control of it.

      • David

         /  March 5, 2017

        “1) they believed he had credible links to a foreign power, and”

        Where the FBI wiretapping Hillary? Her foundation has no end of credible links to foreign powers.

    • Thanks Alan with the summary in your reference you have reinforced Ryan’s statement that Trump Towers was bugged and took it further by reaffirming that NO EVIDENCE has so far been found linking Trump and associates with the Russians. The Trump and Russia link is clearly disinformation produced by a biased DNC and US MSM. The Democrats should be really worried about local city and state elections in 2018.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  March 5, 2017

        That’s if Alan’s source is credible and not just another alternative facts lying media site… which in this day and age seems to be the standard rather than the exception.

        So what you’re really saying BJ is according to Alan’s reference “there’s nothing to see here, move along now…because we say so”

        • No Joe, I always say, how credible is the source? And always concede there may be anther answer, but do not be naive or single minded.

  8. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 5, 2017

    Trump’s rants exemplify a fairly basic but often highly effective rhetorical maneuver—the diversionary reverse accusation.

    The stories on Breitbart appear to be related to the efforts of American intelligence and law-enforcement officials to investigate potential links between Trump aides and Russian officials. It would seem that Trump, in the same spirit of diversion, has conflated the work of the courts, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies with “Obama.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/

    Indeed, along with his sycophantic fanbois who post here.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 5, 2017

      I’m pretty sure the Lefties happily conflate the work of HSA and immigration agencies with “Trump”.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  March 5, 2017

        fortunately its not the Lefties with their fingers on the nuclear button, eh Al.. 🙂

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 5, 2017

          Lots of fingers have been on it for years, JB, some of them Lefties. In quite a few countries, some of which you wouldn’t want to visit.

  9. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 5, 2017

    Some insights into trump’s frame of mind in the few hours before his tinfoil tweetstorm:

    Trump, increasingly frustrated with his White House rollout, vented to top aides on Friday over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from any investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    What, Trump wanted to know, was the logic of the move? The president made it clear he thought the whole thing had been handled poorly, and that Sessions shouldn’t have recused himself, according to sources familiar with the meeting. His exasperation was apparent.

    At one point, Trump addressed White House counsel Don McGahn, who was also in the room, directly, and said he was unhappy about the turn of events, the sources said.

    “There were fireworks,” said one person briefed on the events.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/trump-anger-jeff-sessions-russia-probe-235684

    So it’s entirely conceivable the poor snowflake gets his knickers in a twist over Sessions and metaphorically kicks the cat by tweeting bile about Obama and Schwarzenegger….so unpresidential. Sad.

  10. Gezza

     /  March 5, 2017

    Just fyi, my understanding is that ‘snowflake’ has now become so uselessly overused already that it has now officially become a part of the unofficially recognised lexicon of wankers. News is all over the dark web from yesterday, apparently. So I won’t be using that term.

  11. The story is unfolding. The former Director of Intelligence, Clapper (what an unfortunate surname?) has now stated publicly that no evidence of a Trump-Russia connection had been found. He did add that there could have been some information found since he left the post but he is not aware of it. Obama continues to say oh no not me, she! – referring to the former Head of the Department of Justice Loretta Elizabeth Lynch. There is now some reason to believe a story that a specific computer in one or another tenant’s offices in Trump Tower was being used as a VPN for transactions with Russian Banks. This could indicate an “agent of a foreign power’ activity that would come under the supervision of the Counter-Intelligence Agency of the DOJ. The chances of a FISA warrant approved to the Counter-Intelligence Agency making the light of day are virtually nil according to those in the business.
    My view is that this is a more likely scenario for a FISA warrant that a warrant aimed at President Trump, given the Nixon precedent. So perhaps Trump is right about surveillance at Trump Towers, bur wrong that ExPresident Obama ordered it on his watch. It does not make sense that Obama would allow himself to be involved in such a thing when he has Counter Intelligence agencies tasked to do such things routinely. The warrant from FISA took three attempts to get it through, that tells me someone was being very picky about the warrant.
    Perhapps Congress should have Loretta Lynch investigated undr oath?

    • My big question is why is Obama returning to Politics, ostensibly to right the obvious gerrymandering of the Republican dominated committee in the decisions on electoral boundaries that Obama claims favoured the Republicans. Now that is a noble cause for a politician to return from retirement. However he is being quoted by his former Attorney General Holder as being determined to exercise a role of leadership of the Opposition to President Obama. The intention is to create an environment in which Trump has to resign, alternatively that Trump is impeached. Now it is many years since I studied the Government and Recent Political History of the USA (Corn Laws etc), but I can not remember ever a former President aspiring to lead the opposing forces against a legitimately elected President. I believe that Obama is acting unconstitutionally either in a legal or moral sense. Thank our God that I am not a citizen of the USA! Don’t you?

      • PDB

         /  March 6, 2017

        I think Obama is worried about his legacy, not enjoying being blamed for things, and is going into damage control……..as for the warrant being initially rejected (apparently very rare) that suggests the grounds for issuing one were very dubious in the first instance rather than your scenario of someone being ‘picky’.

        • The reason I used that word was tha Judges tend to want to let themselves to be exposed to criticism as a result of a decision not being considered from all angles. Hence their tendency to want everything to be in order i.e.Picky!

      • Blazer

         /  March 6, 2017

        ‘former Attorney General Holder ‘=Wall St patsy….who is now back amongst it.

  1. Trump alleges Obama ordered Tower wiretap – NZ Conservative Coalition