As reported by The Associated Press, Donald Trump demands an Obama investigation by the United States Congress over Trump’s seemingly baseless accusation that Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump’s phone in Trump Tower in 2016.
Whether Donald Trump actually believes this or not – he seems to be basing it on a highly questionable story on Breitbart News – Trump may see it as a way to divert attention from the investigation of his administration’s Russian connections.
Considering the Trump Demands
An Obama investigation demand from Donald Trump seems to ignore the fact that any such wiretaps of Trump campaign officials or Trump himself would have been carried out by the Justice Department and/or the FBI using a FISA court warrant. In fact, it’s actually illegal for a president to personally order a wiretap – this is something that can only be done by law enforcement officials using the court system.
Yet despite the fact there is no evidence whatsoever suggesting President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on Donald Trump, the current President insisted early Saturday morning in a series of tweets that this is exactly what happened.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
This apparently wasn’t enough for Trump, who quickly followed this post with another tweet comparing Barack Obama to Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.
“How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
The response from both Democrats and Republicans to Trump’s accusation was immediate and uniformly negative, with most demanding that Trump provide some evidence supporting his tweeted allegations. So far, the Trump administration has failed to provide such evidence.
A spokesman for Barack Obama quickly denied that any such wiretaps were ordered by the White House against any United States citizens, including Donald Trump:
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Trump Doubles Down
As noted by CNN, instead of providing any evidence of a wiretap on Donald Trump’s phone, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer – in an early Sunday morning tweet – indicated that Donald Trump was now insisting on a full investigation by the United States Congress. Despite the fact that most objective observers – both in the press and in political circles – consider Trump’s allegations to be baseless, the current resident of the Oval Office demands that the Congress carry out an investigation anyway.
“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling… President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016…”
Spicer went on to say that, “Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.”
But blaring headlines that “Trump demands an Obama investigation by Congress” may well be exactly what Donald Trump wants. For weeks now, the Trump administration has faced one crisis after another regarding its ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin. From Michael Flynn being forced to resign from his position on the National Security Council to Jeff Sessions having to recuse himself from the investigation of such Russian connections, the media has been entirely focused on Trump and Russia. Maybe he hopes that will change with an Obama fishing expedition.
[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]