"First, the genesis of the claim that prompted FBI Director James Comey to ask the Justice Department to refute it over the weekend," Anderson Cooper said at the very beginning of his CNN show tonight, adding that it's quite peculiar that the nation's top lawman is asking for a public denunciation of a sitting president of the United States.Then Cooper summarized how we arrived at this situation.
"Saturday, the president, who is at Mar-A-Lago according to the Washington Post, is still steaming over Jeff Sessions recusing himself from any investigation involving Russia and the Justice Department," Cooper noted and added that the president sent out quite the tweet.Then, there was this tweet.Cooper continued on about how Donald Trump didn't have any evidence for his claims. His information appears to come from conservative radio hosts and websites. The CNN host said that none of these outlets reported that Obama actually ordered or sought wiretaps on Mr. Trump.
"There has been enough reporting strongly suggesting something occurred," Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, is quoted as saying off camera Monday morning.
Cooper said that former intelligence officials have come forward in order to deny there was wiretapping, including James Clapper, the last director of intelligence. It certainly wasn't the first time unsubstantiated claims from Trump have gone mainstream, including the claim that President Obama wasn't born in the United States.
John Cassidy of the New Yorker believes that Trump's latest Obama accusation could backfire.
"We can only hope that, this time, his pernicious diversionary tactics backfire: the Justice Department or Comey might come out and repudiate the President publicly, and more Republicans on Capitol Hill might find the spines to support a proper investigation of the Russia matter."The article adds that Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Appropiations Committee, told CBS News that there is not anything that would directly support what the president has said.
CNN White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny, who said that the president has been absolutely silent about the accusations today, appeared from Washington to talk about the situation on Cooper's show.
"This is his first weekday of his time here in office where he has not had a single public event...But the White House is defending him but not talking as definitively as him. They're saying if this happened, we should get to the bottom of this, " Zeleny told Cooper.
Another video of Sean Spicer soon appeared. In this one, the White House press secretary says that the president has always wanted the Intelligence Committee to look into anything from the 2016 election that may have been improper with respect to wiretaps or surveillance. Afterwards, Zeleny told Cooper that many Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio, simply can't understand what the president is talking about.
Anderson Cooper also thought it was highly suspicious that on a day where Trump signed a major new executive order, there were no visible reporters, who would have certainly asked Trump about his accusations of wiretapping. Spicer noted that on previous executive order signings, Trump had gone to great lengths to take pride in inviting reporters.
What do you think of Trump's latest accusations towards the Obama administration in regards to illegal wiretapping? Let us know in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]