As expected, the Obama camp has denied
Trump's claim that Obama, just before the election, mounted a "Watergate" style effort to tap the phones at Trump Tower.
In a statement, Kevin Lewis, a spokesperson for Obama, rejected Trump's assertion. "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," he said.
"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," he added.
So what are we to make of this? Is Trump saying that Obama ordered a CREEP-style off-the-books team of break-in experts? There's no evidence of this, and Trump's own words speak against this idea. Trump admits that permission was sought from the FISA court, which means that everything was done "according to Hoyle," as it were.
Trump tweeted: "I bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact..." Well, jeez, doesn't he have
good lawyers? The best
lawyers? If Trump has actual evidence, why is he tweeting when he should be litigating?
And just look at Trump's points of reference: McCarthy. Watergate.
How very revealing! Trump himself was close to Roy Cohn, McCarthy's partner. And Trump's best friend, Roger Stone, was one of Nixon's dirty tricksters.
Earlier today on the Joy Reid show, Malcolm Nance said that Trump is acting "buggy." Apparently, "bugginess" is a common reaction when someone comprehends that he has been the target of a surveillance operation and that his secrets are already known. (Think of Gene Hackman's freak-out at the end of The Conversation
The truth of the matter
seems to be pretty simple:
The Guardian and Heat Street have reported that the FBI applied for a foreign intelligence surveillance court (FISA) warrant over the summer to monitor four Trump staffers suspected of having improper ties to Russian officials. The initial request was turned down for being overly broad, but according to Heat Street, the FBI eventually received a warrant in October after the discovery of a server in Trump Tower connected to a Russian bank.
did nothing. The FISA court fulfilled an FBI request, presumably because the FBI presented compelling reasons.
I think Nance is right. The gears twirling within Donnie's creamsickle-colored cranium are starting to spin out of control. But the problem goes beyond Trump: Everyone on the right side of the web seems entranced by a surreal fantasia which visualizes an out-of-power Obama as the Ultimate Conspiratorial Overlord. In other words, one third of the nation is tripping on the political equivalent of LSD -- and it's a really bad
I was going to write a small book about Trump, arguing that the election was hacked -- the actual vote
, not just the DNC. I also would like to address Alex Jones and Pizzagate, as well as the philosophy of Alexander Dugin, who has provided the international fascist resurgence with an intellectual foundation. Unfortunately for those plans -- but fortunately for the world -- such a volume may soon lose its raison d'etre
. Louise Mensch
just tweeted the following:
Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I've got a beautiful fee-ling,
Donald is going away
We now have a pretty clear idea of what happened. For a while now, unnoticed by sane people, the far-right media has pushed the narrative that Obama is engineering a coup
. When Trump woke up today, he decided to pander to the kind of people who believe in that guff..
At first, I just couldn't believe it. Trump said that he had just now learned
of Obama's perfidy -- but apparently, he was referring to a by-the-book FBI investigation (NOT conducted at Obama's behest) which was revealed to the public last November
We are left with the usual question: Does Trump really believe in his own inane conspiracy theories? Or is he simply providing paranoia-junkies with the rush they crave?
Did Donald Trump ever sincerely think that Barack Obama was born outside of the United States?
Did Donald Trump ever sincerely believe that Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000 emails? (She did not.) Did Donald Trump ever sincerely believe that she sent classified information via her private server? (She did not.)
Did Donald Trump sincerely consider Ted Cruz' father an Oswald associate?
Does Donald Trump really believe in the quasi-psychotic babble of Alex Jones?
There are times when I think that DJT is an utterly callous and captious sharpie who enjoys conning the suckers. And then there are times when I think he may well be a True Believer. Either scenario is scary.