by John Gibson
The media had a meltdown over the weekend when Donald Trump tweeted that Obama wire tapped him.
The headlines were marching in lockstep: Trump Makes Accusation Without Providing Evidence.
The New York Times’ Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman are a good example. Their story today is headlined: “A Conspiracy Theory’s Journey From Talk Radio to Trump’s Twitter”, which is NYT-speak for saying Trump was relying on unreliable sources.
(Why the President would be assumed to go to sketchy sources when he has the Intel Community at his disposal seems odd.)
But at the bottom of the story, Baker and Haberman felt obligated to link to several stories in the New York Times over the last few weeks which had to come from wire taps and other forms of U.S. government surveillance during the waning days of the Obama administration. Like this, and this, and this.
Even before Trump’s Saturday tweets one would have not been far off base categorizing these stories as the results of Obama spying on Trump associates and, presumably, Trump himself.
So why the outrage that Trump made the charge himself?
Because outrage is the reflexive response to Trump from the media and the left.
Also because a President is supposed to be in a box: He has access to any information the U.S. government possesses, but he is also supposed to observe classification restrictions. So unless he uses his unilateral power to declassify the information, he is not supposed to reveal his spy agencies spied on him under the previous administration of President Obama.
Obviously, this President doesn’t feel bound by those niceties. If Dems don’t like it, they can impeach him. Oh wait. They would need the Congress, and they don’t have either the House or the Senate. So they are left with the media, where they can make a lot of ominous sounding noises.
Politico, in a story buried deep on its page, went over some legal possibilities the Trump team could have been under surveillance, and noted this: “While it’s unknown whether any of these scenarios occurred, it’s ‘very likely that the people in the Obama administration had access to the communication of senior Trump officials in the run-up to the election, because they have very, very broad authority,’ said Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has advocated for revising surveillance laws.”
OK, so the previous President could have had access to wiretaps on Russian officials that swept up conversations with Trump people. The previous President could have suggested or ordered further investigation which would have led to more electronic surveillance.
Sure he could have.
So is it really such an offense that Trump said it?
Obama and his people can squeal all they want trying to make Trump look like the buffoon.
But their trail of leaks of surveilled conversations seems to indicate Trump is on the right trail.