Tags: Barack Obama | Donald Trump | Russia | michael mukasey | surveillance | not wiretap | order

Mukasey: Surveillance Probably Ordered by AG, Not Obama

Image: Mukasey: Surveillance Probably Ordered by AG, Not Obama
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions ,R-AL, on Capitol Hill, January 11, 2017 (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 05 Mar 2017 11:56 AM

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Sunday said President Donald Trump is likely right about a wiretap at Trump Tower — but wrong about who ordered it.

In an interview on ABC News' "This Week," the former head of the Justice Department under President George W. Bush said the request was likely "conducted at the behest of the attorney general [at] the Justice Department."

"The president was not correct in saying [former President Barack] Obama ordered a tap on a server in Trump Tower," he said. "However, I think he's right in that there was surveillance."

He also said he doesn't believe Trump was the focus of the court order that allowed the wiretap.

"It means there were some basis to believe that somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians, for whatever purpose," Mukasey said. "Not necessarily the election. For some purpose. The FBI keeps track of people who act as agents of foreign governments."

Mukasey said he based his belief in part on an "inadvertent blurting out" by Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, who said his committee "wants to talk to the counterintelligence agency at the FBI involved in this."

"They started gathering intelligence in '08 based on… guidelines we put in place," Mukasey said. "They tried to get a wiretap in June. It was turned down. They tried to get, and got, an order permitting them to conduct electronic surveillance in October 2016."

Mukasey also said the warrant for the surveillance shouldn't ever be be released "even in a political storm as hot as this one."

"The only way to verify whether there was a — electronic surveillance is to disclose the warrant and the fruits of it," he said. "That should not be done even in a political storm as hot as this one."

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Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Sunday said President Donald Trump is likely right about a wiretap at Trump Tower - but wrong about who ordered it.In an interview on ABC News This Week, the former head of the Justice Department under President George W. Bush...
michael mukasey, surveillance, not wiretap, order, probably, loretta lynch
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2017-56-05
Sunday, 05 Mar 2017 11:56 AM
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