Carousel Of Pointing Fingers

By Andrew Witzel

This past weekend, we reached a new low for the Trump administration. Reading the news feeds on multiple sites, it was more like a reality television show than actual life. One escalation after another with a migrating pointed finger that kept the flames fanned under the Trumpkins and the NeverTrumpers all weekend. Here is a recap of the soap opera:

FBI Director James B. Comey asked the Justice Department this weekend to issue a statement refuting President Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump’s phones before the election.

James Comey is fast becoming an expert of how to cock-up the political machine by always being the wrench. Anyone with access to Google could quickly discover that a President of the United States does not have the authority to order a wiretap of any American.

James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, added to the fray:

There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign,” Clapper said on “Meet the Press,” adding that he would “absolutely” have been informed if the FBI had received a FISA warrant against either.

This is troubling to me as it would appear that Trump’s sources to the contrary are, at best, shady. Trump, so as not to disappoint his followers, went to Twitter. He should learn how to ask “Ok, Google” questions:

Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election?” Trump asked in another tweet. “Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!

With the finger pointed squarely towards the Obama administration from Trump, you know they were going to add their two cents and refute the allegation Trump levied on them:

A spokesman for Obama countered several hours later that the former president never authorized a wiretap of Trump or any other American citizen. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” the spokesman said.

Why would the spokesman for Obama have said it like that, as if to imply that the President does in fact have the authority to order a wiretap. We already know the President does not. The current administration continued to dump gasoline on the already blazing inferno taking place on the Internet:

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Sunday cited “reports” of “potentially politically motivated investigations” during the 2016 campaign, calling them “troubling.” But none of the media reports cited by the White House provides evidence of a politically motivated surveillance effort against Trump.

Wait a minute, were there politically motivated investigations or not? It would appear there is a contagious outbreak of paranoia in the White House that I’m sure will only get worse. Continuing, there were even Republicans refuting the claims the President was making but covered their behinds by giving the President the benefit of the doubt:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he is not aware of evidence to back up the president’s claim. “I have no insight into exactly what he’s referring to,” he said on “Meet the Press.” “The president put that out there, and now the White House will have to answer for exactly what he was referring to.”

Not be outdone after no longer having the job, Josh Earnest, former White House Press Secretary joined in the kumbaya bonfire this weekend as well:

This may come as a surprise to the current occupant of the Oval Office, but the president of the United States does not have the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of American citizens,” said former Obama White House press secretary Josh Earnest.  Because there is one page in the Trump White House crisis management playbook, and that is simply to tweet or say something outrageous to distract from a scandal. And the bigger the scandal, the more outrageous the tweet.

John Earnest actually makes some sense here to be honest. Six weeks into the Trump administration, I’ve yet to see any other page from the crisis management playbook other than the one that’s been used already. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the misconduct reports as we were reminded that the investigation by the FBI, CIA and the NSA is ongoing. James Clapper was quick to point out that there wasn’t any evidence of collusion with the Trump campaign; a fact we potentially know to be incorrect.

On Jan. 6, the U.S. spy agencies collectively released a report concluding that Russia carried out cyberhacks and other “active measures” with an intent to help Trump and harm the campaign and potential presidency of Hillary Clinton. The report, Clapper pointed out, included “no evidence” of collusion with the Trump campaign.  But the investigation by the FBI, the NSA and the CIA continues. The Senate and House intelligence committees also are conducting investigations.

How this plays out is anyones guess at this point, but I’m confident that we still have not see the whole truth. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out Russia was involved, what will surprise me is HOW involved they might have been. Involved enough to cause the immediate start of impeachment hearings?

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