On January 20, the New York Times published a story on wiretapping of Trump insiders. In the print version, the headline was “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides”, although you’re going to have to squint to read the acknowledgment of the print headline at the bottom of the page.
Still, if you look through the actual article, you’ll find this paragraph:
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
On March 4, Trump tweeted:
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
This, of course, has been the subject of lots of Claude Rains since then, as reporters and politicians announce they’re shocked, shocked at that accusation.
I’ve written about this before here and here, and I won’t go through the whole argument again as I’m not paid by the word, but the really inescapable conclusion was that either the New York Times reporting was false, or Trump was justified. The real question was identifying who in the Obama administration (or in the upper-level civil service staff) had been responsible for leaking information that identified a “US Person” — and would they be prosecuted for what appear to be felonious violations of 18USC793 and 50USC1801.
If anyone. We know from the Clinton Email scandal that the Espionage Act has an unwritten “except for Democrat politicians” exception. So this morning, Charlie Savage tweeted a criticism of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial:
Re "fake president" editorial, why can't WSJ ed board grasp that FBI wiretap targeted Russian ambassador, not Flynn? https://t.co/4Alc56JQGl pic.twitter.com/MlwkNqr0i9
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) March 22, 2017
I thought this was a little odd, and followed up:
Why can't you grasp that NYT, WaPo reported multiple times on Trump-insider intercepts? Were they lying? https://t.co/f3LmOLh7Pf
— (((Charlie Martin))) (@chasrmartin) March 22, 2017
From which we got to this:
A talks to B. B is a surveillance target. Govt ends up with intercept involving A, even though A was not targeted. Get it?
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) March 22, 2017
This strikes me as silly and disingenuous: it’s the same old “well, it wasn’t really a wiretap and it wasn’t really a wiretap of Trump” defense.
Now, after a lot of talk during hearings on Monday that no one saw evidence that Trump had been wiretapped, today Devin Nunes announced (quoting from his press release):
At our open hearing on Monday, I encouraged anyone who has information about relevant topics — including surveillance on President-elect Trump or his transition team — to come forward and speak to the House Intelligence Committee. I also said that, while there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.
- I recently confirmed that, on numerous occasions, the Intelligence Community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
- Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value — were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.
- I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.
- To be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team. (Emphasis mine.)
As a commenter at Instapundit pointed out, this is starting to look like the old Washington tradition, the “modified limited hangout.”
Do you beleive anything coming from the demac-RATS? not i this old shorebird i dont trust them lying jackasses
Trump is president because the Russians put him there, and Republicans are now becoming part of the cover-up. There’s the truth, staring you straight in the face.
@James D: @James D: You’re not ‘reallllllllly’ that stupid. are you?
You’re the one being played for a fool. You aren’t paying attention to anything but the crap bouncing around the right’s propaganda echo box, which it turns out was directly manipulated by Putin’s operatives. But you haven’t heard a word about that, have you? Maybe the red dye in the Trump hats poisoned your brains. You have the same “can’t be wrong about anything” problem the jackass in the White House has himself. You know nothing but are convinced you know everything.
@James D: Trump is president because he accrued the most electoral college votes. The Russians did not cast or cause to cast any votes. You folks had a candidate who committed felonies. No one has refuted that. The left only blames the fact that the felonious actions of Clinton was revealed in her emails and the emails of others.
@James D: Lay out your evidence and open sources or STFU, we have those and documentation, look up Montgomery or are you waiting for MSNBC and CNN to give you an opinion on those? Raving lunitic Wretched Madcow will no doubt feed you some propaganda for you to mindlessly repeat.
I hope Montgomery has good protection cause if he has something on Clinton he could be whistleblowing past the graveyard.
I see Mad Madam Waters is still looking to have trump impeached and still this old bat cant show one impeachible offense but on the other hand Obama showed many reasons he should have not only been impeached but tried for Treason
I suppose you’ve missed the numerous reports of the results of multiple investigations which have determined NO collusion or connections between Trump, the Trump campaign or the Russians. Pity. Intelligence is right there at your finger tips yet you prefer to keep yourself ignorant.
Time and time again Trump does something “outrageous” and time and time again the left thinks they’ve got him… finally. They trot out little Schumer to count all those chickens that haven’t hatched and then…. BOOM. Right in their stupid faces.
Hahahahahahahahaha! Stupid idiots.
The Russians did, in fact, cleverly manipulate the perceptions and opinions of millions of gullible American voters who lack the ability to distinguish fact from fiction. They altered the course of a U.S. presidential election. They took multiple calculated actions to give advantage to the candidate of their choosing, who on any level playing field would have stood no chance in hell of ever occupying the Oval Office. They have successfully weaponized digital information technology, and have now used that weapon to attack the government of the United States and the democratic system our nation’s power and our freedoms are based upon. It was essentially an act of war, but half of our nation doesn’t even grasp the fact that we’ve been attacked. They don’t yet see the serious damages that have been done. They apparently still believe a line of bullshit about swamp draining and sorting things out in Washington. I don’t see anything going on that even remotely resembles that story. What I see is a rapid ramping up of governmental dysfunction, and various special interests and foreign parties preparing to take full advantage of the moment. This is how great nations are toppled.
Andrey Krutskikh, senior Kremlin adviser, regarding Russia’s information warfare capabilities, from Russia’s radical new strategy for information warfare:
Putin is a deadly serious geopolitical adversary. Krutskikh is a serious person, close to the center of Russian power. What do you think he was talking about?
Just another couple of random dots, that aren’t related to anything worth thinking about…
Murdered ex-lawmaker knew ‘misdeeds of Russian elites,’ Kremlin critic says
So, Denis Voronenkov won’t be testifying against Viktor Yanukovych, Putin’s former toady in Ukraine, who was Paul Manafort’s employer. He’s yet another who will now be excused owing to assassination. He was shot on the street in broad daylight. Maybe Manafort should begin wearing a bullet-proof vest—assuming he isn’t already.
Key witness in Preet Bharara’s Russian crime probe was just thrown from fourth floor of building
Nikolai Gorokhov survived his four-floor shortcut to the ground below. He’s in intensive care. Maybe he is sufficiently persuaded that high-level Russian criminal activities are not a good thing to talk about.
Putin meets French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen at Kremlin
That one is just for fun. I’m sure Russia has taken no interest in attempting to influence the French election.
@Greg: In 2010 the Democrats did, in fact, cleverly manipulate the perceptions and opinions of millions of gullible American voters who lack the ability to distinguish fact from fiction. They altered the course of a U.S. presidential election. They took multiple calculated actions to give advantage to the candidate of their choosing, who on any level playing field would have stood no chance in hell of ever occupying the Oval Office. They have successfully weaponized the media, and have now used that weapon to attack the government of the United States and the democratic system our nation’s power and our freedoms are based upon. It was essentially an act of war, but half of our nation doesn’t even grasp the fact that we’ve been attacked. Is this what you meant to say? There is proof of this!
That turn-around doesn’t really work, does it?
As I recall, 2010 was the year Republicans took back control of the House of Representatives, and commenced doing everything in their power to screw up the Obama administration’s ability to do it’s job.
Republicans won a House majority by promising voters they’d make the repeal of Obamacare their top priority. They promised the same thing again in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Now they control the House, the Senate, and the White House, and still can’t get it together to make good on that promise. After having 7 years to work up their alternative, they’ve got nothing they can even agree on among themselves. All they’ve been able to agree on are their continuous efforts to screw up Obamacare as much as possible.
How long does it take people to figure out that these guys are feeding them a line of bull, every damn election?
They should cut the crap about Obamacare, which most definitely isn’t going to win them another election in 2018, and lead a bipartisan effort to modify the Affordable Care Act legislation to create a fully workable, fiscally sound system that truly meets the needs of the American people. Any legislation as complex as the ACA requires a lengthy period of adjustment to get everything right. There is no simple, cheap replacement. The health care system itself is far too complex for any simple, easy fix. This is what they should have been doing for the past 7 years.
Here’s what believing whatever sounds good gets you, and that list of forgotten promises isn’t even the half of it.
@Greg: you are so correct on some points, the republicans did take over the majority, despite the media being all in on the liberal progressive agenda. I guess the voters were not buying it. Each election more and more voters were dissatisfied with democrats and voted them out. They should cut the crap with AHCA and just dump it. Problem is they never really thought the White House was within reach because of the Medias lies about the polls. Caught flat footed now reaching for every excuse not to do what they promised and not willing to listen to the conservatives we voted in. Not a single republican vote for the AHCA but expected to fix it? Why, The lengthy period of adjustment resulted in higher premiums, small business unable to expand, gross overload in part time jobs, the pen and phone delaying the most destructive parts til after his reign was over. Repeal no replace. If its just pre-existing have a program just for those, leave everyone else alone.