President Trump has gone completely off the deep end, with some of his senior staff appearing to be walking away from his statements.
To recap: On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted an unfounded allegation that former President Barack Obama was listening in on his phone calls during the campaign, calling it “McCarthyism” and likening the supposed wiretapping to “Nixon/Watergate.” Obama spokespeople quickly shot down Trump’s claims, saying there was no wiretapping ordered on Trump Tower. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress called on President Trump to submit evidence to back up his claims, which he has not yet done as of this writing.
Then, on Saturday evening, MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin tweeted that “senior U.S. officials” in the Trump White House confided to NBC News that they had no information that would substantiate Trump’s claims:
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 4, 2017
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) both issued public statements on Saturday demanding that Trump disclose his source of information so the Senate can investigate whether or not phones at Trump Tower were indeed hacked.
I’d be very worried if in fact the Obama administration was able to obtain a warrant lawfully about Trump campaign activity with foreign governments,” Sen. Graham stated. “It’s my job as United States senator to get to the bottom of this.”
Sen. Sasse piled on, saying that an investigation is necessary if Trump is right and that the Obama administration illegally surveilled Trump at his residence in Manhattan, and is also necessary if the surveillance was legal, as that would constitute probable cause of a crime:
“If [the wiretapping] was with a legal FISA Court order, then an application for surveillance exists that the Court found credible,” Sasse stated. “The President should ask that this full application regarding surveillance of foreign operatives or operations be made available, ideally to the full public, and at a bare minimum to the U.S. Senate.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) tweeted on Saturday afternoon that if Trump’s phones were indeed tapped as the result of a FISA court order, that the president would be “in deep shit,” as the government may have probable cause — and audio of phone calls — of Trump in the process of committing or enabling the commission of a crime.
Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.