FBI Director James B. Comey asked the Justice Department this weekend to issue a statement refuting President Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump’s phones before the election, according a U.S. official, but the department has not done so.
Comey made the request on Saturday after Trump accused Obama on Twitter of having his “‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower.”
The revelation, first reported by the New York Times, underscores the fraught nature of the FBI’s high-profile investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. A key question fueling the probe is whether Trump associates colluded with Russian officials to help Trump win.
Justice declined to comment late Sunday afternoon, as did the FBI.
The development came as Trump’s charge against Obama — leveled without any evidence — was being rebuffed both inside and outside of the executive branch. And it drew a blunt, on-the-record denial by a top intelligence official who served in the Obama administration.
Speaking on NBC News on Sunday morning, former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. denied that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) wiretap was authorized against Trump or the campaign during his tenure.
“There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign,” Clapper said on “Meet the Press,” adding that he would “absolutely” have been informed if the FBI had received a FISA warrant against either.
“I can deny it,” Clapper said emphatically.
If only there was some medium Comey could use to convey his views on this directly to the public. We could call it a “letter.”
I actually do wonder how Comey reacted to the news of Mike Pence’s EMAILS! He may well be enough of a hack that he doesn’t care. But the fact that he was roused to push back against Trump on this may suggest that he was high on his own supply when he was attacking Crooked Hillary throughout the campaign, and is now realizing that he bought oceanfront property in Utah from Jason Chaffetz. If the latter is true, things could get…very interesting.