- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

American voters are split on whether they believe the Obama administration knew about surveillance being conducted against President Trump’s White House campaign more than a month after Mr. Trump first insisted as much, new polling suggests.

Roughly half of respondents answered one way or another when asked recently whether it was likely former President Obama or his top aides were aware that U.S. intelligence agencies were spying on the Trump campaign and transition team, as indicated by the results of a Rasmussen poll published Monday.

Forty-seven percent of likely U.S. voters said it was at least somewhat likely that Mr. Obama or his closest advisors knew about surveillance measures being taken against Mr. Trump’s inner circle prior to his inauguration, including 32 percent who said the scenario was “very likely,” according to Rasmussen.

Forty-two percent of respondents said it isn’t likely Mr. Obama knew about the spying, meanwhile, including 27 percent who told pollsters that the former president likely had no idea at all about surveillance operations targeting the Trump team.

Mr. Trump claimed on March 4 that Mr. Obama had his “wires tapped” prior to last November’s presidential election, fueling several weeks of tangential discussions that linger more than a month later.

The FBI acknowledged in the interim that federal investigators have for months been examining evidence of possible collusion between Trump insiders and individuals in Russia known to U.S. intelligence. According to Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis, however, neither the former president nor any member of his administration ever authorized surveillance against any U.S. citizen, Mr. Trump included.

Monday’s polling stems from interviews conducted online and over the phone last week with 1,000 likely U.S. voters, Rasmussen said.

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