Tags: trump | obama | wiretap | russia | unsubstantiated

Trump's Wiretap Claim Is a Circus Act

Trump's Wiretap Claim Is a Circus Act
President Donald Trump in the Roosevelt Room at the White House March 10, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Friday, 10 March 2017 03:15 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It would seem that the claim of "fake news" is true.

Case in point: the media reported that America’s most entertaining circus performed its last show in New York, as Ringling Brothers packed up for good.


That show pales in comparison to the nation’s biggest circus: the Trump Administration, led by the grand ringmaster himself — the President of the United States.

The unfortunate pattern of Donald Trump is predictable: blurt cringe-worthy things that the base loves but which induce eye-rolls from everyone else; rail against the critics; double down; and then, when credibility seems irreversibly in the tank, make a magnificent speech to bring yourself back from the precipice. Repeat.

Mr. Trump’s ability to appear eminently presidential is maddening, as many lament: "If only he could just control himself, he would be so much more effective; he could be great." And that’s not a stretch, as a majority agree with his policies, but continue to have issues with the man.

Nothing has changed.

Mr. Trump went from accolades for his speech to congress to the butt of late night jokes after tweeting that his Trump Tower office had been bugged by President Obama. Par for the course, he provided zero substantiation.

The self-induced firestorm resulted in a totally forgotten speech, and loss of much-needed political capital. And yet White House counselor Kellyanne Conway actually wondered why people were no longer talking about his speech. Hello? Earth to Kellyanne…have we met? Such a statement shows the politically naïveté of much of Trump’s staff.

Here’s a look at the brouhaha:

Most assume that if any bugging occurred, it centered around Trump campaign officials possibly colluding with the Russians. Any merit?

Don’t know, but Trump’s advisors have done everything possible to sow seeds of doubt about their truthfulness.

First, we had General Michael Flynn, who denied speaking with the Russian ambassador when, in fact, he did. After lying to Vice President Pence, he resigned. Was Flynn incompetent? Yes. Should he have spoken with the ambassador? No. Were his discussions illegal? Absolutely not. When will we learn that it’s not the "crime," but the cover-up, that does us in?

Then we have Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ unfathomable political ineptness. Sessions failed to see the importance of disclosing that he met with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. Had he just stated that he had done so as a U.S. Senator, there wouldn’t have been an issue.

But then Sessions couldn’t recollect what was discussed. Somehow it didn’t dawn on him that such a statement was the worst possible answer, as it made him appear evasive, and further fueled the Russia issue. Most baffling was Sessions recusing himself without informing the president, causing Mr. Trump to erupt in fury.

The question stands as to why so many on Trump’s team met with a top foreign leader, especially at a political convention.

Which brings us to the alleged wiretapping. Here are several plausible scenarios:

1) The Trump offices were never bugged. There are reports that an article referencing the possibility of wiretapping had infuriated the president, and may have led to his unprecedented accusation. If true, it is very troubling, since the president must exhibit better self-discipline. Appearing paranoid is a path to political ruin.

2) The offices were tapped illegally. If so, the perpetrators must be apprehended and prosecuted. Quickly.

3) The offices were legitimately tapped by a non-federal government entity, such as a state’s Attorney General. Why? Who knows? But clearly, one doesn’t get to the level of Donald Trump without associating in some capacity with unsavory individuals: the mob, Middle Eastern sheiks, corrupt union bosses, foreign officials, and other businessmen.

4) Communications could have been tapped because of an ongoing investigation into a foreign power — say, the Russians hacking the DNC’s computers. If foreign targets were in contact with individuals in Trump Tower, then the case for legitimate bugging could well be made.

It is possible that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court judge deemed there to be enough evidence to wiretap Trump Tower because some of its occupants came into focus during an investigation. Therefore, such a probe may well have been legitimate.

There’s an easy way to figure this out: the president can declassify documents. Yet he hasn’t. Why not? And why is he asking congress to investigate if the facts are literally at his fingertips?

The president’s erratic actions have created yet another pitfall for his agenda. Rather than keeping his powder dry until all the facts were known, Mr. Trump’s impulsive tweeting and unsubstantiated claims have left him walking atop the narrowest of tightropes, with no safety net.

Mr. President, please stop clowning around. It’s time to run the country — not a circus.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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Mr. President, please stop clowning around. It’s time to run the country — not a circus.
trump, obama, wiretap, russia, unsubstantiated
Friday, 10 March 2017 03:15 PM
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