Comey Disputes Trump Wiretap Charge Against Obama

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President Trump angrily accused former president Obama of orchestrating a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to tap the phones at his Trump Tower headquarters last fall, the Washington Post reports. Citing no evidence to support the explosive allegation, Trump said in five tweets that Obama was “wire tapping” his New York offices before the election in a move he compared to McCarthyism. “Bad (or sick) guy!” he said of his predecessor, adding that the surveillance resulted in “nothing found.” Trump tweeted after a Breitbart report Friday suggested that Obama used “police state” tactics last fall to monitor the Trump team. An Obama spokesman declared that, “Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen.” FBI director James Comey also called the allegation false and asked the main Justice Department to make that clear, The New York Times reports.

Trump has been feuding with the intelligence community since before he took office, convinced that career officers as well as holdovers from the Obama administration have been trying to sabotage his presidency.  “It’s highly unlikely there was a wiretap,” said one former senior intelligence official familiar with surveillance law. “It seems unthinkable. If that were the case by some chance, that means that a federal judge would have found that there was either probable cause that he had committed a crime or was an agent of a foreign power. A wiretap cannot be directed at a U.S. facility without finding probable cause that the phone lines or Internet addresses were being used by agents of a foreign power or by someone spying for or acting on behalf of a foreign government. “You can’t just go around and tap buildings,” the official said.

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