PRESIDENT Donald Trump just will not stop.
Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have said they have not seen any evidence to substantiate Trump’s accusations of wiretapping/surveillance against Pres. Barack Obama before, during and after the 2016 presidential election.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey has said it in private and will be public that such wiretapping/surveillance did not happen, and that Obama never ordered such wiretapping/surveillance as Trump alleges. The Department of Justice report issued on Friday, March 17, likewise did not confirm Trump’s wiretap claim.
Both the Democrats and Republicans have been demanding the White House to come up with proof that such wiretapping happened. More than a week after Trump’s March 4 early morning twitter rant, no evidence was presented by the president, and his Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway began pivoting in their talking points to broaden the definition of the word he used in his tweet.
They said the word in the president’s tweet did not really mean just “wiretapping” but should cover all different kinds of surveillance.
The White House also said Trump was not saying the wiretapping accusation was directed to Obama personally, but to the members of the Obama Administration.
However, Trump’s four tweets clearly stipulated “wiretapping” happened as a matter of “fact” and was ordered by “Obama” himself, even saying “How low can he get?” “Bad/sick guy”, with reference to Obama personally.
Trump never consulted his U.S. intelligence community about the accusation, and never even tried to order the FBI to release classified information to back up his claims if there was real evidence.
In an interview with Fox News that aired on Wednesday, March 15 , Trump said he was sure he got wiretapped the information from a Fox News segment the night before. He also previously said he got information from Fox’s Sean Hannity and also from Breitbart news. Trump added that he also read about wiretapping from the failing New York Times. The president teased that within a couple weeks, new “interesting” information would come out to prove his claim against Obama.
Then on Thursday, March 16 during the White House daily press conference, Press Secretary Sean Spicer alleged that the British spies did the surveillance on behalf of Obama to ensure there “no American fingerprints on it.”
Spicer pointed to Andrew Napolitano, a New Jersey judge turned commentator as the source who said on the show “Fox& Friends” on March 14, “Three [unnamed] intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA, he did not use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI and he didn’t use the Department of Justice — he used GCHQ.”
Britain spy agency GCHQ angrily stated that such accusation was “utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
The White House would not back down and refused to apologize about the unfounded claims against Obama and the British spy agencies.
During the press conference on Friday, March 17 with visiting Germany Prime Minister Angela Merkel, Trump was asked by a German reporter about this accusation. Trump did not disavow the accusation but instead said “You should not be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox”, explaining that the White House just quoted the information they got from the “brilliant” lawyer Napolitano on Fox News.
In a statement after the press conference, Fox news released a statement via Shepard Smith saying,“Fox News cannot confirm Andrew Napolitano’s report of Obama using the GCHQ to spy on Trump. Fox news knows of no evidence of any kind that the now President of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way, full stop.”
Why would Donald Trump, the president of the United States, continue to fabricate and spread falsehoods? How would this affect the United States’ standing in the international community and our relationship with our allies? How would this affect our national security?
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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos