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Tapp, Tapp, Tapp: The Truly Bizarre Tweets of the Day

Trump TwitterOf course, my previous two Trump tweet post are nothing compared to the truly bizarre tweets he posted this morning accusing President Obama of tapping the phones at Trump Tower in October:

See, also WaPo: Trump, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of ‘Nixon/Watergate’ plot to wiretap Trump Tower.

The thing is: apart from a series of tweets, there is no actual evidence (or source) for the allegations. Did the President receive a briefing on this past behavior? Or, as the WaPo story suggests, is he reacting to a Breitbart story that was basically summarizing allegations made by talk radio host Mark Levin?  In truth, given that the President rather naively takes as face value what he hears on media outlets that he likes, I am leaning towards this being a reaction to Breitbart and not some actual information that he has been given:

Trump offered no citations nor did he point to any credible news report to back up his accusation, but he may have been referring to commentary on Breitbart and conservative talk radio suggesting that Obama and his administration used “police state” tactics last fall to monitor the Trump team. The Breitbart story, published Friday, has been circulating among Trump’s senior staff, according to a White House official who described it as a useful catalogue of the Obama administration’s activities.

The amazing thing about the above paragraph, if it is accurate, is that it suggests that the members of the executive branch are relying on third hand media accounts instead of going straight to the agencies that would have been involved.  You know, the agencies which report to the president.

Further, if this was actual internal government findings that the President sought to share with the public, there are better, more effective, and more official ways to do so than to be tweeting before heading off to yet another weekend round of golf at Mar-a-Lago.

This is more behavior that looks like one’s crazy uncle rather than that of the President of the United States:  read some conspiratorial bit of news, share it with the family in a forwarded e-mail, and then hit the links.

I would react to the actual allegations, but the lack of any details make it difficult to do so.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    Well, it may very well be that there was investigations that involved Trump tower. Maybe Trump found out from internal to the government. Who knows? If so, did he just reveal classified information? Compromise sources? It seems as though he still thinks he’s outside of the government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. CSK says:

    This is a case for Jake Tapper.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  3. Pch101 says:

    I would say that democracy is overrated, but then I remember that this guy came in second place and that many of those who did vote for him were reluctant.

    We had better hope that those checks-and-balances can offset these imbalances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. rachel says:

    @CSK: I see what you did there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. Terrye Cravens says:

    He might be referring to the investigation into a server in Trump Tower communicating with Russian banks. I have no idea, but even then that is not an indication they were doing anything illegal. They had a warrant and the story was in the papers at the time. And a lot of people rent or lease or own space in the Trump Tower.

    Sounds like the usual raving to me. They need to keep this man on the teleprompter. When he free lances he goes off the deep end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  6. michael reynolds says:

    He is mentally unbalanced. He is unhinged. A crazy person is in charge of nuclear weapons. He’s not ‘pretending,’ it is not some secret strategy, it is not game theory, he is out of his f–king mind. And people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell show depraved indifference not just to decency, the truth, or even the constitution, but to the lives of American citizens.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 48 Thumb down 1

  7. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You mean you don’t subscribe to the theory that this giant intellect isn’t playing three dimensional chess????

    Seriously: This is classic paranoia. On the other hand, Trump does know that this is EXACTLY the sort of thing his acolytes gobble up like…Cheetos.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  8. Joe says:

    read some conspiratorial bit of news, share it with the family in a forwarded e-mail, and then hit the links.

    Funny, I tell my kids to hit the links (follow to the sources) before sharing with family.

    I wonder whether this refers to the taps of foreign diplomats who his folks were apparently quite chummy with from early on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  9. CSK says:

    I believe that Trump thinks that he can just hurl out crazed accusations like this without consequence. He’s gotten away with it before, many times. Remember when he told us that we “wouldn’t believe” what the investigators he allegedly sent to Hawaii were finding out about Obama’s birth certificate? (Nothing, apparently, since Trump never shared the revelations.) Remember when he accused Ted Cruz’s father of being a part of the JFK assassination squad? Remember when he accused Ted Cruz of being a serial adulterer? What were his sources for any of those claims?

    We all know that he lies as reflexively as he breathes. He lives in a self-created parallel universe.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  10. Gustopher says:

    Were we actually tapping the phones of Russian agents who then called Trump Tower?

    Well, I hope the soldier who carries the nuclear football is prepared to defend himself against a cocaine-fueled, paranoid old man, rather than just handing it over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @Joe:

    Here’s the problem for you, dude: we Democrats want this completely and thoroughly investigated right now. If the man-baby has evidence, let him produce it. He’s President, he can declassify anything he wants.

    If there was a tap then there was a warrant, which means there was evidence. We want to see that evidence. Do you?

    Show or STFU.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  12. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He is mentally unbalanced. He is unhinged. A crazy person is in charge of nuclear weapons.

    I’m not sure there’s some grand strategy, but I don’t think it would be very smart to write Trump off as crazy.

    Check out this graph from a NY Mag article:

    If the Russia scandal continues to produce revelations of unethical or unpatriotic behavior by his campaign, he will need a response that can rally the conservative base behind him (and thus make Republicans in Congress reluctant to support independent investigations or even impeachment proceedings.) Turning the charge against Obama does that for him. It reframes the issue as a matter of the hated Obama abusing his power to discredit Trump.

    Seems about right to me.

    These aren’t the rantings of a crazy, unhinged person. They are the rantings of a clever, manipulative, conscience-free alpha.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  13. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: I wouldn’t write him off as crazy either…but at the same time, his patterns of speech and behavior remind me far too much of my father when he was in the early stages of Pick’s disease.

    Of course, I’m not saying Trump has Pick’s–there’s no way I could possibly know that. I’m just saying the similarities make me very uncomfortable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    Yeah, but he goes on these rants even when it would be in his best interests not to do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He is mentally unbalanced. He is unhinged. A crazy person is in charge of nuclear weapons. He’s not ‘pretending,’ it is not some secret strategy, it is not game theory, he is out of his f–king mind.

    @James Pearce:

    These aren’t the rantings of a crazy, unhinged person. They are the rantings of a clever, manipulative, conscience-free alpha.

    I don’t think he’s crazy, I think he’s flat-out toxic. This is who he is, he’s been this way for 70 years, he is not going to change.

    He’s remarkably vain, petty, insecure and unlikeable. He’s always calculating what is in his self-interest and he always does whatever it takes to achieve or obtain his wants/needs/desires. Sometimes he presents what passes for charm (perhaps when dating Marla, Ivana or Melania), other times he bullies and insults incessantly (see campaign 2016), and he always acts to deflect blame or attention from his problems (see accusation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower).

    Frankly, what if Obama actually had the goods on Trump? That possibility is so … fantastic … bring it on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  16. @al-Ameda:

    He’s remarkably vain, insecure and unlikeable. He’s always calculating what is in his self-interest and he always does whatever it takes to achieve or obtain his wants/needs/desires. Sometimes he presents what passes for charm, other times he bullies and insults incessantly (see campaign 2016), and he always acts to deflect blame or attention from his problems (see accusation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower).

    This sounds about right.

    I don’t buy the “three dimensional chess” thesis and I am not sure he is actually crazy (but would hardly be shocked if he has some diagnosable disorder).

    I do think he knows how to manipulate the press and his followers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    ‘Conscience-free.” I see you’re coming around to my amateur diagnosis that he’s a psychopath.

    Are you under the impression that one mental disorder precludes others? I assure you that’s not how it works. But that’s beside the point, because what we are seeing here is a trapped animal. He knows the noose is tightening. So of course he’ll rant and flail and hurl scat around his cage, that is entirely consistent.

    But it won’t work. He starts with 46%, but a significant percentage of those people were “Trump-curious” to borrow a phrase. He remains underwater despite Rasmussen’s odd decision to stick with an outdated LV model. In seven weeks he has gained zero additional support. In fact, in seven weeks he has lost a bit of his earlier support.

    Further, his only support comes from the GOP – Independents track Democrats on this. Look at the character internals: he is not trusted. He is not admired. Look at the polls on Russia specifically: people want answers.

    The FBI is investigating. The intel community (ours and probably others as well) is clearly leaking, and further, they are doing it in class drip-drip-drip format. The media is on high alert. Darryl Issa panicked and called for a special prosecutor. If you want to know why, look at Issa’s vote margin in his last election.

    And this is the best part: everything he has said or done so far is entirely consistent with guilt. This is the difference between a smart psychopath who understands he needs additional skills beyond his innate shark-like instinct, and the stupid psychopath we have in office. When I was busted at age 23 I was better at working the cops than this pinhead.

    This guy is guilty.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  18. Blue Galangal says:

    @Joe: Speaking of links, the Putin trolls are spamming the WaPo article with links to WND arguing that Obama, Michelle, and I don’t even know who all is behind all this. Presumably in a Wal-Mart in Texas shielded by FEMA trailers.

    If Trump Tower phones were tapped it would be the FISA court, if I understand it correctly, and nothing that the President (no matter who he is) can actually order; there has to be some degree of evidence..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    Of course, I’m not saying Trump has Pick’s–there’s no way I could possibly know that. I’m just saying the similarities make me very uncomfortable.

    I don’t want to speculate on any medical conditions Trump may have, but if he does have any ailments, I’m pretty sure Dr. Harold N. Bornstein will be out of his depth in treating them….

    @CSK:

    Yeah, but he goes on these rants even when it would be in his best interests not to do so.

    Well, I don’t know, it would be in the national interest for the president not to go on these rants.

    But for Donald Trump, an unorthodox “baby” Republican, turning his base into accomplices is definitely in his interest.

    @al-Ameda:

    He’s remarkably vain, insecure and unlikeable.

    It’s interesting how someone can be both vain and insecure, but one look at his ridiculous hairstyle and weird tan shows that this is indeed an actual thing. (I don’t mean to criticize his appearance, but combovers and fake tans are not only signs of vanity and insecurity, but also signals a willingness for self-deception.)

    I would also say that he doesn’t “present what passes for charm,” but that he’s actually a very charming mfer. Charm is one of the most powerful weapons in a sociopath’s arsenal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. Smooth Jazz says:

    You far left cranks need to get out more. I realize you all are still hurting from the “inevitable” Hillary win, but get with the program.

    Either it happened or it didn’t.

    Denials from discredited partisan hacks like Ben Rhodes doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Denials from a know nothing Obama spokesman or Dem politicians doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Did Obama himself respond directly either in writing or by looking into a camera and respond?

    Trump may be a nutjob, but it doesn’t mean his phones weren’t tapped by the Obama admin prior to election day last year. Only far left losers still sulking over Hillary’s thumping would dismiss this out of hand.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 32

  21. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I see you’re coming around to my amateur diagnosis that he’s a psychopath.

    I lean more towards sociopath than psychopath, myself….but these distinctions are very subtle and, you’re right, there may be some overlap.

    I don’t think he’s a trapped animal though. I’m detecting no fear or worry from Trump on this, but rather the supreme confidence that if he gets Republicans and conservatives to cover for him, he will get away with it.

    Trump may be guilty, but he’s not intimidated. (That’s just my view, of course. It could be wrong.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  22. @Smooth Jazz: If there were taps, then there are basically two ways it could have happened:

    1) A rogue operation by the Obama WH, or

    2) There was a legitimate investigation taking place with enough evidence to garner a warrant.

    I am all for investigating and finding out which was the case.

    I am, however, not impressed if the President is, in fact, basing his wild claims on what Mark Levin had to say. Are you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  23. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Your number 1 is pretty much impossible. The White House doesn’t have a bunch of guys skilled in wireline surveillance just hanging out waiting for dispatch. They have to get the FBI to do it, and the FBI isn’t going to do it without a warrant. And even if they wanted to, the telephone company needs to be involved and they won’t do it without a court order.

    The most likely scenario has been discussed: a FISA warrant, which is obtainable if there’s probable cause someone is acting as an agent of a foreign power. This may not have been Trump, but it seems quite likely some person or persons in his inner circle would fit that description nicely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  24. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “I am, however, not impressed if the President is, in fact, basing his wild claims on what Mark Levin had to say. Are you?”

    Unless some old troll has appropriated Smoovie’s handle, you’re talking to someone who was convinced that Sarah Palin would not only be president, but would be the greatest president this country has ever seen. So I’m guessing his answer is a big yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  25. @Mikey:

    Your number 1 is pretty much impossible.

    I totally agree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. @wr: Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. Mikey says:

    Here are some of attorney and Lawfare blog contributor Ben Wittes’ Ten Questions for President Trump:

    1. Are you making the allegation that President Obama conducted electronic surveillance of Trump Tower in your capacity as President of the United States based on intelligence or law enforcement information available to you in that capacity?

    2. If so—that is, if you have executive branch information validating that either a FISA wiretap or a Title III wiretap took place—have you reviewed the applications for the surveillance and have you or your lawyers concluded that they lack merit?

    3. If you know that a FISA wiretap took place, are you or were you at the time of the application, an agent of a foreign power within the meaning of FISA?

    4. Was anyone else working in Trump Tower an agent of a foreign power within the meaning of FISA?

    These (and the rest at the blog) are very good questions indeed. Not that Trump will answer them, of course, the little hamsters in his head have long since moved on to the next glittery bauble.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  28. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    The most likely scenario has been discussed

    In all seriousness, though, the most likely scenario is that Trump is making shit up. (Or repeating something someone else made up.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  29. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    In all seriousness, though, the most likely scenario is that Trump is making shit up. (Or repeating something someone else made up.)

    That’s a valid scenario, certainly. But I wasn’t specific enough, the FISA warrant thing was actually reported last October. According to the reporting, there were a couple attempts made to obtain a warrant but the FISC kicked them back for not being specific enough. A third application was apparently approved, but we’ve yet to see if that produced anything.

    Although Trump’s seeming attempt to get out ahead of something might indicate we’ll hear more soon…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. Hal_10000 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yep. As I said on Twitter, a warrantless wiretapping of a Presidential candidate would be a giant scandal. Alleging this without evidence would be crazy. So .. put up or shut up, Mr. President.

    I think what’s happened her is a game of internet telephone. Louise Mensch, last year, mentioned that the FISA court wanted to investigate some Trump associates for alleged ties to Russia and that the FISA court insisted on a very narrow investigation. This went up through Mark Levin, through Breitbart and into Trump’s brain where it became “Obama wire-tapped Trump!” And, as usual, he didn’t bother to check before leveling the accusation.

    He’s remarkably vain, petty, insecure and unlikeable. He’s always calculating what is in his self-interest and he always does whatever it takes to achieve or obtain his wants/needs/desires. Sometimes he presents what passes for charm (perhaps when dating Marla, Ivana or Melania), other times he bullies and insults incessantly (see campaign 2016), and he always acts to deflect blame or attention from his problems (see accusation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower).

    I think this is true. The seven-dimensional chess claim (which, incidentally, would include the idea that Trump is a treasonous Russian plant) never carried much water with me. He has no impulse control, no interest in learning facts, no real ideas. He’s entirely psychological id. But because we are used to Presidents who have a strategy and a political philosophy, we try to cram Trump’s political nihilism into a familiar box.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Trump may be a nutjob, but it doesn’t mean his phones weren’t tapped by the Obama admin prior to election day last year. Only far left losers still sulking over Hillary’s thumping would dismiss this out of hand.

    If … if … Trump’s phones were in fact tapped, it means that there must have been aFISA warrant, and that also means there must have been sufficient justification for a judge to issue such a warrant. Either way, Trumps twitter rants leave us to infer that Trump believes that Obama knew that his campaign was compromised.

    Either way, your minority-elected president is in some trouble.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  32. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Unless some old troll has appropriated Smoovie’s handle, you’re talking to someone who was convinced that Sarah Palin would not only be president, but would be the greatest president this country has ever seen. So I’m guessing his answer is a big yes.”

    LOLOL. Sarah Palin didn’t become VP in 2008 and the inevitable Hillary Clinton didn’t become President in 2016. I don’t see your point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  33. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    it suggests that the members of the executive branch are relying on third hand media accounts instead of going straight to the agencies that would have been involved. You know, the agencies which report to the president.

    If you listened to Rush Limbaugh more (yeah, I know, but bear with me; it’ll come together, at least sort of), you would realize that the agencies that would have been involved are all part of the Obama Shadow Government left behind to undermine Trump’s administration from day one. The people in those agencies, being blindly loyal to Obama and the Obama Shadow Government (originally set up for purposes yet to be revealed [thus locking in the need to listen to Rush for the continuing story]), are fullly prepared to lie, cheat, steal, and do anything else necessary to cover Obama’s tracks on this story, so Trump literally can’t go to them for information; he wouldn’t get any anyway.

    Additionally, it is probably only because of the efforts of champions of Liberty such as Levin and Brietbart News that Trump and his administration have any factual information to work with at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  34. Smooth Jazz says:

    @al-Ameda:

    “Either way, your minority-elected president is in some trouble.”

    LMAO. The popular vote canard, as if a few million extra far left votes in LA, NY City, Philly & Boston means anything. Without CA & NY, Trump won by, what, 55 – 45?? Yeah keep hope alive that running up the score in NY, MA & CA means something. LOLOLOL.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 19

  35. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    “I am, however, not impressed if the President is, in fact, basing his wild claims on what Mark Levin had to say. Are you?”

    I don’t care who the source is if the truth sets you free. Mark Levin is an angry far right zealot, who was a Never Trumper during the campaign. It doesn’t mean his info should be summarily dismissed as incorrect just because is a far right zealot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  36. Jim Brown 32 says:

    This is all about sweeping the Sessions crisis off the front pages. I knew a ridiculous tweet would come soon after the Sessions recusal. This is his pattern. He will tweet equally or increasingly outrageous tweets until Sessions/Russia is off the media radar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  37. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Smooth Jazz: Well without Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina…what would Trump have won by? Any side can play that game. Change your name to Blue Grass….because you sound retarded as hillbilly inbreds

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  38. Hal_10000 says:

    Also worthy of note: Trump having a fit about this is a great reminder that members of his staff were under FISA investigation for suspicion of *espionage*.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  39. michael reynolds says:

    If Trump thought this was going to sweep Sessions off the front page he’s a bigger idiot than even I thought.

    Here’s the thing: He’s POTUS. He can declassify anything. He can produce the evidence right now. This minute. It’s put up or shut up time.

    Either there was a FISA warrant or not. Either there’s proof, or not. Guess which?

    Like I said: he’s not even a competent criminal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  40. @Jim Brown 32: Except that, ultimately, this is all about the Russia story, so I don’t think it distracts from Session as much as you might initially think.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: Not to defend Trump, but even he shouldn’t do that. The investigation may be ongoing, and him arbitrarily “reaching down” into the FISC to pull out and declassify an active warrant would be direct interference.

    I think we should just leave him at his basic confirmation there was probable cause a person or persons in his organization was or is acting as an agent of a foreign power. That’s good enough for now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  42. michael reynolds says:

    @Mikey:
    Dude, he tweeted about it. It’s ridiculous to say ‘he can tweet the allegation but not produce the evidence.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  43. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: It would be ridiculous for anyone else, but it’s Trump-as-usual. When does he ever produce the evidence? We’re still waiting on the stuff his increible team of investigators is gathering in Hawaii.

    If the investigation is ongoing, producing the warrant would compromise it. That’s not what we want. FISA warrants are classified for very good reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. dmichael says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t believe that this is actually how it works. With regard to declassification there is a process and not merely a unilateral decision by the President. With regard to the FISA court, the President can order nothing. The court as well as the DOJ involved along with the intelligence agencies are under legal constraints concerning disclosure of ongoing investigations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  45. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s ridiculous to say ‘he can tweet the allegation but not produce the evidence.”

    He can say whatever he wants on Twitter, but he’s somewhat constrained when it comes to what he can do as president.

    So…not so ridiculous really. Twitter’s the side show*. Don’t buy into it.

    (* Yesterday he tweeted something like “I hearby (sic) call for an investigation into Chuck Schumer.” Everyone laughed…because it was a joke, not a legal document.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. Mikey says:

    @dmichael: This. The President may be the ultimate OCA but he’s not above the law. He can’t declassify willy-nilly, and I’d wager if he tried, DoJ would simply refuse. At that point we’d have a situation where Trump would have to start firing people, and I’m certain “the President is firing people because they’re refusing to violate the law” would be an even bigger scandal than what’s going on right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: IIRC he deleted that one and Tweeted again with a correction to “hearby” …that was also wrong.

    It’s simply unpresidented!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    Oh my f–king God. Really? You think there are two Trumps? Twitter Trump and POTUS Trump?

    Get an MRI. Ask them to check for alien parasites.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  49. michael reynolds says:

    Jesus, people. If there is a secret FISA-warrant-fueled investigation, then security was breached when he announced to the world that there was a bugging. He gave up the sources and methods, WTF secret do you think is left? He is either lying (duh) or he tweeted that ‘there is a secret FBI investigation, a FISA court issued a warrant, and I’ve been bugged by Obama.’

    What secret is left at that point? He just gave up everything but the transcript. So, no, he is not within his rights, and yes having blurted everything relevant he can absolutely put up or shut up and fill in the rest of it. What’s left? They put the bug in my table lamp?

    Oh sure, we fly surveillance flights over the USSR and Gary Powers is totally a CIA pilot, but I can’t tell you his middle name? Come on. The ‘secret’ is the part he already gave up! What’s left that’s secret? Seriously. What secret is he reserving? Aside from his guilt?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  50. JohnMcC says:

    @Smooth Jazz: OK, stop and listen to yourself for a minute:
    ‘…as if a few million far left votes in LA, NYC, Philly and Boston means anything. Without CA & NY Trump won by, what, 55 to 45?’

    Everyone here knows about the Electoral College my friend. What you don’t know about is, what, America?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  51. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @michael reynolds: @Steven L. Taylor:

    By Wednesday–Sessions/Russia will be on Page 10. Trump will probe around until he gets the right tweet, comment, etc. (Or he’ll turn up the volume and triple down on this one)

    Sessions is not Flynn–he has power and is well connected in the Beltway. Flynn was an advisor who had no one in his corner–even his peers in intel community thought he was a $hiTh3ad. He was expendable. Trump needs Sessions and the Bible Belters on the hill to insulate him. He’ll go all the way for Bannon and Sessions..the guy is a functioning socialpath. He understands strategic relationships. His Twitter Thumbs will erupt monday.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. Guarneri says:

    The original notion is contained in a NYTimes article. The upshot is, Rhodes notions notwithstanding:

    It would appear, however, that Rhodes is wrong, especially as pertains to matters of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, and its associated FISA court, under which the alleged wiretap of Donald Trump would have been granted, as it pertained specifically to Trump’s alleged illicit interactions with Russian entities.
    In Chapter 36 of Title 50 of the US Code *War and National Defense”, Subchapter 1, Section 1802, we read the following:

    (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
    (A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
    (i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801(a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
    (ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801(a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
    (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and
    (C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801(h) of this title; and
    if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at least thirty days prior to their effective date, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately.

    (Who wants to make the case that Loretta Lynch went rogue here, keeping Obama in the dark?)

    While (B) seems to contradict the underlying permissive nature of Section 1802 as it involves a United States person, what the Snowden affair has demonstrated all too clearly, is how frequently the NSA and FISA court would make US citizens collateral damage. To be sure, many pointed out the fact that Fox News correspondent James Rosen was notoriously wiretapped in 2013 when the DOJ was investigating government leaks. The Associated Press was also infamously wiretapped in relation to the same investigation.

    9But it never happens, right?)

    As pertains to Trump, the Guardian reported as much in early January, when news of the alleged anti-Trump dossier by former UK spy Chris Steele broke in January:
    The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.
    Furthermore, while most Democrats – not to mention former president Obama himself – have been harshly critical of Trump’s comments, some such as former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau was quite clear in his warning to reporters that Obama did not say there was no wiretapping, effectively confirming it:

    Favreau also urged his twitter followers to read a thread that explicitly suggested the prior existence of FISA-endorsed wiretaps:

    Additionally, Philip Rucker, the WaPo’s White House bureau chief echoed Favreau’s caveat, namely that the Obama spokesman’s statement does not deny the existence of wiretaps on Trump Tower, only that Obama himself and the Obama White House did not approve them if they did exist. (Oh, that frisky Loretta, have’n a little fun again.)

    Further implying the existence of such a wiretap was David Axelrod, who tweeted today that that such a wiretap could exist but would have “been OK’ed only for a a reason.”

     
    The FISA law has been criticized by privacy and civil liberties advocates as allowing broad, intrusive spying. It gained renewed attention following the 2013 disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that the agency carried out widespread monitoring of emails and other electronic communications.
    In any event, the bottom line here appears to be that with his tweet, Trump has opened a can of worms with two possible outcomes: either the wiretaps exist as Trump has suggested, and the president will use them to attack both the Obama administration and the media for political overreach; or, there were no wiretaps, which as Matthew Boyle would suggest the previous administration had no reason to suspect Trump colluded with a foreign government.
    Senator Ben Sasse said as much in his statement issued earlier today:

    The President today made some very serious allegations, and the informed citizens that a republic requires deserve more information. If there were wiretaps of then-candidate Trump’s organization or campaign, then it was either with FISA Court authorization or without such authorization. If without, the President should explain what sort of wiretap it was and how he knows this. It is possible that he was illegally tapped. On the other hand, if it was with a legal FISA Court order, then an application for surveillance exists that the Court found credible.
    But what is perhaps most important, is that we may know soon enough. As the NYT reported on Saturday afternoon, a senior White House official said that Donald F. McGahn II, the president’s chief counsel, was working on Saturday to secure access to what the official described as a document issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing surveillance of Mr. Trump and his associates.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    LMAO. The popular vote canard

    Canard? So, you actually dispute the fact that Trump is a minority-elect president?
    Look, I like to use that “minority-elect president” when referring to Trump for two reasons: (1) it’s true, and (2) it ticks off Trump supporters who then complain that people like me aren’t giving Trump a chance to succeed. I am, it’s similar to the same chance to succeed that Republicans gave Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  54. Pch101 says:

    @Guarneri:

    So now you’ve gone from linking from Russian agitprop ZeroHedge to copying and pasting large chunks of it without attribution.

    Are you an American dupe or a Russian troll? (No, neither of those is a compliment.)

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  55. Pch101 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    The sheep of the hard right don’t care how they win. Even though they claim to despise fascism, they are fascists to the core who dream of a one-party totalitarian state that is shaped in their image and that purges their enemies (and we are the enemy.)

    This goes hand-in-hand with Trump’s inclination to lie at every turn as he accuses everyone else of being dishonest. Hypocrisy is a way of life for these guys; don’t ever expect them to see the irony.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  56. Just 'nutha ign'int cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32: More importantly, the Right has now been 1) energized and 2) been given a new BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!! hobby horse to ride.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Saturday said he is “very worried” about President Trump’s accusation that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

    “I’m very worried that our president is suggesting the former president has done something illegal,” Graham said at a town hall in Clemson, S.C.

    “I’m very worried…”

    Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks on Trump accusing Obama of illegal wiretapping

    BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 4, 2017
    “I’d be very worried if in fact the Obama administration was able to obtain a warrant lawfully about Trump campaign activity with foreign governments. It’s my job as United States senator to get to the bottom of this.”

    Source

    Cue the smoke and mirrors!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  57. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You think there are two Trumps? Twitter Trump and POTUS Trump?

    No, just the one, trolling on Twitter as always.

    Jesus, people. If there is a secret FISA-warrant-fueled investigation, then security was breached when he announced to the world that there was a bugging. He gave up the sources and methods, WTF secret do you think is left?

    Let’s not get carried away. I assure you, Donald Trump’s tweets do not provide the most accurate account of what happened.

    He didn’t give up any secrets. He threw a bone, hoping the dogs would go charging after it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. Kev says:

    Democrats lie and get caught. So funny

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thd2RDzJ79o

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  59. Kev says:
  60. Blue Galangal says:

    @Mikey: I think in normal times, that would be true. However, I think the GOP would just raise an eyebrow and say there’s no real evidence to justify an investigation and he’s within his rights to fire members of the executive branch. We have left normal far, far behind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. Franklin says:

    Anybody remember Perot and something about Bush Sr trying to disrupt his daughter’s wedding? Boy, we dodged that bullet … only to take this Trump bullet head on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  62. de stijl says:

    @Jim Brown 32: @Just ‘nutha ign’int cracker:

    Actually, I read Sen. Graham’s statement differently than you.

    I initially read at as Graham saying is that it is a scandal and he was worried because there was enough evidence of criminal and / or national security malfeasance that it was necessary to issue the FISA warrant, and not that it is a scandal and that he was worried that Obama misused the court or used illegal influence to have the warrant issued.

    From the article you linked to:

    Graham also said that if Obama legally obtained a warrant, then it would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate during former President Richard Nixon’s administration.

    “The other side of the story … If the former President of the United States was able to obtain a warrant lawfully to monitor Trump’s campaign for violating the law, that would be the biggest scandal since Watergate.”

    (emphasis mine)

    IOW, Graham is worried that Trump / his team did something very, very wrong and that that is the big scandal.

    I don’t see the words that Graham used as ambiguous, but the story should have made Graham’s meaning clearer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  63. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Guarneri:

    “The President today made some very serious allegations, and the informed citizens that a republic requires deserve more information. If there were wiretaps of then-candidate Trump’s organization or campaign, then it was either with FISA Court authorization or without such authorization. If without, the President should explain what sort of wiretap it was and how he knows this. It is possible that he was illegally tapped. On the other hand, if it was with a legal FISA Court order, then an application for surveillance exists that the Court found credible.”

    Wow, An actual voice of reason and balance in this cesspool of far left cranks and zealots. Years ago, this blog was more balanced, with spirited discussions among measured voices on the right and left.

    Now the blog has involved into a platform where sulking, liberals losers, still smarting from Nate Silver’s wrong predictions regarding the 2016 election, can come together in denial singing kumbaya, while commiserating in their closed bubble.

    It’s actually refreshing to come here and read a measured post from someone other than an angry liberal sore loser.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 15

  64. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If there is a secret FISA-warrant-fueled investigation, then security was breached when he announced to the world that there was a bugging. He gave up the sources and methods

    Did he? I didn’t see a word in any of his tweets that would have compromised sources and methods. “My wires were tapped” doesn’t get anywhere close to that. “Sources” and “methods” have very specific definitions in the IC.

    Here’s the thing: we don’t actually know if there was a full-on wiretap, there are plenty of surveillance and data-gathering measures that are short of it (and I assure you the DoJ is exceptionally nit-picky when it comes to defining what’s gathered and how). We don’t know who the target(s) of the investigation are. We don’t know why the warrant was sought, why (if the reporting is accurate) they kicked back the initial application, why the final application was approved.

    Revealing any of the above would actually compromise sources and methods, as well as doing serious damage to any ongoing investigation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  65. Mikey says:

    @Smooth Jazz: This is how far the Republican Party has sunk: one Republican puts up an unattributed copy/paste from a Russian propaganda outlet and another Republican gives his fawning praise of it.

    Reagan turns in his grave at you guys.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  66. wr says:

    @Smooth Jazz: “Years ago, this blog was more balanced, with spirited discussions among measured voices on the right and left.”

    And yet, even back in those golden days, everyone here called you an idiot.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  67. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ign’int cracker: Which goes to the point of how Trump operates—which Dems better learn fast. Trump (and now the Right) doesn’t go off defending and fact checking. He launches counter attacks on undefended soft targets to throw Dems on the defensive. His M.O. is: If you’re defending/explaining–you’re losing.

    Obama is an easy target because [most] Democrats will defend him to the bitter end. Thats specifically why “Obama” was called out vice “Democrats” or “Liberals”

    My natural predisposition is to go for the underdog. Trump is “winning”. All he has to do is battle the Left to a stalemate in the court of public opinion. The Left, on the other hand, has to beat Trump in order to win. Of course, in their echo chambers, they are in the midst of a decisive route of Trump. But the reality is–their tactics are not resonating with the persuadable “likely voters” nor turning “non-likely voters” into “likely voters’. The turning of NLVs into LVs is likely the only real course of action they have to trigger a significant momentum shift. Of course, that would require a platform shift which the LGTBQs, feminists, and campus left that dominate the party messaging would be unwilling to do. When did the democratic party become to the party of culture wars? That was the RNCs niche space and kept them the minority party for decades. Now that both parties are culture war machines–every 2 bit republican that puts forth a half-baked economic message has a shot at the oval office. Sad. Very Sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  68. @Jim Brown 32:

    Thats specifically why “Obama” was called out vice “Democrats” or “Liberals”

    I think it was “Obama” and not anything else because that is what Levin and Breitbart said. I honestly think he forms many of his opinions from what he sees in the media. He has admitted as much over time. I don’t think this is some grand strategic move.

    And as I think I noted in one of these threads: if his strategy is deflection, this is not a very clever one because any wiretaps of this nature would be linked to the Russian issue. As such, this is a pretty dumb distraction since it plays into the overall Russia narrative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  69. Jake says:

    Levin lays out the facts

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2ZyHbDGJS0

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  70. Mikey says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Trump is winning? Seriously?

    He’s been stuck in the explain/defend loop since day one. He lost the popular vote and only gained office because America’s electoral system is an aberration springing directly from our slavery history that allows 100,000 votes to override 3,000,000. He entered office historically unpopular and has only lost ground since. Before long the only people supporting him will be the people who would support him even if he stomped a puppy to death on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, while simultaneously shooting someone’s grandma in the head.

    That’s not “winning,” that’s “circling the drain.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  71. Pch101 says:

    @Mikey:

    I’m currently doing business with a Republican who was appointed by George HW Bush to run a federal agency.

    Very nice guy. Intelligent. Thoughtful. Successful. Good analytical skills. Has smart things to say and is capable of listening. Easy to work with.

    I doubt that he would have any chance at all of working with the White House today. The hard-right idiots who contribute bilge to this comments section would probably dismiss him a RINO and a cuckservative even though he can fly circles around all of them.

    It’s quite remarkable. But ironically, much of the blame goes to George HW Bush, who began this process of actively recruiting bigots to join the GOP. You can’t get into bed with wingnuts and expect things to end well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  72. @Jake: If you say so. What I mostly see in that clip is typical talk radio/cable news ranting.

    But, more significantly: if there really was as much activity as Levin is claiming, it would have to have been based on some level of evidence of connections between the Russians and the Trump campaign. The notion that the scenario laid out is police state activity ignores other very significant implications for the Trump campaign.

    And look, they can Levin “The Great One” and he can rattle off his past jobs, but the bottom line is: he is an entertainer who makes his money agitating a certain segment of the population. He himself admits his info is from media report and that he put it all together. He has done no original reporting. He has not done any independent research. He is trying to see radio commercials.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  73. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Dr Taylor, Trump doesn’t need originality of thought. He will opportunistically use anything of value to him–2nd hand, 3rd hand, nth hand.

    Yes, ultimately it is a deflection tactic but the sheer falsity of it–combined with the mainstream media’s insistence to proving WHY a Trump tweet is a lie–works to his advantage. He remains in control of the media cycle. Sometime in the next couple of weeks– he’ll (temporarily) pivot to some “Presidental-looking” sort of behavior or tone and all of this will be forgotten or dismissed as “Trump being Trump”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  74. @Jim Brown 32: I just don’t think it is all a big plan on Trump’s part to distract the media from something else.

    I do agree that his actions dominate the news cycle–less because the media is trying to prove anything, but rather because they need something to talk about 24/7.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  75. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I don’t think so. Trump has set something in motion that he might not be able to control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  76. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jake: Mark Levin is a self serving shill who swore not all that long ago that he would never even support Trump…and then he figured out that there was money to be made pandering to the alt right. He does not actually know any real facts. He is just telling people what they want to hear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  77. Pch101 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I just don’t think it is all a big plan on Trump’s part to distract the media from something else.

    No, Trump is using a tactic that is straight out of Roy Cohn’s playbook: When you are attacked, you respond with a counterattack that changes the subject. You don’t bother with a detailed rebuttal because that helps the opponent to keep the topic alive.

    What Trump’s opponents must do is to stay on message. Do not allow Trump to change the subject; instead, bury him in more of the same sort of thing and keep hammering on it so that the news cycle is filled with the anti-Trump message. The presidency will be undermined with a thousand cuts, not just one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  78. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    It boggles the mind to consider how stupid you would have to be to not only vote for this man but to continue to support him after the last month and a half. Moronic.
    5 million phantom votes. Yuuuge inaugural crowds that weren’t there. Terror attacks in Sweden that didn’t happen. Now Obama illegally wiretapping his phones.
    The so-called president of the United States is casting wild unsubstantiated accusations like a high school kid. He can’t handle the job…and there is zero evidence that this petulant child can handle an actual crisis. He’s not playing 3-D chess. He’s not cerebral enough for checkers. He’s going to destroy the country thru his insecurities, his incompetence, and his insanity.
    Dark days are upon the Republic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  79. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Mikey: A win for Trump is not the same as a win for the opposition party. His bar is substantially lower, because he’s “priced in” idiosyncrasies and unconventional behavior.

    He’s not been in defend mode very often nor for long periods of time. He always deflects to direct attention and focus to something that is less of a threat to him.

    Its not relevant to opposing Trump how he used the Electoral rules to his advantage. In fact, up until November 2016, Democrats were counting on demographics to give them a generational advantage in the same slave relic Electoral system. They should save their tears.

    In football, Coaches spend hours trying to find a handful of weaknesses in an opponent that might yield a recovered onside kick, interception, or blocked field goal/punt–these are all very low probability occurrences in a football game. Doesn’t stop coaches from investing time in trying to find and exploit a vulnerability. If your teams pulls off one of those rare events, their change of winning the game goes up exponentially. No one says after the win, “well you only won because you blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown”.

    A series of low probability events occurred for Trump to win the Presidency. It happens in any competition whether athletic, social, or political. Democrats should abandon any highlighting of how Trump won as evidence that he can’t win again. He might not go for a blocked punt–he might try to recover an onside kick. The point is–those are all part of the rules of the game available to each competitor.

    Polls? The same polls that didn’t correctly model the 2016 LV turnout? There’s nothing nefarious about it–its just that models are traditionally built off historical performance. Trump didn’t lie about bring in voters the models weren’t tracking. He DID lie about how many…..but he got ENOUGH. I would be very cautious of using approval polls as a primary metric of how well Trump is being opposed.

    If you think his Administration is “circling the drain”–I’d hope you were right. But I think you’re wrong. This whole scenario looks eerily similar to the Republican “opposition” to Obama that left Conservatives “stunned” that the country could have re-elected a man who was “destroying the country” Hell, the Democrats probably hired the same consultants the Republicans did to design their oppo strategy. Looks copy/paste to me. Only time with tell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  80. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Terrye Cravens: Entirely possible. You only get so many high risk, high reward strategies to pay off before the odds catch up to you. Ultimately, Trump may go the way of Icarus. :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  81. Just 'nutha ign'int cracker says:

    @de stijl: I was never able to find an interpretation that allowed for Graham to be thinking that the malfeasance was on the part of the Trump campaign. But, I’m also old enough that the Watergate reference carries special meaning and have been living in a world where Obama was vilified by the GOP at every turn for the past 8 years, so I may not be the best person to go to for an interpretation of the rhetoric.

    Still, I would be surprised if this got investigated as a case of “what the flock was Trump doing.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  82. Just 'nutha ign'int cracker says:

    @Jake: Levin lays out the facts conjecture

    FTFY. No charge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  83. An Interested Party says:

    Of course, that would require a platform shift which the LGTBQs, feminists, and campus left that dominate the party messaging would be unwilling to do. When did the democratic party become to the party of culture wars?

    Oh yes, how horrible that the Democratic Party would fight for the civil rights of all people…if it will help them win back the majority, they should absolutely throw all those groups under the bus…hey, if they really want to gain the majority, they should be sure to throw blacks under the bus too, although you probably think they’ve already done that…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  84. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:
    I forgot to list the thousands of Muslims who didn’t cheer 9.11.
    This guy sees things and hears things that aren’t there.
    There’s a term for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  85. Argon says:

    Donald Trump: “The former President was in contact with extraterrestrials who gave him mind-control ray guns to point at Trump Tower. This has world-wide importance and thus must be fully investigated.”

    Later that evening, the news reports that Donald Trump accused Obama of using mind control rays during the campaign and the following day…

    Trump surrogates push for an Obama-ET investigation, saying “well, many news sources have commented on the mind-ray link and so maybe it has real merit! after all”.

    On day two, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence states that his committee will pursue the Obama-ET connection. “Why not? The President asked and besides, there is nothing else pressing to investigate beyond who sold Hillary Clinton her email servers”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  86. Mr. Bluster says:

    More Fake News from the BBC

    Trump Obama: FBI chief Comey ‘rejects’ phone tap allegation
    FBI director James Comey has rejected President Donald Trump’s claim on Saturday that his predecessor, Barack Obama, tapped his phone, US media say.
    Mr Comey reportedly asked the US justice department to reject the allegation Mr Obama ordered a wiretap during last year’s election campaign.
    He is said to have asked for the correction because it falsely insinuates that the FBI broke the law.
    The development was reported by the New York Times and confirmed by NBC.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39175962

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  87. Mikey says:

    More on the FBI Director’s reaction to Trump’s (apparently baseless) allegation:

    Comey Asks Justice Dept. to Reject Trump’s Wiretapping Claim

    Mr. Comey’s request is a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the position of questioning Mr. Trump’s truthfulness. The confrontation between the two is the most serious consequence of Mr. Trump’s weekend Twitter outburst, and it underscores the dangers of what the president and his aides have unleashed by accusing the former president of a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump’s young administration.

    This is important because it’s the FBI that would effect any domestically-based surveillance of Trump or anyone close to him, and Trump’s accusation, if true, would raise the possibility the FBI acted outside the law. The Director isn’t going to sit still for that at all. He has essentially called the President a liar.

    I said before the election that Trump didn’t even have to win to do severe and long-lasting damage to American politics, but what he’s done since he won has exceeded even my most pessimistic expectations.

    On the other hand, Trump has started a war he is not going to win. He has gone all-in against the intelligence community and the investigative media, simultaneously. This will not end well for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  88. Mr. Bluster says:

    @Mikey:..This will not end well for him.

    I can’t see how this ends well for any of us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  89. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Mikey:

    This is important because it’s the FBI that would effect any domestically-based surveillance of Trump or anyone close to him, and Trump’s accusation, if true, would raise the possibility the FBI acted outside the law.

    This isn’t really true. Obama could use his extensive contacts in the Black Muslim underworld or his extensive ME terror network to bug the Trump Tower. I also confident that Dr. Wright, his former pastor, has go to people for this also. Don’t be fooled people, there’s more this than there seems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  90. Sherparick says:

    @al-Ameda: This is where this story is going in the alternate fact land of Wingnuttia, from which our President* comes. Hey fellow, who do think these folks are, the Koch brothers?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  91. Jake says:

    This article sums it up.

    http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=9770

    The proof of this is the fact that the GOP has no plans ready for the 2017 legislative session. They have been talking for years about ObamaCare and now we know they never planned to do anything. The same is true of taxes, which is the one thing Republicans like doing. They have no plans for anything, not even something symbolic. They not only have no plans, they are still staggering around in shock, not sure what they should be doing. Suddenly nothing makes sense to the people inside the bubble and they are scared.

    in a world where the scrupulous following of protocol is essential to maintaining the status quo, a break down in the rules puts everyone at risk. That seems to be Trump’s game here with the spying charges. The establishment has tossed out the rules in their effort to attack him, so he is threatening to further bust up the system, which works to his favor and to their disadvantage. it’s a foolish game the Left has decided to play as they have much more to lose in a world without rules.

    There’s another aspect to this. Trump has fewer skeletons in his closet than any president in generations. In Washington, that makes him a very dangerous man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  92. Sherparick says:

    @Smooth Jazz: Notice how in the right wing world the burden shifts to to prove “Trump’s phones were not tapped” by “someone.” No evidence is need to establish this alternate fact, just like no evidence was needed to show Hillary was corrupt.

    Besides Rhodes, Clapper, now Comey (who of course wrote the letter that made Trump President) also denies it. But that just means Comey is one more Obama holdover (after all, Obama appointed him) in the “Deep State.” Trumps spokesperson, and Governor Huckabee’s daughter doubles down on the allegation (thereby giving the right Obama as the “Hate” target of the week, along with “Muslims.”) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/trump-rejects-comeys-assertion-that-wiretapping-claim-is-false-spokeswoman-says.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&rref=homepage&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Home%20Page&pgtype=article

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  93. Pch101 says:

    @Jake:

    Is there anything that you read that isn’t complete crap?

    You’re just a half-wit link spammer who squanders bandwidth and offers nothing of value. Aside from demonstrating that you are at the extreme left-hand end of the bell curve, I have no idea what you’re attempting to prove.

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  94. Moosebreath says:

    @Jake:

    “There’s another aspect to this. Trump has fewer skeletons in his closet than any president in generations. In Washington, that makes him a very dangerous man.”

    Indeed, he has so few skeletons in his closet that he broke decades of precedent by refusing to release his tax returns, the very way one proves he has no skeletons in his closet.

    Either put that bong down, or share it with the rest of us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  95. Tyrell says:

    What we are seeing is a “I see you, and I’ll raise you” mentality of the Republicans and Democrats concerning these meetings with the Russians. And Trump’s latest charge of wiretapping in his building. I have news for him: we are all being wiretapped but now it is called hacking, malware, spy ware, and gps.
    Pelosi met with the Russian ambassador (now she remembers), so did Shuler. And the ambassador went to the White House twenty something times in October. (links on request)
    But I got news for them: nobody out here cares about that stuff. Here’s a plan: both sides just call it even and get back to working on the real problems: fixing the imploding-hanging by a thread Obama Care (only United Health Care remains in); the infrastructure overhauling package,energy research*, the worsening North Korean situation, the monetary policy, government reform, tax improvements, and medical research.
    Unfortunately the main stream news outlets now seem to focus on seamy scandals, and carnival type sensationalism instead of real in depth reporting and discussions like we used to see. I hardly saw anything about the recent Federal Reserve actions.
    * Science research news: ”Billion Dollar Baby”- will we see a real wooly mammoth in the next five years ? (Forbes). Scientists are getting closer. I guess there is hope for my favorite, the saber tooth.
    Box office: “Logan” movie smashes weekend records.

    “I fell into a burning ring of fire, I went down, down, down and the flames got higher “ (Cash).

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  96. @Tyrell:

    Pelosi met with the Russian ambassador (now she remembers), so did Shuler. And the ambassador went to the White House twenty something times in October. (links on request)

    Links not necessary,

    Yes, Pelosi attended a lunch (or dinner) with the Ambassador (and numerous others) about 7 years ago. Yes, as I blogged on Saturday, Schumer had a donut with Putin at a press conference about a decade and a half ago. And, no kidding: the ambassador of a major power went the White House, where the head of our foreign policy lives.

    The issue is not meeting with Russians,

    The issue is meeting with Russians in the context of evidence of Russia attempts to interfere with our campaign process, in favor of Trump, and having members of Trump’s team meet with Russians and then lie about it in public and to the VPOTUS (i.e., Fylnn) or lie about it under oath before Congress (i.e., Sessions).

    Why is this so hard to understand?

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  97. Matt says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Why is this so hard to understand?

    It’s Tyrell the performance act that leaves you unsure if it’s real or not. Correcting it rarely sticks as you’ll see it spew the same nonsense in a thread a day or two later.

    One point I feel that you should of included is that the meetings on the Democratic side were out in the open with the press invited as part of standard political events. Trump’s people met with the Russians in private away from prying eyes and then lied about it. To me that is what makes the meetings vastly different.

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  98. @Matt:

    Correcting it rarely sticks as you’ll see it spew the same nonsense in a thread a day or two later.

    So very true.

    One point I feel that you should of included is that the meetings on the Democratic side were out in the open with the press invited as part of standard political events. Trump’s people met with the Russians in private away from prying eyes and then lied about it. To me that is what makes the meetings vastly different.

    Also quite true.

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  99. DrDaveT says:

    @Pch101:

    Aside from demonstrating that you are at the extreme left-hand end of the bell curve, I have no idea what you’re attempting to prove.

    He knows that’s an insult, but he thinks it’s because you’ve called him a leftist.

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  100. DrDaveT says:

    @Mikey:

    On the other hand, Trump has started a war he is not going to win. He has gone all-in against the intelligence community and the investigative media, simultaneously. This will not end well for him.

    You are more confident than I am. If Trump doubles down on the Extruded Truth Product (TM) and simply dismisses any actual facts as “Fake News”, he might very well carry about 1/3 of the population with him into Alternate Reality. At which point, when the inevitable confrontation comes, it’s a civil war, not a takedown. Especially given the willingness of the ‘mainstream’ Republican Congress to tolerate ETP as long as they can steal from poor people with impunity.

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