On Saturday, March 4, President Donald Trump delivered a shocker of a tweet. “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
Democrats and Republicans alike tore apart the President’s allegation. Democrats completely lampooned Trump, accusing him of manufacturing a highly serious accusation against President Barack Obama. Republicans were just embarrassed. They didn’t believe that Trump had any tangible proof of wiretapping and had concocted this narrative to shift the news cycle away from the controversy surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s previously undisclosed conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Well, it only took 18 days, but apparently President Trump’s suspicions were not so off base after all. On Wednesday, March 22, Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee announced that the President may have been the victim of what is described as “incidental data collection.”
Nunes told reporters, “I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” He added. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”
However, when the reporters pressed him to comment about whether President Obama had tapped Trump’s phones during the election, Nunes said “That never happened.”
Trump took Nunes’s announcement about the monitoring in stride, saying that he felt “somewhat vindicated.” He further commented, “I very much appreciated the fact they found what they found.”
To me, the revelation that some level of monitoring of the Trump campaign had taken place does not come as a big surprise. It never made any sense that President Trump would risk his credibility capital on a tall tale. Obviously, the fallout for the “no evidence of wire-tapping” discovery would have been enormous.
The question now is what happens next? A crime was committed when General Mike Flynn was “unmasked” through this “incidental” monitoring. What retribution will be doled out for that breakdown in security and violation of privacy?
How will the media address this revelation? Will they say “Trump was right after all?” Or will they try to sugarcoat the seriousness of the monitoring?
This all remains to be seen. This is a huge story.
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