Non-Denial ‘Denial’: Obama Response to Trump ‘Wiretap’ Claim Raises More Questions

March 4, 2017

 

By: Matthew Boyle

A number of ex-Obama officials appear to suggest that the Obama administration may have actually wiretapped the Trump campaign, but that if they did it would have been justified by a court and part of an investigation by the Justice Department—not led by or ordered from the White House or the former president himself.

On Saturday, former President Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis denied that the former White House or the former President himself would have given such an order to wiretap Trump Tower—or any other type of surveillance in any case—but that such an order would have come from an “independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.”

“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” Lewis said. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

Lewis’ statement on the former president’s behalf came in response to the explosive charges from President Donald Trump, who tweeted on Saturday morning that the Obama team conducted surveillance on Trump Tower during the campaign and afterward.

Valerie Jarrett, another close Obama aide, also tweeted the statement from former President Obama’s spokesman, Lewis. Jarrett is, according to the U.K. Daily Mail, now living in the Obamas’ multimillion dollar Washington, D.C. mansion. From there, the Daily Mail reports, the former president and Jarrett will be running a “nerve center for their plan to mastermind the insurgency against President Trump.”

Interestingly, however, a number of other former Obama administration officials do not deny that such a wiretap existed. They just deny that the White House or Obama himself would have approved it or ordered it, and say that the Department of Justice would have sought it in consultation with a foreign intelligence surveillance, or FISA, court.

Obama’s former speechwriter Jon Favreau tweeted that he would warn reporters against saying there was no wiretap.

And Favreau endorsed a Twitter feed that laid out the reporting about the existence of the wiretaps, which cited reporting from Louise Mensch, formerly of Heat Street, and The Guardian that the Obama DOJ had sought a FISA court approved surveillance warrant for Trump Tower back in the summer of 2016 that was denied but received a narrower focused warrant in October.

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