In an interview with the New York Times, a former intelligence official who pushed a 2008 rumor that former First Lady Michelle Obama made racially-inflammatory comments about white people in a taped-speech admitted he is one of the sources for President Donald Trump’s claim he was “wiretapped.”
With GOP lawmakers and U.S. intelligence officials failing to back up Trump’s Twitter accusations that former President Barack Obama had his Trump Tower office “wiretapped” before the election, the president on Friday passed the buck. Speaking with reporters during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump indicated he got his wiretapping information by watching Fox News personality and former New Jersey Superior Court Judge, Andrew Napolitano.
Napolitano is no stranger to conspiracy theories, previously questioning the attack on the World Trade Center, and being labeled a “9/11 truther.”
In an effort to establish where the judge came up with his assertion of wiretapping that led the president to go on a tweetstorm and accuse Obama of being “sick,” the Times attempted to get a comment from Napolitano who ducked their calls.
However, according to the Times, they were able to contact one of the judges sources: former CIA official Larry Johnson.
Speaking with the Times, Johnson admitted passing along the wiretapping info, which he claims he received from sources within the intelligence community to a friend, who in turn passed it along to the judge.
Johnson added, “It sounds like a Frederick Forsyth novel.”
In 2003, Johnson was known as one of former CIA officer Valerie Plame’s biggest defenders after the George W. Bush administration outed her following comments made by her husband, Joseph C. Wilson. Former ambassador Wilson was harshly was critical of Bush administration and debunked claims that Saddam Hussein attempted to purchase yellowcake uranium before the US invasion of Iraq.
According to the Times, Johnson was later behind a rumor that Michelle Obama had made disparaging remarks about white people — calling them “whitey” — that had been recorded and would be released in time to derail the candidacy of then-Senator Barack Obama.
The existence of the “whitey tape” still remains a mystery eight years later and months after the Obamas left the White House after Trump’s election.