Trump Accuses Obama of Wiretapping

Jacob Wasserman

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On March 4th, 2017, at 6:35 AM Eastern Time, Donald Trump launched his first tweet accusing former President Obama of ordering that his phones were wiretapped. That was followed up with tweets of a similar nature, accusing Obama of McCarthyism, saying that the situation was like “Nixon/Watergate” and calling Obama a “Bad (or sick) guy”. Such accusations of anyone are tremendously serious, let alone the previous president. There is only one problem with Trump’s accusation: it is totally false.

Screenshot was taken on west coast of US, which is the reason for it saying 3:35 and not 6:35

The truth first started to come out when in one of his press briefings, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called to attention the fact that in the initial tweet, President Trump used quotations around the words “wire tapped” for a reason, and that the President didn’t actually mean wiretapping specifically, but general surveillance.

Fast forward to this past week, when FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee regarding Russia’s possible interference into this past election. Of course, the wiretapping claims came up, and Comey said about the tweets, “I have no information that supports those tweets”. Comey also spoke on behalf of the Justice Department, who came to the same conclusion.

As to the consequences of such false accusations, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated, “When you have the highest official in the land, the president of the United States, accusing his predecessor of illegal activity with no evidence, that hurts our democracy”. Along the same lines, a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 60% of respondents feel that these claims have damaged President Trump’s credibility. For the rest of his Presidency, how can we, the people know when to trust anything that the President says. If he is willing to lie (when totally unprovoked), what will he do following a major event, like a terrorist attack? Will he just spread fake news to promote a narrative? If not, how can we know what is true, and what is a lie?

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