Donald Demands An Investigation Of Claims Obama Spied On Trump Tower Phones

After Donald Trump woke up at 5am on the weekend to go on a wild Twitter rant accusing the Obama administration of tapping the Trump Tower phones during the election, it looks like he’s backing that up with action. The White House issued a statement calling on Congress to investigate Trump’s allegations:

President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.

Obama and his surrogates have denied all claims coming from the Trump camp on this matter. 

One question has obviously arisen: where did Trump learn about this? Did intelligence officials tell him they had evidence that Obama had sought to tap his phones? Well, not really. Turns out he… read about it online.

Specifically, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated a number of “reports” which had discussed the possibility of partisan interference in the election. Initial indications were that Trump read about it on Breitbart, but Spicer pointed to reports from other organisations like Heat Street, Fox News and the New York Times.
The Washington Post has a good explainer of exactly what the White House is pointing to here, and why it might be slightly flawed. Basically, the stories point to two requests the Obama administration filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor communications of Trump and several advisors.
The first of these was denied – which is unusual. The second, which was more specific, was far more specific: it concerned a server connected to Trump Tower which was allegedly communicating with Russia – an incredibly shaky allegation which was never proved. However, no evidence is provided by Breitbart, Heat Street or anyone to conclusively indicate that this request was granted.
So it’s all up in the air. Basically, as it stands, Trump is ordering a Congressional investigation into a thing he read online and furiously tweeted about at 5 in the morning. Nice.
Source: Washington Post.
Photo: Getty Images.