Addressing the wiretapping allegations, Trump told Carlson that he has “some very good stuff,” that the White House is “in the process of putting it together” and that “it’s going to be very demonstrative.”
The president said he may make a statement on the matter before or after the Senate and House committees conclude their investigations.
“Let’s see whether or not I prove it,” Trump said. “I just don’t choose to do it right now.”
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House on Thursday stood by President Donald Trump's unproven accusations that his predecessor wiretapped his New York skyscraper, despite growing bipartisan agreement that there's no evidence to back up the claim and mounting pressure to retract the statement.
Angrily defending the president's statement, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters Trump "stands by" the four tweets that sparked a firestorm that has threatened Trump's credibility with lawmakers. Spicer denounced reporters for taking the president's words too literally and suggested lawmakers were basing their assessments on incomplete information.
Spicer's comments were a rebuttal to the top two members of the Senate intelligence committee, who released a statement earlier Thursday declaring there is no indication that Trump Tower was "the subject of surveillance" by the U.S. government before or after the 2016 election. Spicer suggested the statement from Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Mark Warner, D-Va., was made without a full review of the evidence or, incorrectly, a briefing from the Justice Department.
"They are not findings," he said.
The standoff between the White House and lawmakers came four days before FBI Director James Comey is slated to testify before Congress, when he will inevitably be asked whether the president's accusations are accurate. The White House's refusal to back down raised the stakes for Comey's appearance before the intelligence committee on Monday...
"Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016," Burr and Warner said in a one-sentence joint statement Thursday afternoon.
The phrasing of the statement left open the possibility that tenants or employees working in the tower may have been monitored. In response to Trump's claims and a request from the House intelligence committee, the Justice Department is doing its own review of whether Trump or any of his associates were the subject of surveillance. The department is slated to provide a response to the committee by Monday.
The Great Washington Wall of Denial That Anybody in the Obama Regime and the Three Letter Agencies Tapped Donald J. Trump, Much Less Illegally
The entire Washington Swamp, the legacy media, Congressional intelligence committee chairmen, 'ex' spooks and shills for the bloated intelligence complex, have as a man decidied to deny everything related to any surveillance targeting Trump or his aides, notwithstanding their repeated caveats (unless they were in touch with Russians, like retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn's calls to the Russian Ambassador that Flynn almost certainly knew were recorded). With the D.C. Swamp doubling down on a 'deny everything' approach now including the British government's anonymous spokesman for GCHQ, the Anglo-American Establishment is headed toward a showdown, as President Trump told Fox News' Tucker Carlson with more revelations likely within the next two weeks.
If, as Trump and Spicer insist, they have evidence from third party sources (whistleblowers inside NSA or GCHQ?) that contradict the entire Washington/London line, then the Establishment including FBI Director James Comey who's set to testify and expected to confirm his agency's denials for the Congressional record soon will all look like fools if not liars. But for now, the legacy media and shills are out in force engaged in deny, deny, deny. There is however one crack that the Russia Analyst noticed in the wall of denials today. And that was ex-Deputy Director of the CIA Mike Morrell backing off his previous allegation that Trump was a willing dupe of the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, basically repeating former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's statements that he'd seen no evidence of actual collusion between the Trump camp and the Russians.
Why Are Trump Hating Ex-Spooks Admitting There's No There There In Terms of Collusion With the Russians and the Steel Dossier is BS Now? Are They Afraid Trump Will Expose More?
"On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all," Morell said at an event sponsored by the Cipher Brief, an intelligence web site.
"There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark. And there's a lot of people looking for it."
Morell pointed out that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Meet the Press on March 5 that he had seen no evidence of a conspiracy when he left office January 20.
"That's a pretty strong statement by General Clapper," Morell said.
About the dossier, Morell said, "Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can't judge the information — you just can't."
The dossier "doesn't take you anywhere, I don't think," he said.
He continued: "I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries.
"And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris. And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you're paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they're going to call you up and say, 'hey, let's have another meeting, I have more information for you,' because they want to get paid some more.
"I think you've got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier."
Another former CIA officer in the room pointed out that the CIA also pays its sources.
"But we know who the source us and we know how they got the information," Morell responded.
In August, Morell accused Trump of being an "unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."
Morell said Wednesday that he continues to believe that the Russian campaign of hacking, leaking and fake news, which the CIA says was designed to hurt Clinton and help Trump, was a hugely consequential action to which the U.S. has not sufficiently responded.
Why is the timing of such pronouncements and legacy media qualification of there being only 'smoke' but not 'fire' 'linking' Trump to the Russians now important? Until recently, Morrell had little apparent motivation to back off his charges all but naming Trump a Russian agent in the public domain. Yet after Trump pushed back and pointed the finger at corrupt or partisan officials within the three letter agencies working with Obama appointees at the Justice Department to wiretap his team and illegally leak details to The New York Times and other publications which used the word 'wiretap' and later pretended they didn't, Morrell slightly changed his tune. As did some of the legacy media press(titutes) like Buzzfeed's Ben Smith, who is being sued for publishing the infamous Steele dossier and often pushes Cold War 2.0/Russia bashing agitprop for his audience.
Of course, the legacy media line as expressed tonight by CNN's Jake Tapper and Jim Acosta is that the feds only MAY have tapped Trump associates who weren't anywhere near Trump Tower, and then only if they were in contact with the Russians or other foreign governments. One of the main pretexts for at least one of the two warrants Sara A. Carter reported, the data which may've been spam emails passing back and forth between Trump organization servers not in the New York City Trump Tower and Russia's Alfa Bank, may've been the handiwork of hackers:
Fox News Guest Sara A. Carter's Sources Flat Out Contradict the Establishment's Denials
However, we've already seen that party line contradicted by intelligence sources speaking to FNC Sean Hannity March 8, 2017 program guest Circa News National Security correspondent Sara A. Carter. Who said on Hannity's program that there were not one, but TWO warrants authorized by the Obama Justice Department targeting Mr. Trump or his known associates, and only one of them was authorized by the FISA court in October -- the other was done by the FBI. Whose director James Comey appears set to testify to the Congress, if he wishes to remain consistent with his reported denials, that any such warrant existed. Then Judge Napolitano dropped the bombshell that a third effort was made to bypass the entire U.S. chain of command and Justice Department/FISA court procedures for authorizing lawful surveillance to spy on Trump using the resources of Great Britain's GCHQ. It's interesting to us that while Napolitano's claim has been attacked by the British government, the media and members of Congress, Ms. Carter's reporting has not been attacked by name.
Investigating the Leaks of Classified Wiretapping Information and Violations of Minimization Procedures: Nunes Subpoenas Agencies on Flynn Probe, Judicial Watch FOIAs Any Documents Related to AG Loretta Lynch Tarmac Meeting with Bill Clinton
(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice for records related to the meeting held between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in 2016 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00421)).
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agency failed to respond to a June 29, 2016, FOIA request seeking:
All records and/or transcripts of a meeting held between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton in June 2016.
All records of communication sent to or from officials in the Office of the Attorney General regarding the meeting held between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton in June 2016.
All records of communication sent to or from officials in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General regarding the meeting held between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton in June 2016.
All references to the meeting held between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton contained in day planners, calendars and schedules in the Office of the Attorney General.
Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton on board a parked plane. The meeting occurred during the then-ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email server, and only a few days before she was interview by the FBI. Lynch later admitted that the meeting with Bill Clinton “cast a cloud” over the Justice Department/FBI investigation. Not long afterward, FBI Director James Comey called Hillary Clinton’s actions “extremely careless” but did not recommend charges.
This Judicial Watch investigation into whether AG Lynch pressured the FBI to not recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton for grossly mishandling highly classified information on her home private email server is putting more pressure on Director Comey at the very moment that he is contradicting Trump's surveillance claims. While most of the media focuses on Trump's explosive spying allegations and the systematic denials of the same, other investigations related to the abuse of government power and violation of NSA/FBI minimization procedures designed to protect the identities of Americans whose communications are collected 'incidentally' as part of legitimate foreign surveillance continue.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the House Intel Committee Chairman who has heavily qualified if not contradicted Trump's statement regarding any wiretapping of Trump Tower, has nonetheless demanded an investigation of how the details surrounding National Security Adviser Flynn's phone calls with the Russian Ambassador were illegally leaked to the press. Note that Nunes is digging into allegations that lame duck Obama Admin officials or members of the US IC leaked details of the Flynn call to the media in the context of Obama's eleventh hour order loosening the standards for sharing minimized data on U.S. persons through the intelligence community (which Spicer referenced in last night's press conference):
House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes told reporters that Flynn's communications were picked up via "incidental collection," meaning that they were swept up during intelligence surveillance of an approved, likely foreign target. Flynn's name was then potentially unmasked or exposed, Nunes said. The names of U.S. persons caught in incidental collection are typically redacted and only revealed under certain circumstances.
In a letter to directors of the NSA, FBI, and CIA sent Wednesday, the committee requested information about the officials and procedures behind the unmasking of a U.S. person's identity. The committee also requested the names of U.S. persons who had been unmasked between June 2016 and January 2017 in similar intelligence gathering activities.
"I have been very clear about my concern about ... the incidental collection on General Flynn, how that was put into a product, how it was unmasked, how it was leaked to the public," Nunes told reporters. "Several crimes have been committed here."
Nunes raised the possibility that incidental collection or unmasking took place even beyond Flynn, as well as the potential abuse of surveillance for political ends.
"Did additional names get leaked to the media, or were people using that information for other purposes that wouldn't have had intelligence value?" he said.
Per the committee's request, agencies have until Friday to provide information on matters including: the approval process for unmasking a U.S. person and disseminating that information, the names of any Trump or Clinton campaign-related U.S. persons whose names may have been unmasked and disseminated, and the names of the officials who may have requested or authorized the unmasking.
Regardless of how many times NSA and Deep State apologists insist the agencies did nothing wrong and Flynn was doing something wrong talking to the Russian Ambassador (just like the Obama White House did over 22 times or the Hillary campaign allegedly did at least once), the very minimization procedures they insisted during the Snowden controversy protected the 4th Amendment rights of Americans caught up in surveillance of legit foreign surveillance targets were torn up in Flynn's case. The fact reported by Ms. Carter that a Hillary Clinton donor may've pushed the Obama Administration to investigate the ridiculous spam 'connection' between Trump org servers and those of Moscow-based Alfa Bank is also likely to be of strong interest to Rep. Nunes investigators, if they challenge the fanatical insistence on the part of CNN and its derp state sources that no warrant to surveil said servers ever existed:
Below is the full exchange between Spicer and 'reporters' such as CNN's Jim Acosta with their heads fully up the rear ends of their three letter agency sources angrily defending the US IC from Trump's charge of politicized spying on Trump:
Trump Trolls Merkel and the Legacy Media:
Jokes That Obama Wiretapping Them Both Is Something He and Merkel Have in Common
On Friday, Spicer was again approached by reporters after the Trump/Merkel presser or and asked, in light of the denials from the U.S. House and Senate committees citing Justice Department documents they claim showed no evidence of wiretapping, if he was willing to back off the allegation that Trump had been targeted by politicized surveillance. He refused. The legacy media's 'reporting' that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster had apologized to the Her Majesty's Government for Spicer's citing Judge Napolitano turned out to be not entirely accurate. While keen not to disrupt the Special Relationship or ongoing negotiations over a free trade agreement with a post Brexit Britain, the Trump Administration smoothed over the situation without admitting any wrongdoing, while also allowing the Brits to save face.
What's clear is that while extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, the Washington Establishment has twisted its story about surveillance of Trump into knots, first insisting that it happened via the New York Times, then engaging in a doublethink pivot to declare that such activities never happened. The public is understandably confused, and expectations of smoking gun documents signed by Obama himself are likely too high. Nonetheless, we don't think Trump is bluffing in this high stakes game of political poker with a pair of 2s. By goading the Establishment into taking an absolutely positively that didn't happen position, Trump has now given his political adversaries on both sides of the Atlantic enough rope to hang themselves with. As we said, the countercoup is underway.
I don’t know if this is by design, but with this administration it probably is. Notice how Donald is training everyone. A lesser operator would have just come out with whatever they had, and avoided this minor period of turbulence. But Donald waits, and lets whoever might stand against him take their position, before he cracks the whip.
If Obama went around the system, and had foreigners spy on an opposition candidate with a sitting President’s authorization, it will be a major scandal that will rewrite the procedures for the domestic surveillance of citizens by foreign entities on behalf of US intelligence. It will dominate the news. And when it does a lot of idiots who didn’t have President Trump’s back will have to endure the cost.