Following Obama's quasi-denial, Clapper's outright denial, and Mark Warner's "reckless" perspective on Trump's 'wiretap' accusations, none other than former George W. Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey has come to the president's defense, explaining that Trump is likely correct that there was surveillance on Trump Tower for intelligence purposes.
The twists and turns of this 'whodunnit' continue as former intelligence officials and former presidents point fingers at each other with varying levels of denial.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 5, 2017
This morning also saw the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee call President Donald Trump’s tweeted allegations that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower without revealing evidence “very reckless.” Sen. Mark Warner says,
“This feels like an attempt where the president is trying to distract us by throwing out unsubstantiated information.”
But as The Hill reports, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Sunday told ABC's "This Week":
“I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general – at the Justice Department,”
Mukasey, who served as the attorney general under former President George W. Bush, said he believes there was surveillance on Trump Tower after reading certain news reports.
Fmr Bush AG: Wiretap would mean "there was some basis to believe somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians." pic.twitter.com/93BtgRWpYq
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 5, 2017
Mukasey said if there were a wiretap on Trump Tower, it would mean that there was suspicion someone had been acting as Russian agent.
"It means there was some basis to believe that somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians for whatever purpose,” he said. “Not necessarily the election, but for some purpose.”
Of course, careful not to cross the line into full Trump-defense mode, Mukasey pointed out that Trump is probably incorrect in accusing former President Barack Obama of ordering the wiretapping - though offered no reason for his perspective.
So when do we get a full-throated denial from Clinton-plane-chatty-kathy and Obama-defender-to-the-death Loretta Lynch? ... And when does the whistleblower leaks that she lied follow that denial?
Finally, Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Schiff responded to The White House request to investigate President Trump's 'wiretap' claims. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
"Today, it became all the more clear that President Trump's claim that he was illegally wire-tapped by President Obama was based on little more than Breitbart or other conspiracy-based news. For a President of the United States to make such an incendiary charge -- and one that discredits our democracy in the eyes of the world -- is as destructive as it was baseless. For a President who similarly claimed that millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally costing him the popular vote, and that his predecessor wasn't born in the United States, these new President who similarly claimed that millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally costing him the popular vote, and that his predecessor wasn't born in the United States, these new allegations follow a familiar if deeply disturbing pattern of distraction, distortion and downright fabrication. Sean Spicer today tweeted that the Administration would have no further comment until this matter was investigated and who can blame him: not even Spicer wishes to have to speak to such a unsubstantiated charge.
"This week, I spoke publicly about my concern that Director Comey refused to answer the questions many of our committee members asked about matters germane to our investigation. If the Administration truly believes that President Obama illegally eavesdropped on the Trump campaign and wants our committee to investigate the matter, they should join my call on Director Comey to answer any question put to him that is pertinent to the Russia investigation."
So - just to clarify - the entirety of America should be demanding a full investigation into Trump-Russian connections (on the basis of nothing more than conjecture) but President Trump's demand for an investigation into an internal surveillance of an American citizen (himself) is "baseless" and "deeply disturbing."