Trump Accuses Obama of Tapping His Phones Without Giving Proof
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump on Saturday accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of having tapped his phones at Trump Tower the month before the election, calling Mr. Obama on Twitter a “bad (or sick) guy.”
Without offering any evidence or providing the source of his information, Mr. Trump fired off a series of Twitter messages alleging that Mr. Obama “had my ‘wires tapped,’ ” and he compared the professed activities to “Watergate/Nixon” and “McCarthyism.”
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
Mr. Trump’s aides declined to clarify whether the president’s explosive allegations were based on briefings from intelligence or law enforcement officials, or on something else, like a news report. A spokesman for Mr. Obama did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The president’s decision to lend the power of his office to such an accusation — without offering any proof — is remarkable, even for a leader who has repeatedly shown himself willing to make assertions that are false or based on rumors.
It would have been difficult for federal agents, working within the law, to obtain a wiretap order to target Mr. Trump’s phone conversations. That would mean the Justice Department had gathered sufficient evidence to persuade a federal judge that there was probable cause to believe that he had committed a serious crime or was an agent of a foreign power, depending on whether it was a criminal or foreign intelligence wiretap.
In one message, which Mr. Trump sent from his Palm Beach, Fla., resort at 6:35 a.m., the president said he had “just found out” that his phones had been tapped before the election. Speculation online quickly turned to the possibility that Mr. Trump had been reading an article on the Breitbart News site or listening to the conservative radio host Mark Levin; both have embraced the theory in recent days.
There is a 25th Amendment solution to the Trump problem.
But he was so presidential on Tuesday night…