Monday March 06, 2017
Not since the impeachment hearings against then President Richard Nixon’s wiretapping orders of the Watergate Hotel in 1974 has the US government been in such disarray as it is under Donald Trump’s presidency today.
The latest scandal broke out on Thursday March 2. It began as a rant on conservative talk radio hosted by Mark Levin. The rightwing host who specializes in conspiracy theories told his equally conspiracy-prone and ill-informed listeners that President Barack Obama had used the “instrumentalities of the federal government” to wiretap the Republican candidate Donald Trump. This “is the big scandal,” Mark Levin told his listeners.
As if on cue, Breibart News, the site once headed by President Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, immediately ran with the allegation the next morning. The conspiracy theory was in full swing.
Trump whose regime can be characterized as “reign by twitter” could not control his twitchy fingers. By Saturday morning (March 4) he had fully embraced the conspiracy theory. Or was it Bannon whispering into his ear? The detail is unimportant.
In a series of Tweets, Trump’s conspiracy theory was in fullswing accusing his predecessor of spying on him, setting in motion the latest scandal.
Obama’s spokesman immediately took to the airwaves denying the allegation. In fact, he went further saying that throughout his presidency, Obama had not authorized wiretapping of any American citizen. This may be a bit of a stretch but as far as Trump’s allegation is concerned, it appears ludicrous.
What pearls of wisdom could Trump have uttered that would benefit Obama, or anybody for that matter? Trump called for an “investigation” into his predecessor’s “actions” that he claimed would be substantiated. White House spokesman Sean Spicer repeated the allegation on March 5 calling for an inquiry without offering any proof.
So appalled were senior officials that they went public with their rejection of Trump’s allegations. FBI Director James Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that the former President had ordered his phones to be tapped. The Justice Department has so far not done so.
Even the former Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper broke his silence. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press (Sunday March 5), he denied the existence of any wiretap operation at Trump Tower while he was in office.
“For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI,” Clapper said, “there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate or against his campaign.”
When host Chuck Todd asked him whether as director of national intelligence he would know about any federal court order authorizing an FBI surveillance operation, Clapper replied: “I would know that. Something like this absolutely.”
Todd pressed the point: “And at this point you can’t confirm or deny whether that exists?” “I can deny it,” Clapper replied assertively.
“There is no Fisa court order?” Todd continued, alluding to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) court, which approves sensitive surveillance requests. “Of anything at Trump Tower?”
“Not to my knowledge,” Clapper said. “No.”
So what is going on in Trump’s mind and why is he making these scandalous allegations?
“To his adversaries, Mr. Trump’s bomb-throwing seems like a calculated strategy to distract from another story he wants to avoid,” wrote Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times (March 5).
And what is that story?
“In this case, they said Sunday [March 5], he clearly wanted to turn the conversation away from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself last week from any federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s links with Russia in response to reports that he had met with Russia’s ambassador during the presidential race. Instead of what Mr. Sessions did or did not do, the Sunday talk shows were dominated by discussion about what Mr. Obama did or did not do,” Baker and Ms Haberman of the New York Times wrote on March 5.
The Trump regime is in total disarray and seems to be falling apart within the first few weeks of assuming office.
The chances are, it will implode. We now have a ringside view of America’s disintegration.