One of Pres. Donald Trump’s top confidants and close White House advisers said on Sunday that he hasn’t seen the president “this p*ssed off in a long time” and that Trump is vowing, “I will be proven right” about accusations that former Pres. Barack Obama wiretapped the phones at Trump Tower in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.
TheHill.com reported that Newsmax.com CEO Christopher Ruddy published an essay on Sunday attacking Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) and praising his boss’ performance through a week rocked by major revelations regarding Trump and his staff’s communications with agents of the Russian government during the 2016 campaign and White House transition.
“I’ve been watching Chuck Todd’s ‘Meet the Press’ as I write this. There is actually little talk about this unprecedented wire-tapping and even less worry over it,” wrote Ruddy.
On Sunday morning, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told “Meet the Press” emphatically that the wiretapping does not exist. It never happened, he said, “There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign.”
Ruddy said, “I spoke with the President twice yesterday about the wiretap story. I haven’t seen him this p*ssed off in a long time. When I mentioned Obama ‘denials’ about the wiretaps, he shot back: ‘This will be investigated, it will all come out. I will be proven right.’”
Former Obama administration officials pointed out on Saturday and Sunday that no president has the power to unilaterally authorize wiretaps or surveillance of any kind. Requests for surveillance require a warrant that must be approved by a federal judge.
“Trump will be justified when he claimed in tweets yesterday that this was Nixon-style ‘Watergate’ activities,” Ruddy insisted.
At this juncture, it appears most likely that Pres. Trump got the idea that Obama wiretapped Trump Towers from right-wing news sites Breitbart.com and InfoWars, which both — along with conservative radio shouter Mark Levin — ran with the wiretap story on Thursday and Friday in spite of a lack of evidence supporting the charges.
On Sunday, FBI Director James Comey urged the Justice Department to speak out against the president’s calls for investigations into wiretaps he has yet to prove exist. The White House has given its top attorneys the job of producing evidence of the wiretaps and ordered Congress to investigate them, as well.
Comey may have difficulty getting a statement from a sufficiently senior official at the Justice Department, however, given that embattled Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions has recused himself from all matters pertaining to the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Furthermore, the Trump administration is running far behind other administrations in federal appointments. The State Department is reportedly adrift and understaffed after a walkout of senior officials and the Trump administration’s chaotic, lackadaisical approach to cabinet positions.