Okay, we know that Trump lied his pants off when he accused Obama of wiretapping Trump tower. Even Roger Stone inadvertently confessed as much when he made that comment about Obama being responsible for everything done during his administration. (Which is not
true: The Justice Department conducts investigations on its own.)
But we still face a mystery: Just what (if anything) occurred at Trump Tower?
The NYT reports that FBI Director Comey rejects
the wiretapping claim...
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement.
Mr. Comey, who made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter, has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.
Former Director of National Intelligence Clapper (whose term ended when the Obama administration ended) denies that anyone in the intelligence community targeted Trump Tower
James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said Sunday that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was not wiretapped under his watch.
“For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as [director of national intelligence], there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect, at the time, as a candidate or against his campaign. I can’t speak for other Title III-authorized entities in the government, or a state or local entity,” Clapper told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
Clapper added that he would have known if the FBI had obtained a warrant from the FISA court to eavesdrop on Trump’s campaign over suspected illicit contact with Russian officials.
“I can deny” that the FBI obtained such a warrant, Clapper said.
And that would seem to be that.
Or is it?
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said on Sunday that President Trump is likely correct that there was surveillance of Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign The Hill reported.
Mukasey, the former Attorney General under President George W. Bush, believes that President Obama didn’t order the wiretapping.
The Hill reported, “I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general — at the Justice Department,” Mukasey told ABC’s “This Week.”
And then there's Louise Mensch. As you know, she is very controversial. Marcy Wheeler's attitude toward her seems to be somewhere between "cautious" and "disdainful." The Brietbart crowd hates Mensch with the heat of a thousand suns. Liberals mistrust her because -- well, she simply is not one of us
. I remain chary of her because her take on Snowden is ridiculous -- all invective and innuendo, with no actual evidence.
And yet everyone is following her work because she does
have intelligence sources and she's willing to take risks.
She says that there really was
a eavesdropping operation prompted by a computer server in Trump Tower talking to Alfa Bank. The operation was quite legal, and was not
ordered by Obama.
There is a FISA warrant issued on the Alfa Bank server in Trump Tower and all comms between two Russian banks, any US persons involved.
I don't see how this claim can be squared with Clapper's statement, although Mensch and her readers seem to think that there is a way to do so.
In her most recent tweets
, Mensch claims that the US intelligence community has acquired "*new tapes* of Russian govt officials discussing how Trump camp colluded."
To which John Schindler (another right-wing anti-Trump with an intelligence background) adds:
AHEM: US IC has considerable SIGINT featuring high-level Russians talking about their collusion with Team Trump.
You heard it here 1st.
SIGINT is from #NSA & partners. This is called "reflections" in spookdom, ie readouts from convos about current ops.
Individually these convos are not all that persuasive, analytically; but collectively, they demonstrate collusion.
1 intercepted convo between 2 senior Kremlin guys talking about collusion w/Trump isn't a big deal; a bunch of them = a very big deal.
My mind is open. My fingers are crossed. I certainly hope
that there is truth in this.
But we need proof, and I haven't seen any yet.