On Monday, FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee that he had no information to support President Trump’s contentions that he was wiretapped by President Obama at Trump Tower. That accusation came courtesy of Trump’s Twitter account two weeks ago, sparking outrage across the media and in intelligence circles. Comey stated, “I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked fully within the FBI.” He added that the Department of Justice had no information supporting such tweets, either.
He stated that “no president” could order a wiretap, because all electronic surveillance works through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act courts.
This isn’t a shock. Top Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have said that they have no evidence to substantiate Trump’s tweet. British intelligence has fiercely denied charges from Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano, broadcast more publicly by Trump himself, that they worked with Obama to wiretap Trump. National Security Administration head Mike Rogers stated in open testimony that any allegations that the British acted in such a way were “utterly ridiculous.”
This isn’t good news for Trump, who continues to maintain that a fuller investigation will reveal Obama wiretapping – or at least agents of Obama participating in wiretapping activity against Trump associates. That latter formulation – a significant broadening of Trump’s original claim – will undoubtedly form the basis for any defenses of Trump’s bloviation on this issue.
Nonetheless, Comey’s outright denial of Trump’s tweets will continue to undermine public trust in Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip style, at least with regard to his opinionated allegations.