UPDATE with Obama response: A spokesperson for Barack Obama says any “suggestion” of White House-ordered wiretapping is “unequivocally false.” In a tweeted message, Obama spokesperson Kevin Lewis says a “cardinal rule” of the Obama Administration was no White House interference in Department of Justice investigations.
Here’s the Obama response in full:
PREVIOUS: If you picked “4” in your office pool about how many days it would take normal-speech-delivering President Donald Trump to revert back to Twitter Tirade Trump, congratulations! Trump tweeted early Saturday morning that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential race. He did not offer any details, but his latest tweet-nado followed a Fox News segment in which these claims were unveiled. And the morning TV news cycle was set:
On Friday, FNC’s Brett Baier asked House Speaker Paul Ryan if he was concerned “that the Obama Administration may have been surveilling members of the Trump campaign in a pretty detailed investigation during the election?”
To which Ryan replied: “I don’t think that’s the case.”
Saturday morning, Fox New Channel’s Fox & Friends foamed over about Trump’s “major accusation” against Obama, calling it “some really serious stuff,” though there was one question as to whether Trump could back it up.
“If this is true, this is absolutely outrageous!” Trump supporter Rep. Sean Duffy fumed. “Do we even have an American administration tap into a campaign of the other party, and then gather information? And now, only six weeks into this presidency we find out this tapping has been going on. I think we need an investigation into Barack Obama, into his prior administration to find out what they were doing looking at Donald Trump and why this information hasn’t been disclosed.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat repping California, however, noted, “First, Presidents do not wiretap anyone. These are pursued by the Department of Justice in accordance with the FBI, and signed off on by a judge.”
“But President Trump is not credible when it comes to talking about Russia,” Swalwell continued. “Each passing day we learn about more Trump Russia ties… At this point we don’t know what’s true and what’s not. I’m on the Intelligence Committee and our committee is pursuing its own investigation into prior Trump team ties with Russia. But at this point I think this is just the president up early and doing his routine tweeting.”
Caught up in his morning anti-Obama tweet-nado, Trump also had defended Attorney General Jeff Sessions: