In March of this year, President Donald Trump shocked everyone by announcing via Twitter his belief that he and his campaign had been “wiretapped” and spied on by the administration of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
Aside from being ruthlessly mocked by the media, Trump’s claim was also summarily dismissed by Obama official and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who told NBC’s Chuck Todd at the time that there had been no wiretaps or surveillance of any sort, according to Business Insider.
According to The Daily Caller, Clapper flatly denied that a wiretap order had ever been granted against Trump or his team, and told Todd that he would “absolutely” have been informed if some other agency, like the FBI, had obtained such an order.
“For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time, as a candidate, or against his campaign,” Clapper stated.
Flash forward to today, when the media is reeling and unsure of how to proceed following the surprising report from CNN a few days ago that, in fact, a warrant targeting former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had been obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court, and he was indeed surveilled — wiretapped, if you will.
This resulted in Clapper being brought on CNN on Wednesday to speak with host Don Lemon, who asked, “Did you know about a FISA warrant against Paul Manafort at the time?” to which Clapper replied, “I did not.”
That response alone should raise questions, such as to how and why the director of national intelligence was unaware of a FISA warrant being requested and granted against the campaign chair of a major party candidate, but perhaps that can be further addressed later.
“Is it possible the president was picked up in a conversation with Paul Manafort?” Lemon asked, according to the Independent Journal Review.
“It’s certainly conceivable,” replied Clapper, which compelled Lemon to press, “Is it likely?”
“I can’t say,” the specifics-challenged Clapper responded. “I wouldn’t want to go there. I will say it’s possible.”
Clapper, who has lied under oath during a congressional testimony about government surveillance activity, flatly denied in March that there had been any wiretapping or surveillance of Trump and his team before and after the election, but recent reports indicate that assertion is false.
Indeed, when pressed on the recent reports that a FISA warrant was obtained against Manafort and he was surveilled, Clapper is now admitting that it is “possible” that “Trump’s voice” could have been picked up by that surveillance, meaning — Trump was correct, and the Obama administration spied on him and his campaign.
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