The Trump White House took another hit today when FBI Director, James Comey, shot down Trump’s false claims of being wiretap by former President, Barack Obama. Comey also confirmed that the FBI is actively investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s campaign associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday in an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats.
In a bruising five-hour session, the FBI director also knocked down Trump’s claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper, an assertion that has distracted White House officials and frustrated fellow Republicans who acknowledge they’ve seen no evidence to support it.
The revelation of the investigation of possible collusion with Russians, and the first public confirmation of the wider probe that began last summer, came in a remarkable hearing by one branch of government examining serious allegations against another branch and the new president’s election campaign.
Tight-lipped for the most part, Comey refused to offer details on the scope, targets or timeline for the FBI investigation, which could shadow the White House for months, if not years. The director would not say whether the probe has turned up evidence that Trump associates may have schemed with Russians during a campaign marked by email hacking that investigators believe was aimed at helping the Republican defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I can promise you,” the FBI director vowed, “we will follow the facts wherever they lead.”
Sounds like a defamation of character lawsuit to me. Without any evidence, Trump has accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones during the 2016 presidential campaign. But knowing the easy-going ways of the former president, he would probably just allow Trump to bury himself with his dumb tweets.
That said, Trump’s wiretapping accusation really got under the former president’s skin.
An aide to Obama told the Wall Street Journal the former president had decided he would not respond to every one of the his successor’s tweets. But people familiar with Obama’s thinking told the WSJ he was livid after Trump posted several tweets early Saturday morning making serious accusations.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump first tweeted on Saturday, without evidence.
An Obama spokesman later responded:
“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,” said Kevin Lewis. “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.”
Trump’s allegations have widened a rift between Trump and his predecessor, according to the report, who made an effort to be cordial during the transition.
Trump also reportedly believes that officials loyal to Obama have been behind the leaks coming out of the administration.