When President Trump first tweeted about Trump Tower wiretaps, imagine if James Comey had told us the full truth at that time. If we knew then everything we have learned in the past several months, things might have been very, very different.
The day is Monday, March 6, 2017. Donald J.Trump, less than two months into his presidency, has just turned the mainstream media into a whirling dervish of frenzied maniacs due to a series of tweets accusing President Barack Obama of “wiretapping” Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election.
FBI Director James Comey (who was also FBI Director under Obama) has called an impromptu press briefing at the Justice Department to address these accusations.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I appreciate you all assembling here for an impromptu press conference. I must admit, that although I am merely a humble law enforcement officer interested only in truth, justice, and the American way, I’ve begun to enjoy the attention and hubbub surrounding these chaotic media events.
“As you know, this weekend President Trump released a series of statements via the social media platform known as Twitter. (On a side note, I have a Twitter account but I have kept it secret for quite some time. I won’t reveal it until later this month but check it out. My secret handle is Reinhold Niebuhr - a theologian I wrote a senior thesis on in college - and I follow CNN, David Ignatius, and the Onion!) But, enough about me (for now) let’s get back to Trump’s tweets.
“The president tweeted the following:
“Now, let me be clear: President Obama did not order Donald Trump’s wires to be tapped in Trump Tower. The FBI did not tap the wires at Trump Tower. Period. We did not do that.
“Here’s what we did do.
“We had several FISA warrants on people associated with the Trump campaign. The first was on Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort surrounding an investigation dating back to 2014.
“The second was against Carter Page. Now this one is really interesting. That ‘Russian Dossier’ you were all going crazy about in January, right after I secretly briefed President-elect Trump about one of the salacious and unverified stories it contained? (If I recall, you learned about that secret briefing from former DNI James Clapper. He illegally leaked that to you guys at CNN, right? Hi Manu! I see you over there!) Well, that dossier, which was and still is unverified, it was the main evidence we presented to the secret FISA court for the Page surveillance.
“Here’s the really amazing thing about that dossier though. It turns out it was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign! I know, can you believe it? We took a piece of campaign opposition research and we re-packaged it as ‘evidence’ to get a court to authorize surveillance of an American citizen connected to the Trump campaign! But, we did NOT ‘wiretap Trump Tower.’ We did not do that.
“Of course, there was other evidence in the FISA warrant. Well, kind of. We used an article in Yahoo News, (hey there, Michael Isikoff, let’s have coffee after this!) as well as a letter from former Minority Leader Harry Reid as evidence justifying the surveillance. Sounds pretty solid, right? But, here’s the thing… the Isikoff article and the Reid letter were all based on that same Clinton-financed, unverified dossier. So, really it was all the same piece of dubious evidence we used.
“Here’s another thing you need to know about that dossier (I think you should know everything we know considering it was so central to the surveillance and our investigation.) Even though the information in the dossier was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 agent, the actual source information was a bunch of anonymous Russians connected to Vladimir Putin. We here at the FBI, we never interviewed any of them ourselves and we don’t even know who most of them are. But, we trust Steele. That should be enough for a warrant to spy on an American citizen though, right?
“Oh! Speaking of spying… well, to be totally accurate, speaking of ‘confidential human informants,’ we had one of those checking out people on the Trump campaign too! Yeah! We paid a bunch of money to a guy who flew George Papadopoulos to London under false pretenses. He pretended to want an article from Papadopoulos and paid him several thousand dollars. But, it was all a lie. He was really secretly trying to get information from him about the Trump campaign and any connections they might have to Russians. He then fed any information he got back to us at the FBI.
“Now, I know that sounds like spying, but I assure you it isn’t. It’s using a confidential human informant. Totally different thing, OK?
“I believe that completely addresses the allegation that ‘Obama wiretapped Trump Tower,’ right?
“But, you know what? Here’s the thing. Earlier today The Weekly Standard called for complete and total transparency from me and the Justice Department on this issue. They consider the president’s accusations to be a potential constitutional crisis. I love the Weekly Standard. Read it every week. Bill Kristol and I… we’re like two peas in a pod. In the spirit of total transparency, I have a few more things I want to tell you.
“So, stick around, grab a cup of coffee, and relax. Because there was a lot going on here at the FBI during the 2016 election that goes well beyond ‘wiretapping Trump Tower’ (which we did not do.) I have much more to tell you.”
Read Part Two here…