- The Washington Times - Monday, September 18, 2017

U.S. government investigators were wiretapping the head of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, both before and after the election, CNN reported Monday night.

Citing “three sources familiar with the investigation,” CNN Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had his phones tapped under secret orders from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.

“The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump,” CNN reported.

Mr. Manafort has owned a home in Trump Tower since 2006.

In March of this year, Mr. Trump tweeted that he had “just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

CNN said it was “unclear whether Trump himself was picked up on the surveillance” and, according to two of the network’s three sources, the wiretaps on Mr. Manafort did not pick up conclusive evidence.

The FISA court granted two warrants to tap Mr. Manafort’s phones, the first related to an investigation of his consulting work with Ukrainian politicians, a probe that CNN said was abandoned at some point in 2016.

However, the FBI got a second warrant later that election year to tap Mr. Manafort as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russian operatives. That warrant was good into at least part of 2017, CNN reported.

“It is unclear when the new warrant started. The FBI interest deepened last fall because of intercepted communications between Manafort and suspected Russian operatives, and among the Russians themselves,” CNN wrote.

The White House declined to comment to CNN and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Times.

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