Trump “Tap Tweets” Trouble the GOP
Over the past year, Donald Trump has said outrageous things, some so far from the truth that they were ridiculous, such as promoting the fantasy that Ted Cruz’ dad killed John F. Kennedy, according to FoxInsider. It has helped to drop his favorability ratings to historic lows, which is unprecedented during a presidential “honeymoon period.” Voice of America notes, “Quinnipiac University poll recently said he has a 38 percent favorable rating and 55 percent negative.”
Yet, his supporters are so desperate for change that they stick with him. Trump, himself, takes the support for granted, saying he could, literally, “get away with murder,” according to RT (“Russia Today”).
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?” Trump said in his campaign speech at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Often, Trump says something outrageous to “hijack the news cycle” when real news is not favorable to him. In this case, a number of agencies, and Congress, are investigating whether people in his campaign worked with the Russian government to trash Hillary Clinton.
John McCain is trying to bring some sanity to the country. Breitbart reports that he is simply asking for proof of Trump’s claim of wiretapping.
Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said President Donald Trump has to provide evidence or retract his tweet last week claiming that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower
McCain said, “President Trump has to provide the American people, not just the intelligence community, but the American people, with evidence that his predecessor, former president of the Unites States was guilty of breaking the law.”
Fox News added:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Trump could “clear this up in a minute” if he were to call the director of the CIA or the director of national intelligence and say, “OK, what happened?”
“I do believe on issues such as this, accusing a former president of the United States of something which is not only illegal, but just unheard of, that requires corroboration,” McCain continued. “I’ll let the American people be the judge, but this is serious stuff.”
Remember that in the heated campaign of 2008, McCain was the one who stopped a supporter who was claiming that Obama was an Arab. (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”) At the time, he said of his opponent, “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign’s all about. He’s not [an Arab].” That kind of integrity, even during a nasty, uphill campaign is amazing.
Now, James Comey, head of the FBI says that his agency has no reason to think there is any substance to Trump’s claim, without using the words, “lie,” or “liar.” He went on to say that Trump’s own Justice Department also could not see any evidence of any wiretapping, according to Fox.
Eight words from the FBI director—“I have no information to support those tweets”—knocked down the most controversial claim of Trump’s presidency.
Comey also said a president has no power to order a wiretap, which dismisses the Trump charge that Barack Obama had set the alleged wiretap in motion.
It’s important to note that this was not a case of, “I think I heard that,” or “gosh, is this true”? Instead, Trump’s attack on Obama was clear, unequivocal, and very, very personal, according to Breitbart, that quoted Trump’s tweet verbatim:
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp (sic) my phones during the very sacred election process,” he wrote. “This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy! Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”
Outrageous. Incongruous. Another self-inflicted wound.
Trump protested innocense, instead blaming Fox, “That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox. And so you shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox.” Fox pushed back.
“Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary,” [Shep] Smith said. “Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind, that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way, full stop.”
Smith also asked why Trump relied on Napolitano’s commentary, rather than information from U.S. intelligence agencies.
“Of course, the president could learn first-hand whether the building in which he lives was wiretapped,” Smith said. “All he’d have to do is ask the intelligence services; they work for him.”
Even Fox’s greatest Trump promoter—Tucker Carlson–was gobsmacked by Trump’s claim, and had Trump on his show to explain it, according to The Blaze.
“On March 4,” Tucker recounted, “6:35 in the morning, you’re down in Florida and you tweet, ‘The former administration wiretapped me, surveilled me, at Trump Tower during the last election.’ Um, how did you find out? You said, ‘I just found out.’ How did you learn that?” [Trump wouldn’t answer.]
“So, 51,000 people retweeted that,” Carlson continued, “so a lot of people thought that was plausible — they believe you, you’re the president. You’re in charge of the agencies though, every agency reports to you. Why not immediately go to them, and gather evidence to support that?. . .Why not wait to tweet about it until you can prove it?” Carlson pressed. “Don’t you devalue your words when you can’t provide evidence?. . . you’re the president. You have the ability to gather all the evidence you want,” Carlson replied.
Congress is also upset about Trump’s wiretapping claim. In fact, Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole (yeah, Oklahoma, that voted 65% to 29% for Trump) goes even farther, asking Trump for an apology to Obama. Many other Republicans agree.
“I see no indication that that’s true and so it’s not a charge I would have ever made. And frankly, unless you can produce some pretty compelling proof, then I think that President Obama is owed an apology in that regard.”. . .
“We have not seen any evidence that there was a wiretap or a (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order against Trump Tower or somebody in Trump Tower,” Ryan said in an interview Thursday on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer. . .
Rep. Charlie Dent also called Trump’s unverified claim “inexplicable.”
“That’s inexplicable,” the Pennsylvania Republican said Friday. “Apparently there is no evidence of proof or any basis in fact so I think you should simply retract it.”
Ronald Reagan was called the “Teflon President,” to whom no scandal, despite evidence, would stick. But Reagan never openly and energetically invited scrutiny, with such specious and blatant falsehoods. Another president was not so lucky. After winning by a historic landslide, with adoring fans almost as fanatical, two years later, Richard Nixon was forced to resign, when his actions reached a tipping point, beyond which, even many of his most extreme supporters could no longer help him. Where is Trump’s tipping point?