13

Trump tweeted this:

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

At time of writing, this statement has been retweeted more than 48,000 times. The Washington Post wrote a story about it concluding that Trump has cited "no evidence."

Was Trump Tower wiretapped by the Obama administration?

  • 1
    If there is "no evidence" to support it then what do you think is the answer? – DJClayworth Sep 5 '17 at 1:20
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    A couple of days ago the Justice Dept said there is no evidence. What makes you think anyone here can provide additional evidence? – hdhondt Sep 5 '17 at 2:06
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    Between the fact that Trump never offered any evidence, and the DOJ and FBI have said that there were not wiretaps, I think it's safe to say that Obama did not tap any wires. And, btw, who even taps wires anymore, and, if it were true, it is not McCarthyism. – rougon Sep 5 '17 at 2:55
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    @rougon: Great. Please make an answer with references to support your calls, not a pseudo-answer comment. I think it is clear that the "wires tapped" is an idiom referring to having a third party secretly listen to telephone calls (or perhaps even a hidden microphone). – Oddthinking Sep 5 '17 at 6:11
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    @odd It can get complicated when a member of Congress is accused. Everyone wants to be involved. The HIC is made up of representatives that oversee quite a few government bodies, including the Department of Justice. – fredsbend Sep 5 '17 at 15:24
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The DOJ says that there is no factual basis for this claim:

"Both FBI and NSD confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets," the government said, referring to the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The DOJ document can be seen here.

Regarding the house intelligence committee mentioned in the comments, it doesn't seem that they are taking the allegations seriously either. Schiff called them "destructive" and "baseless", Himes called them a "mess", Rubio said that he doesn't know what Trump is talking about, Collins said she sees "no evidence" and that the commitee needs to deal with "evidence", and Burr said that they would be "guided by the intelligence and facts". Nunes seems to be the only one who wanted to make inquiries, but those did not turn anything up:

"We don't have any evidence that took place," Nunes said. "I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."

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    My answer focuses on the claim as-is. Some, including Nunes, later stated that a very broad interpretation of the claim might turn out to be somewhat true, which it didn't really. But as that is a very different claim, it would probably warrant a separate question. If anyone is interested, the wikipedia article provides a good overview from which a question might be formulated. – tim Sep 5 '17 at 11:12
  • It's probably worth noting that there was a pretty credible speculation that the information that prompted that tweet was obtained by "tapping" the communications of the Russian embassy, officials, and other suspected operatives. – ventsyv Sep 5 '17 at 14:30
  • @ventsyv where was that speculation? I hadn't heard that but it sounds interesting. – rougon Sep 6 '17 at 4:06
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    @rougon I'm calling it a speculation because I can't quite remember where I heard it. I'm pretty sure someone testified to that effect during a congressional hearing but I might've had heard it on CNN ... – ventsyv Sep 6 '17 at 16:37
  • In September 2017, it was reported that Manafort was wiretapped. I won't add it to my answer (yet), as we don't know when, where, or which communication was intercepted, and if this has any relations to the claims in this question (which are about Trump, not Manafort). As CNN notes Donald Trump still has no evidence that his wiretapping claim was right. I still wanted to mention it in case anyone is wondering why it's missing here. – tim Sep 20 '17 at 8:02

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