The faking news fakers: 'Wiretaps? What wiretaps?'
By Mark Alexander
Despite all the fake media hysterics, keeping the "Trump and Putin rigged the election" myth alive has nothing to do with facts. But it has everything to do with delegitimizing Trump's stunning victory, keeping his administration off-balance and derailing his agenda.
As usual, leftists and their media sycophants never let facts get in the way of a political hatchet job.
Recently Donald Trump tweeted a sensational claim — that the Obama administration tapped his phones during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump and BO's corrupt heir-apparent, Hillary Clinton. The Democrats' public relations department, a.k.a. the mainstream media, responded with howls that there was no evidence of any wiretaps, much less evidence Obama knew about any wiretaps — just more Trump paranoid hysteria.
Thomas Gallatin provided a heap of evidentiary substance for Trump's claims, given that news of wiretaps on senior Trump leadership, while Obama was in office, had been widely affirmed by the same Leftmedia outlets now denying Trump's claims about wiretaps. Some of the more notable MSM print and talkinghead "journalists" even cited these wiretaps as sources for their "reports" on Trump.
Gallatin pointed out that the MSM was "disingenuously dismissive" in rejecting Trump's charge, especially given that an initial request to wiretap Trump's team was turned down by the FISAC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court), but subsequent requests were granted.
Allow me to elaborate.
In June 2016, after Trump had clinched the Republican nomination, Obama's Attorney General Loretta Lynch tried to meet secretly with Bill Clinton on a tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. A few days later, after a visit to the White House, Lynch's Department of Justice asked the FISAC for wiretaps not just for communication devices in Trump's office but specifically for Trump's phones.
This request never would have been submitted without Lynch's consent, which she never would have given without Obama's consent. (If only the NSA could produce a transcript of that conversation.) While FISAC most often rubber stamps requests, the court denied the Obama administration's first request because it was a fishing expedition based on speculation of criminal activity.
On 21 July Trump became the Republican nominee. A week later, The Washington Post and other media outlets began propagating the Trump/Putin collusion myth.
In October, a month ahead of the presidential election, looking for any shred of evidence that might corroborate the myth, Obama's Department of Justice again asked FISAC for wiretap warrants for Trump's office, this time (according to our sources) omitting Trump's name specifically and making the request on broad speculation about national security concerns. FISAC approved that request, and since such permissions apply, by extension, to others mentioned in the intercepted communications, we may fairly assume that Trump's name was mentioned and, consequently, his lines were monitored.
Recall if you will that a week before the election, Hillary Clinton posted this social media message: "Computer scientists have uncovered a covert server linking the Trump organization to a Russian-based server."
Huh? Did she mean the "scientists" at the Department of Justice? Was she confusing this with the discovery of her own "covert servers"?
In fact, no such evidence of the Russian link has been discovered.
Sidebar: However, there were direct links between Tony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and Russians, who paid him more than $170,000 for six months of "consulting" to influence Clinton and ensure, once elected, she would reduce the sanctions Obama was compelled to impose after Putin invaded Ukraine. His firm was paid $24 million in fees in 2016, mostly from foreign interests.
Back to the media's now-acute case of wiretap amnesia — they now insist that Trump's wiretap accusations have no merit.
Allow me to direct your attention to a headline on the front page of The New York Times on Inauguration Day, January 20th, which boldly cites Trump wiretaps as its source for information regarding assertions about collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign leadership team.
According to Times writer Michael Schmidt, "American law-enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broader investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President elect Donald J Trump. ... The FBI is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the CIA and the Treasury Department's financial crimes unit. ... The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing. [So, why is this front-page news on Inauguration Day?] One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House."
Got that? Again, "some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House" — while Obama was still in office.
This week, the same Times writer, Michael Schmidt, under the headline "Trump Offering No Evidence," asserts that Trump "accused former President Barack Obama of tapping his phones at Trump Tower the month before the election, leveling the explosive allegation without offering any evidence."
The same "no evidence" headlines were atop The Washington Post and other MSM outlets.
For the record, while Trump's social media wiretap messages were intended to imply that Obama had knowledge of the wiretaps, as is too often the case with such "loosely worded messaging," he provided the MSM yet another "huge" opening to focus on the fallacy of his "literal message."
Frankly, all of us should be able to take the literal words of a United States president posted on social media literally. There is now a predictable MSM blowup pattern when Trump's version of literal departs from the rest of the world's reality, and these self-inflicted wounds continue to cost him precious political capital.
In this instance, the MSM used his literal messages to divert from the questionable legality of the wiretaps and their propagation of the Trump/Putin myth and focus instead on the fact there is currently no evidence of Obama fingerprints on, or knowledge of, those wiretaps — even though Schmidt wrote in January that the wiretapped communications were provided to the White House while Obama was in office.
Let me reiterate: The July and October wiretap requests never would have been submitted without Lynch's consent, which she never would have given without Obama's consent. But there will likely be no fingerprints or electronic trail on these consents. Obama's staff would have most certainly ensured that he had "plausible deniability" in regard to any knowledge of politically motivated wiretaps.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey concludes, "I think [Trump is] right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general — at the Justice Department." But proving it is another matter.
That notwithstanding, there is plenty of reason for anyone with an ounce of healthy skepticism to conclude, with high probability, that Trump's communications were intercepted and, with a reasonable level of confidence, that Obama was aware of those wiretaps.
Of course, the first victim within Trump's administration to be felled by these "non-existent wiretaps" — orchestrated and illegally released by some yet-to-be determined government hack while Obama was in office — was Trump's nominee for National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Flynn, as you may recall, was the most vocal former high-ranking military officer who opposed Obama's nefarious "Iran Nuke Deal," which is precisely what put him in the sights of Obama's deep state operatives who remain within the FBI and/or CIA.
After his confirmation in January, Flynn was bushwhacked with a complicated web of media accusations based on wiretap transcripts, which were illegally distributed to Obama-friendly MSM outlets.
Though the Flynn transcripts indicated no wrongdoing, in February he fell on his own sword and resigned in order to minimize the collateral political damage to the Trump administration. (For the record, the CIA and the Departments of Justice and Treasury are now being sued by Judicial Watch, on behalf of Flynn, to see whose fingerprints are on those wiretaps.)
Amid the wiretap wars last week, you may have missed this conclusion about the Trump/Putin election collusion from former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. According to Clapper, there wasn't "any evidence" found by the CIA or FBI in their investigations that would indicate "any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians."
The New York Times conceded as much in January and again in February, so why was this a front-page headline story?
But as noted previously, the Leftmedia never let facts get in the way of a political hit piece — until they're caught in a BIG propaganda lie. In the light of truth, the political cockroaches scurry for cover.
Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney and respected legal analyst, summarized the lie: "The specter of an investigation — breathless media reports of FISA-court applications, wiretaps, surveillance of agents of a foreign power, and mysterious servers; painstaking analysis of shady financial transactions involving Russian banks and funding streams — seems to make the outlandish conspiracy impossible to dismiss out of hand."
McCarthy continued, "Into this misleading 'Russia hacked the election' narrative, the press and the Dems injected a second explosive allegation: Not only did Russia hack the election, but there are also enough ties between people in the Trump orbit and operatives of the Putin regime that there are grounds to believe that the Trump campaign was complicit in Russia's hacking of the election. Transparently, the aim is to undermine the legitimacy of Trump's election victory."
As for the Leftmedia retreat, McCarthy notes, "Now that they've been called on it, the media and Democrats are gradually retreating from the investigation they've been touting for months as the glue for their conspiracy theory. It's actually quite amusing to watch: How dare you suggest President Obama would ever order surveillance! Who said anything about FISA orders? What evidence do you lunatic conservatives have — uh, other than what we media professionals been reporting — that there was any investigation of the Trump campaign?"
Constitutional attorney Mark Levin, former chief of staff to Ronald Reagan's Attorney General Edwin Meese, asserts that while "No evidence is found" tying Trump or anyone on his team to Russia, "the wiretaps continue."
Levin concludes, "The issue isn't whether the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign or transition of surrogates; the issue is the extent of it."
Which leads me back to my original assertion: The Trump/Putin myth being propagated by the Democrats and their Leftmedia propagandists has nothing to do with facts and everything to do with derailing Trump's agenda. However, Trump's social media messages are certainly assisting their cause.
Footnote: Unfortunately, some of the "conservative media," most notably Fox News, are reading off the same Beltway memos being broadcast by the Leftmedia — but then they also have advertising to sell... Fox News now has a lower rating for "somewhat credible" and higher rating for "not credible" than CNN, according to recent news credibility polling.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.