March 23, 2017

The NYT struggles to fight off Trump's use of that NYT headline "Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides."

I recommend reading this closely, looking for the weasel words: "Fact Check: Trump Misleads About The Times’s Reporting on Surveillance," by Linda Qiu. I've been blogging too long today to parse through this right now, but let me highlight a few things. First, Trump was right about the headline, but maybe wrong about the NYT motive to change it. As Qiu puts it:
There were in fact two different headlines on the online and print versions of the article, which is typical. At no point was either headline altered. Times headlines often differ in print and online....
It's still true that the NYT said "Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides." Why they changed it, who knows? Qiu refers to what is "typical" and "often" happens, yet we can't know exactly why what happened in this case happened. But it could have changed for some neutral reason. [ADDED THE NEXT MORNING: I can see I've written this confusingly, saying "changed" when Qiu's point is that nothing was ever changed. I only mean that the print headline was written and for some reason, a different/changed headline was written for the web. Qiu has taken pains to show that the web headline wasn't belatedly tweaked to eliminate the hot word "wiretapped."]

Liu writes that Trump was "misleading" to say that the Times said that "wiretap data" was "used in inquiry of Trump aides." "Misleading" is NOT the same as false, so Liu really is admitting that it was true. The reason it's misleading, according to Liu, is that the article doesn't say that "Mr. Obama ordered surveillance on him." Did Trump say Obama ordered surveillance on him? There's no Trump quote to that effect, and it makes me suspicious that Trump is being paraphrased to confine him to what can be refuted, which — talk about misleading! — feels very misleading. See:
The Times reported that there were intercepted conversations involving Mr. Trump’s associates, but it did not report that they or Mr. Trump were the subject of wiretap orders. To date, The Times has not found evidence of that.
What seems to have happened is that that the official targets were other than Trump people, but that Trump people got swept in, and these people were legally entitled to protection from surveillance. Here's how Liu (misleadingly?) puts it:
American intelligence agencies typically monitor the communications of foreign officials of allied and hostile countries, and so they routinely sweep up any conversations between American citizens and those officials — called “incidental collection.”

For example, it is routine for F.B.I. counterintelligence officials to keep the Russian ambassador under surveillance. Therefore, when Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, spoke on the phone with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition, the government intercepted that conversation because it was wiretapping the ambassador.

Mr. Trump claimed he used the word “wiretapping” as a broad definition of surveillance.

“Now remember this. When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes. Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping. It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes.”

This is misleading. Mr. Trump did put the word in quotes in two of his tweets, but explicitly accused Mr. Obama of wiretapping his phones.
That sounds like a concession that Flynn was wiretapped! He may not have been the original target or the official target, but he got swept in, and we shouldn't even know about that. But there was a leak, and wasn't the leak targeted on him — a gross violation of law designed to take him down? I can't believe we're nitpicking Trump's use of the term "wiretapped" rather that outraged about a shocking abuse of power for political purposes.

Many words are dead metaphors, and "wiretapped" may be one, whether it's in quotes or not. Who cares if there were "wires" that were "tapped"? It's like looking for eaves when someone is said to be eavesdropping. I think the stress on the word "wiretapped" is part of an effort to say that some other party was targeted — some foreign official was listened in on — and that caused the overhearing of some Trump-associated persons. There was a wiretap, but the wires tapped (metaphorically) were not a Trump associate's.

But to use that opportunity — that wiretap — to listen in is a terrible infringement on the non-target, and the law required the protection of these non-targets from an invasion of their privacy. Instead, the leakers did the opposite and took advantage of what they heard and deliberately exposed what they were legally required to mask. That's what I gather from Liu's article anyway.

Why doesn't the NYT care about this problem!

233 comments:

1 – 200 of 233   Newer›   Newest»
mikesixes said...

Doesn't matter if Trump and co. were the subject of wiretap orders. If their conversations were recorded, they were tapped, even if the people to whom they were talking were the subjects of the orders. If you're a party to a conversation that's wiretapped, you are being wiretapped. Anybody who say's Trumps people were not tapped because they were not the subject of a wiretap order is trying to mislead us.

Bay Area Guy said...

The NYTimes is twisting its pretty little self into a pretzel with this nonsense.

Release the FISA applications and prosecute the leakers!

Douglas said...

Bingo, Prof. Althouse.

wild chicken said...

The more they try to school us on Trump the Terrible, the more I like him.

I got it, bad.

The Bergall said...

Obfuscation

Obfuscation is the obscuring of intended meaning in communication, making the message confusing, willfully ambiguous, or harder to understand. It may be intentional or unintentional (although the former is usually connoted) and may result from circumlocution (yielding wordiness) or from use of jargon or even argot (yielding economy of words but excluding outsiders from the communicative value).

WisRich said...

Um, yeah, Dem's have a problem.

"Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News."

If this confirms what Nunes revealed yesterday, what we have is a major Obama Scandal that the NYT's will be unable to spin or fact check.

PB said...

The Times has some more explaining to do.

They couldn't have used the word wiretapping if there wasn't some sort of intelligence gathering going on AND they had corroborated it AND had been reviewed by at least a couple of editors. Particularly for something that goes on the front page. At least that's what the Times says their journalistic standards dictate, but I don't really think they care about that anymore.

Headlines are used to draw attention, not convey the whole meaning of an article. Also, they're probably doing some A/B testing on different versions of the headline (online) to see which causes readers to click and read the article.

Gahrie said...

Why doesn't the NYT care about this problem

Because it is bad for the Left.

The NYT Times, covering all the news that is fit to print..........with a pillow.

antiphone said...

Did Trump say Obama ordered surveillance on him? There's no Trump quote to that effect, and it makes me suspicious that Trump is being paraphrased to confine him to what can be refuted - Althouse


Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! - Trump

PB said...

WisRich: "that the times will be unable to spin or fact check". Really? Don't you recall the famous Clinton dodge:

- That's old news. We should move on.
- At this point, what difference does it make?

buwaya said...

This is well done, as usual with you.
Excellent breakdown of language, and clears away all attempts to distract and dissemble, it is your skill.

You are scary in argument, few would meet you, or they wouldn't if they were wise.

cronus titan said...

The reason the NYT does not care about this problem is because it will not concede or report anything that helps Trump. At the time, the story fed the narrative that there was a criminal investigation of Trump's ties to Russia. They were so consumed by zeal to make the point that it never occurred to them that reporting surveillance of Trump officials could be turned around on them. Trump raised the issue of a sitting administration surveilling an incoming one, being cute the whole time, and the NYT substantiates that view. That cannot stand. SO they act like they do not care that they started the narrative in the first place, in a much different way than intended.

James Smith said...

Short form NYT: "Never mind yesterday's facts, these are today's new and improved facts." "And pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

Hagar said...

Heard on the news tonight that it is called "reverse targeting," i.e., officially, the foreigner is the target, but it really is the American.

AllenS said...

Obama is still in Tahiti, and I don't think that he can be extradited from there.

James Smith said...

In the NYT's defense, they have been struggling with the facts for quite some time now.

buwaya said...

As for the NYT -

They simply don't care. They do what they are paid to do. They have no shame, they are not human, they are a tool, and whatever person is paid to twist words is a part of the machine, doing as they are told, no better than a robot.

Somewhere in back of them is a human who makes the decisions and, perhaps, can feel shame about all this, but I doubt it.

Michael K said...

Blogger antiphone said...
Did Trump say Obama ordered surveillance on him? There's no Trump quote to that effect, and it makes me suspicious that Trump is being paraphrased to confine him to what can be refuted - Althouse


Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! - Trump


So, this proves what ? Would you prefer if he had said "Obama Administration?"

Ann Althouse said...

This is really embarrassing for the Times. They should step up and be ruthlessly professional. This sleazing won't work in a modern new media setting. They should just do what's right. Save yourself, NYT. Let the Democratic Party solve its own problems.

Brent said...

Why?! .
WHY doesn't the Times care about the felony committed exposing Flynn and other Trump associates?

Seriously?!

Because they are NOT journalists Ann! They are Left wing activists who put liberal ideology witout exception above this country and everything that is good. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is a rabid anti-American draft evader and widely known Christian hater.

The good the Times does is outweighed DAILY by the evil and disgusting lies they propagate against the very fabric of American civilized society.

The complete financial ruin of the New York-Times Company and every single one if it's owners and investors of all walks and situations would be a new beginning of greatness in America. The damage the New York Times has done in holding back progress in America is incalculable.

Ann Althouse said...

I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight.

David Begley said...

"Why doesn't the NYT care about this problem!"

Because the NYT is an open advocate in the jihad to destroy or impeach POTUS.

antiphone said...

Did Trump say Obama ordered surveillance on him? There's no Trump quote to that effect, and it makes me suspicious that Trump is being paraphrased to confine him to what can be refuted - Althouse

How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy! Trump

YoungHegelian said...

The walls are starting to come down around the ears of the last administration & its toadies, like the NYT.

And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of assholes, either.

cronus titan said...

@Ann, The NYT knows its readership, and that readership is overwhelming searching for confirmation of their worst opinions about Trump. They are not interested in any information which will upset that bias, and the NYT knows that. This has been going on for a generation, accelerating significantly in the last ten or so years as digital media overturned the industry. Read the comments in the NYT (or Post for that matter) for insights into its readership. They are not interested in facts. They are interested in advocacy.

In short, the NYT gives its readership what it wants, no more, no less.

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
This is really embarrassing for the Times. They should step up and be ruthlessly professional. This sleazing won't work in a modern new media setting. They should just do what's right. Save yourself, NYT. Let the Democratic Party solve its own problems.

I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight."

1-You can't shame the shameless
2-They have never been straight, not fifty years ago and certainly not today. They are what they are, a house organ of the Democrat Party. Doesn't mean that when it does things that are not political they aren't capable of doing a superb job but then again Soviet Life was pretty good in its day when it wasn't being propaganda.

buwaya said...

"I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight."

Institutions crumble, just like any human creation. Its not rust and weathering and settling and water damage, but entropy applies just the same. The NYT has been losing its soul over those 50 years. Organizations cant and wont change out of their decline without great trauma, a re-creation, a total swap-out of personnel, and I don't see that coming.

grackle said...

Why doesn't the NYT care about this problem!

You have GOT to be kidding. But you never joke. The simple answer is:

Because they are whores.

David Begley said...

The so-called NYT ombudsman should read Althouse's post and the charming comments here.

readering said...


"nixon/watergate bad sick guy." Trump is the bad sick guy in all this, not Obama. That's what Althouse should be discussing. But since he's bringing down his own presidency I guess I shouldn't be complaining. Pence hardly my idea of a suitable president but at least he's a normal politician who is hopefully learning quickly on the job.

n.n said...

TowerGate

They thought they would be supporting Clinton, instead they were tasked to target Trump, and now they are caught in an unforced coverup. That said, the Soviet cover story must be losing ground, perhaps beginning with the Western-backed coup in Kiev, and ending with the refugees -- what could have been a crisis without Russian aid -- in the Crimea.

Freder Frederson said...

Did Trump say Obama ordered surveillance on him? There's no Trump quote to that effect, and it makes me suspicious that Trump is being paraphrased to confine him to what can be refuted, which — talk about misleading! — feels very misleading.

You, as always, are correct. Trump never did say "Obama ordered surveillance on him" (like not knowing that Lincoln was a Republican or health care is complicated, he probably doesn't even know a big word like "surveillance").

What he did say is this:

Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory.

and this:

How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!

I guess you can argue that wiretapping or tapping phones isn't the same as surveillance, but that would be ridiculous.

jdniner said...

Any NYT byline has to be suspect. The fact that they were once respectable makes any other news source preferable. When I see a NYT byline I read with great skepticism if I read it at all, Sesame Street is better at their job.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Qiu or Liu? Ann, you start with one, and then switch to the other after two instances.

Chuck said...

Ann, I have repeatedly called your Fisking of the New York Times "brilliant."

But you have blown this one. The Times writer was being modest in this piece, because in this case Trump's defense is even worse than they made it.

And I would write more, but right now I am in a bar watching MY Michigan Wolverines trying to advance in the NCAA tourney.

I am coming back to this. With a vengeance.

Rob said...

New York Times headline: "We've Always Been At War With Eastasia."

Jack Wayne said...

Life-long republicans hardest hit.

n.n said...

Institutions crumble, just like any human creation

Progressive corruption caused by irreconcilable principles and principals. They thought establishment of a Pro-Choice quasi-religion would save them, but instead it accelerated the dysfunctional convergence.

Drago said...

Not to get too far off topic but it seems interesting in light of the complete and utter political assault against the Trump administration by the intelligence community, the dems and the MSM.

We also have another dem narrative crashing down with the arrest of the dual US/Israeli citizen who was picked up for threats to Jewish centers. This is on top of the dem/muslim/african-american lad who was also picked up for multiple threats.

And these threats were used as a basis by many in the media to paint Trump and his administration as racists and white supremacists...which tied to the MSM/Dem strategy of complete demonization and "otherization" of the Trump admin.

And all these battles have been going on in parallel.

So, criminal activities within the govt and the standard left-wing playbook outside of government.

BTW, Maxine Waters just yesterday reiterated her belief that the debunked "dossier" information is true!

This has been an attempted coup conducted right in front of our eyes with the full weight of support from most MSM outfits.

Astonishing that Trump has survived politically thus far.

Charlie Martin said...

I've been writing about this for a while. In my piece yesterday, I noted that in the body of the Times' article it says:

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

Emphasis mine.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/03/22/dems-claim-trump-team-not-wiretapped-while-wiretapped/

Drago said...

Charlie Martin, that interesting tidbit was noted at the time and it is very disconcerting that as of today the FBI is still not providing requested information to the committees.

Of course, something tells me Li'l Adam Schiff is already well aware of everything the deep state dems/obama holdovers have.

He's only pissed now because the republicans are coming up to speed very quickly on what is there and what was likely done.

Chuck said...

Ann Althouse said...
I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight.


I've never been a devotee of the New York Times. I am a Wall Street Journal guy, and nothing in the entire newspaper world has made me so happy as to see it develop into a national conservative rival to the Times. And not just a financial paper.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight.

Not so long ago a certain Carlos Slim bought the NYT's.

Now the NYT's is just another tool of the wealthy globalists.

jdniner said...

The buck stops at Obama's desk for any skullduggery here. He was the leader.

I read it as highly placed democratic operatives misusing national intelligence information in an effort to build a rumor into a political truth. And I read that as business as usual for the previous administration. Rather than check Trumps immigration EO, let's Trump the anti American behavior of these progressives.

Michael K said...

"see it develop into a national conservative rival to the Times."

It is now swinging left as a result of the influence of the Murdoch sons.

As long as Kim Strassel stays, I will.

Drago said...

Chuck: "I am a Wall Street Journal guy, and nothing in the entire newspaper world has made me so happy as to see it develop into a national conservative rival to the Times."

The Wall Street Journal news sections are not "conservative". At best you could say moderate.

The Editorial Page still is right of center and the business/financial sections remain basically right of center.

But Conquests Rule applies here as well.

Michael K said...

This has been an attempted coup conducted right in front of our eyes with the full weight of support from most MSM outfits.


I have been talking about this weeks.

n.n said...

Drago:

Waters is known for her prophetic statements and beliefs.

Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae
-- 2003

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Credit Circulation, and, now, Catastrophic Anthropogenic Classified Conveyance. I wonder how many Democrat-operated and owned institutions will be aborted this time. I suppose it depends on the overlapping and convergent interests that are notorious for propagation of a perception that the two Parties are homopartisan.

antiphone said...


Liu writes that Trump was "misleading" to say that the Times said that "wiretap data" was "used in inquiry of Trump aides." "Misleading" is NOT the same as false, so Liu really is admitting that it was true. - Althouse

Absolutely not, Liu was obviously referring to Trump's misleading claim that those quotes mean that Obama had his phones tapped.

Mr. Trump repeatedly referred to the article as proof for his claim.

“On front page of The New York Times, OK? It’s in the title of the front page. And I would like you to officially — I know you are going to write a bad article because you always do —[mention] wiretap data used in inquiry of Trump aides.”

This is misleading. Neither the print nor online version of the article supports Mr. Trump’s accusation that Mr. Obama ordered surveillance on him.
- Liu

Sebastian said...

"Why doesn't the NYT care about this problem!" Ah, an exclamation to get around the faux-surprise question.

"This is really embarrassing for the Times." No, it isn't. Only in the minds of the half dozen self-imagined cruelly-neutral moderate readers.

"They should step up and be ruthlessly professional." Why "step up"? They have always been perfectly professional at dishing dirt for Dems, now it's just a bit more blatant and transparent.

"This sleazing won't work in a modern new media setting." Works perfectly well, to promote the prog cause and bind the remaining prog readers.

"They should just do what's right. Save yourself, NYT." Exactly what they are doing -- trying to, anyway, in the "modern new media setting" where progs will tolerate no deviation form the party line.

Achilles said...

Everything we say on the mobile networks is "wiretapped." It has been for years. I watched it happen overseas. And as I have been saying months they have been using this apparatus against the American people. Every mobile call and text and email and post everywhere gets stored in a database and it is gone through later at leisure.

There are a lot of people going to jail. That little meeting between Billy and Loretta is going to be a juicy juicy piece of pie. Obama who has a clear history of using the surveillance apparatus against his political enemies is going to be squirming as the details of Executive Order 12333 are read aloud to the US public.

This will make Watergate look like nothing.

The left is going to get an independent prosecutor just like they always wanted. It is going to be glorious.

n.n said...

Wiretap refers to signal recovery from a conductive media through illicit means.

buwaya said...

n.n.,

"Waters is known for her prophetic statements and beliefs.

Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae
-- 2003"

Hah!
Though perhaps, one could argue that these were not quite in crisis in 2003, yet, quite. There was time to fix the system. But of course Waters was arguing against attempting to fix the system.

Mac McConnell said...

SHOCKED! The Black Jesus turns out to be the Black Nixon. Movin on up.

Chuck said...

Michael K said...
...
It is now swinging left as a result of the influence of the Murdoch sons.

Nonsense. They have made virtually no personnel changes in their columnists or editors for some time. It may just appear that way to you because almost all of them more or less think that Trump, whatever his policy positives, is a liar and an ass.

Jack Wayne said...

Mike K, IMO the WSJ has been left in its reporting for years. The editorials are centrist at best. Strassel is OK, but she is an anti-Trumper. Peggy Noonan is nearly unreadable.

Achilles said...

antiphone said...

Absolutely not, Liu was obviously referring to Trump's misleading claim that those quotes mean that Obama had his phones tapped.

Weasel words wont save Obama. He is clearly personally involved. You haven't heard of EO 12333 because you don't want to know but it wont matter soon. Everyone is going to know what Obama thought he could make legal. Passing the unredacted names of US citizens in collected intelligence of foreign targets was specifically and purposefully made illegal and little Barry decided he could make it legal with his pen and phone.

This will be one of the best parts.

buwaya said...

"This will make Watergate look like nothing."

There is a huge pile of things over the last decade or more that make Watergate look like nothing. Consider some real old stuff that nn brought up, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. None of that that led to 2008 has been properly investigated, certainly not the roles of the regulators and politicians.

The scale of all this, and the assumed impunity of the perpetrators, is far beyond comfortable contemplation.

Jack Wayne said...

Charlie Martin, I like your stuff. Keep it up.

antiphone said...

Weasel words wont save Obama.

Forget Obama, when representing the Donald it's usually best to go straight to the Chewbacca defense.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nathan alexander said...

"I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight."

You have heard of Walter Duranty, correct?

What similarities or connections can you see between Duranty's false reporting and this?
Do you think there was a substantial change in the interim between Duranty and now?
If so, to what do you attribute the substantial change?
If not, what does this say about the NYT's influence on your political views and voting pattern?

Mike Sylwester said...

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates wanted to catch a Trump associate -- any associate -- violating the Logan Act. Yates caught Flynn.

Then, during the final weeks of Obama's Administration, Yates was running around telling people -- including reporters -- hysterically that Flynn was subject to RUSSIAN BLACKMAIL, because the Russian Ambassador knew that Flynn had violated THE LOGAN ACT.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

Nonsense. They have made virtually no personnel changes in their columnists or editors for some time. It may just appear that way to you because almost all of them more or less think that Trump, whatever his policy positives, is a liar and an ass.

Trump is an ass. But he has been proven dead on with his tweets. 100% correct.

You have been weasel wording from the start anyways. You are wholly disingenuous on this and pretty much everything else.

Watching your pointy little head explode wont be nearly as satisfying as reading Obama's released denials through lawyers or Lynch and Bill taking the 5th repeatedly in deposition.

What did XXXXX know and when did they know it? Like all real republicans I look forward to all of these people paying for their years of corruption.

n.n said...

buwaya:

Perhaps not in crisis, but the logic, math, and preponderance of evidence indicated a progressive condition with a dysfunction convergence that merited a congressional investigation. Fannie and Freddie were the principal channels to redistribute debt and inflate asset prices. The fact that the audit and reform did not happen at the time of Water's prophetic statements, is confirmation of overlapping and convergent interests, foreign and domestic, that have created an unmanageable, hostile government.

buwaya said...

"They have made virtually no personnel changes in their columnists or editors for some time."

They are stuck in a rut, commenting on a world that has changed around them, and is no longer what it was. Many, like Noonan, assume a fantasy world, seen through a distorting window.

Mac McConnell said...

THE LOGAN ACT is a farce, a fiction, a political nerf bat to swing for low info voters. It's never been enforced because it's unconstitutional.

Achilles said...

buwaya said...

There is a huge pile of things over the last decade or more that make Watergate look like nothing. Consider some real old stuff that nn brought up, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. None of that that led to 2008 has been properly investigated, certainly not the roles of the regulators and politicians.

The scale of all this, and the assumed impunity of the perpetrators, is far beyond comfortable contemplation.


So many people are going to jail. This is why they are trying to take Trump down. He is not one of them like the Bush's were. Very rich people now. I wonder if they can get Gorelick.

khesanh0802 said...

Once again it is becoming clear that Trump did not misspeak, or speak without evidence. At the very least classified info was dispensed to and by people who did not have the clearances needed and then leaked by those people to the press. Once again Trump is going to be proven "generally correct" in his charges about the Obama administration eavesdropping on Trump and his team.

Mike and Sue said...

It is very interesting watching Anne Althouse's disillusionment with "progressive" institutions in real time. Of course for me "real time" in this case means since 2007 or so. In my opinion none of it has been time wasted. Fascinating. Joyful.

Right now I'm particularly excited; I think she is on the precipice of her own personal preference cascade of enlightenment. Slow, slow, slow,....then very fast.

buwaya said...

"The fact that the audit and reform did not happen at the time of Water's prophetic statements, is confirmation of overlapping and convergent interests, foreign and domestic, that have created an unmanageable, hostile government.'

Well, anti-prophetic statements.

Indeed, that is correct. It is, and was, a system dominated by interests opposed to those of the public. The party affiliations were far less significant than anyone thought.

tim in vermont said...

This is how network surveillance is done.

https://www.dualcomm.com/network-tap

They are called taps, though sometimes spanning ports are used too.

Will Cate said...

"Why doesn't the NYT care about this problem!"

The question is rhetorical, of course. To the Times, Trump is The Problem, and there no other problem.

antiphone said...

“Now remember this. When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes. Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping. It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes.”

This is misleading. Mr. Trump did put the word in quotes in two of his tweets, but explicitly accused Mr. Obama of wiretapping his phones.
Linda Qiu

That sounds like a concession that Flynn was wiretapped! Althouse


Oh wait, this is the Chewbacca defense. My bad.

Drago said...

Achilles: "So many people are going to jail. This is why they are trying to take Trump down. He is not one of them like the Bush's were. Very rich people now. I wonder if they can get Gorelick."

Just yesterday that sniveling little weasel Schiff-ty was saying we needed a special commission, like the 9-11 commission, to look into all this.

I'll bet that's what he wants.

Who could forget that the creator of the Gorelick Wall, Jamie Gorelick of the Clinton Administration, who made it nearly impossible for the intelligence services to share information with the FBI was actually made a member of the Commission that "investigated" 9-11!!

Unbelievable. And thats precisely what the dems are hoping to do again. Create a commission, assume the republicans will cave so the dems can stock the commission with insider dems, and then stonewall, slowball all the while the dems in the Intelligence Services can keep up their innuendo-leak attacks via the MSM against the Trump Admin.

So far the republicans seemed to have learned their lesson about this. Let's hope they've learned their lesson from Reid and pull the trigger on the nuclear option as well.

And finally lets hope the republicans have learned their lesson and not let some parliamentarian/Byrd-Rule nonsense keep them from removing the curse of obamacare from around our necks.

tim in vermont said...

I can't believe that liberals are defending Obama based only on semantics and not the facts. Oh wait...

Michael K said...

It may just appear that way to you because almost all of them more or less think that Trump, whatever his policy positives, is a liar and an ass.

The WSJ has been leaning left on the front page for years. They are heavily invested in the immigration policies of the Chamber of Commerce and this has been more evident since Trump began to run on an anti-immigrant platform.

The editorial page has stayed pretty square but the immigration thing has warped their coverage a lot.

Chuck, I haven't decided about you but I am wondering aside from your obnoxious comments if you are really a Republican.

A lot of Republicans who had reservations about Trump, like me, have been pretty happy with what he has done so far.

I am not a Trump supporter but I am intrigued at the steady progress he is making toward success. I have been a fan of Angelo Codevilla’s characterization of America’s Ruling Class.

You aren't and I wonder.

khesanh0802 said...

The WSJ is having a hard time figuring out how to get back to what it was. The editorial staff has evolved considerably over the last few months from being absolutely "neverTrump" to Bret Stephens being the only negative holdout. Taranto, who is not a liberal, is now in charge of the op-eds. That will change their nature. The news is still pretty good, but there is still a lot of slop and opinion sneaking into some of the news reports and particularly the headlines. I suspect they are going to have to make some personnel changes before they get their house completely in order. Compared to the NYT, however they do straight news all the time.

I will predict that both the WSJ and the NYT will be better about keeping straight news on the front page by the end of this year. There is no hope for the WaPo.

Drago said...

antiphone: "Oh wait, this is the Chewbacca defense. My bad."

Yes, Trump tweet is the shiny object the lefties want everyone looking at instead of clear felonious activity that has already happened without question (Flynn leak) as well as what is coming.

And what is coming can be summed up thusly: A - Lot!

Drago said...

khesanh0802: "There is no hope for the WaPo."

Nor for their network kindred spirit: CNN.

n.n said...

Well, anti-prophetic statements.

Waters is a Democrat, and Pro-Choice on principle. While I don't expect a diametric shift, I do assume an orthogonal detour.

Gahrie said...

It is very interesting watching Anne Althouse's disillusionment with "progressive" institutions in real time.

I see it as a three steps forward, 2 steps back process.

For instance she made a fantastic comment about how judges should rule on statutory law the other day....but yet she supports the exact opposite when it comes to Constitutional law.

She desires the label Libertarian, but freaks when she meets with real Libertarians.

Mike and Sue said...

Hey Gahrie, be a little more optimistic. "Three steps forward and two back" still equal one baby step forward.

Let's not get greedy. A law school professor escaping from the murky waters of statism is a rare thing. A thing to be celebrated. No?

Althouse has been my meditation in patience.

Cheers.

Big Mike said...

I can't believe we're nitpicking Trump's use of the term "wiretapped" rather that outraged about a shocking abuse of power for political purposes.

@Althouse, is there any such thing as a "shocking abuse of power for political purposes when it's done by a Democrat against a Republican?

I'm begging it to go straight.

Professor, you remind me of one of the saddest sights from my childhood. I grew up in a Midwest quarry town, where there was a bar on nearly every downtown street corner. One Friday afternoon I was at my grandfather's house and I saw a little girl walk into a bar across the street. Someone -- probably one of my aunts -- told me that the little girl was going to try to get her father to leave the bar and come home with her while there was still money in his paycheck to buy food for the family. You're like that little girl, and you are doing your best, but the Times isn't ever going to change and it's probably already too late.

Mr. Majestyk said...

For our left-leaning friends: what possible legitimate reason did Obama have to change the way classified information is shared among intelligence agencies just days before his presidency was to end?

traditionalguy said...

The KGB is back. Kenyan Governance by Barack.

David said...

There is something called the Reverse Sweep, or something like that. It's not a football play. It's where the intelligence agencies listen to conversations of legal targets, knowing or hoping that they will talk to illegal targets (like Trump and his "Associates"), and therefore they get that conversation, which is what they wanted in the first place. This is exactly what happened with Flynn. It's almost impossible to believe that Flynn was the only example.

Also they broaden the base of who gets this info, just as they are leaving office, possibly (likely?) with the hope or prearranged expectation that damaging material will be leaked.

Will conclusive proof of this ever be presented to the public? And even with such proof will any but the predisposed to Trump ever believe it? In Watergate Nixon had virtually no defenders left. Even the True Believers had abandoned him. But in Watergate the press was not trying to minimize the damage to Nixon.

Zach said...

The Times reported that there were intercepted conversations involving Mr. Trump’s associates, but it did not report that they or Mr. Trump were the subject of wiretap orders. To date, The Times has not found evidence of that.

This seems like an impossibly fine line to draw. Surely the relevant question here are whether the phones were tapped and how many conversations were tapped. This article is acting like the legal basis for the tap order is the only thing anybody could be concerned about, and the real scandal is using the colloquial term wiretapping in place of whatever term of art surveillance experts prefer.

It seems like the Democrats, and the NYT on their behalf, want to imply that any wiretapping of Trump associates was minimal and made in the pursuit of legitimate objectives. But that's a summation of facts, and we can't legitimately reach that conclusion until all the facts come out.

Three questions I would like to see the answer to:
1) How many associates were tapped?
2) How many total conversations were tapped?
3) How senior were the people being tapped? Were any of Trump's conversations tapped?
4) Were any privacy laws changed or circumvented? At whose order?

After all of the facts come out, I would also like to know
5) What was the legal basis for all of this, and was it truly legal, or simply pretextual?

After all, many things can be legal but scandalous, and many things can seem legal when you're doing the bidding of powerful men that would not be considered legal at all by the people they're being done to.

Chuck said...

Okay, Althouse, let's have at it.

1. About the Althouse headline; the Times wasn't "struggling" to do anything. They had a med-level news stafffer do some routine fact-checking work on a deeply dubious claim by Trump. It was short, and to the point. Althouse seems to be "struggling" for headlines today.

2. Althouse wrote, "First, Trump was right about the headline..." What was Trump "right" about? That the Times had the word "wiretap" in a January headline? Everybody knows that. Also, that the substance of the article did not support much of anything else that Trump was claiming. Hence, the inordinate focus on the headline. (You don't want any inordinate focus on headlines, Althouse? Okay, then we'll trade your complaint for my item #1.) Was Trump "right" about how the Times handled the archiving of that headline? They explained it in exemplary fashion. On what substantive thing does Trump get credit on for being "right"?

3. Althouse wrote, "That sounds like a concession that Flynn was wiretapped! He may not have been the original target or the official target, but he got swept in, and we shouldn't even know about that. But there was a leak, and wasn't the leak targeted on him — a gross violation of law designed to take him down? I can't believe we're nitpicking Trump's use of the term 'wiretapped' rather that outraged about a shocking abuse of power for political purposes."

No, it doesn't sound like "Flynn was wiretapped," after a Times reporter carefully took the time to explain how Flynn conversations might have been picked up in the most sophisticated national security surveillance of foreign agents. As I hope and expect our security services on a constant basis. We are not "nitpicking" anything. We are engaging in the most basic and straightforward challenge to some of the most explosive charges ever made by a sitting president against his predecessor. Trump used "wiretap" and a couple of other odd, inexplicable variants. It's on Trump, for specification of that word, and any supportive evidence. And no, I am not yet "outraged about a shocking abuse of power for political purposes," because I have no clear evidence about any "shocking abuse of political power for political purposes." Do have any such evidence, Althouse?

4. Lastly, Althouse writes, "I think the stress on the word 'wiretapped' is part of an effort to say that some other party was targeted — some foreign official was listened in on — and that caused the overhearing of some Trump-associated persons." So this is not an entirely bad sentence. Let's agree that stressing the word "wiretapped," even if it does not relate to a listening device or interception on a hard-wired telephone, does just what you posit; the emphasis is on targeting someone. And so Trump did not use "wiretap" in passing. He used it in each of four rapidly-succeeding Tweets. He used the term (or variants) in the context of "my phone," and he personalized it all as to Trump, calling Trump a "[b]ad (or sick) guy." Anyone who does not understand this is not being serious; more to the point, what I am describing is the plain-English, un-fancy, non-parsed way to understand Trump Tweets. We keep hearing about how Trump speaks in plain language for ordinary Americans. And there is but one way to understand Trump's March 4 Tweets; he was alleging that Barack Obama ordered surveillance of Trump. There is no such evidence; and absolutely no one has said there is any such evidence.

This is a deeply embarrassing post from you, Professor Althouse. I'll have another post shortly, which puts it in an even worse light.


traditionalguy said...

NB: The way J Edgar's FBI ran DC for 50 years was by keeping secret surveillance data AND letting the targets know that he had the info.

This is Obama doing the same thing, using the NSA data. But he had to publicise that he had the info, and Trump and friends just did that for him.


Also , remember not to accept free pizza or hot dog gifts from Obama's and Clinton people.

bagoh20 said...

Big Mike, that's a great analogy at 8:40pm.

It fits for the NYT, but also for a lot of other institutions that people keep hoping will change despite endless disappointments. I even think Trump may end up being that little girl in the end, along with all of us hoping for change.

bagoh20 said...

This really is not that important or surprising whether Trump is right or not.

I know it's a terrible thing for a President to spy on an incoming rival candidate, and a terrible thing for a President to falsely accuse an ex-president of it. It's also a terrible thing for them to lie like they all do. There are a lot of terrible things going on in politics, and it's all perfectly normal, so what is getting done now that will matter next year, because this will not.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Oh for chrissake.

You're up for all the conspiracy theories too, it seems.

Just give it a rest. The guy's a lunatic. Secret's out. Headlines aren't perfect, either.

Not a problem for those of us who don't suffer from Trump's delusional paranoia. How horrible it must be to live with his need for that kind of grandiosity.

Take him out of his misery. This presidency thing just isn't for him. A nice retirement at Shady Grove Community Center. Where the orderlies are on time with his meds and the tv's tuned 24/7 just to Fox & Friends, rather than the shows where all the conpiracists let their imaginations run wild.

buwaya puti said...

Chuck,
I don't usually rag you, but that's simply nuts. It's Aspergers type mania about irrelevancies. Text before meaning, taken to extremes.

pacwest said...

Chuck,
I keep reading your posts hoping to see how you feel about the Trump Administration's policies, but all I ever get is that you hate him because he is crude. How do you feel about his stated objectives on immigration, taxes, healthcare, regulations, foreign policy?

Big Mike said...

Take him out of his misery.

@Toothless, the Secret Service will be asking you for clarification of what you meant by that sentence.

AprilApple said...

Toothy wants his Clinton Crime Family back. The kleptocracy is familiar and calming. Team corruptocrat-Gramscian-whore - the lies are so much better.

Mac McConnell said...

Nothing is more rewarding than Democrat Operatives in orange jump suits.

Unknown said...

"This is a deeply embarrassing post from you, Professor Althouse."

It is not the first time, especially lately. It's been shocking to see Althouse slide into Trumpism, I really thought she was deeper and more centered than to fall victim to the same lunacy her readers have. This conspiracy theory stuff is nothing more than Trumpists trying to grasp onto anything that spare them the realization of what their choice of POTUS really is and always has been. How can intelligent people be so taken in??

Original Mike said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said..."I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight."

You are in an abusive relationship and you're the enabler. Isn't there a hot line you can call?

D said...

What do we do about it? The Democrat/media complex and government bureaucrats want a leftist totalitarian state and so far there's no sign that anyone can stop them. Koskinen and Lerner are still laughing it up. Hillary's email server served up lots of goodies to enemies. The OMB hack handed out the most personal of PII. Not one of these criminal idiots has been held accountable. If a tree falls...the media is there to make sure nobody hears it. And, now that there's an opportunity for justice, Trump and Republicans seem determined not to hear it either.

Sit at the Algonquin Round Table and spout the snotty witticisms about the obvious all you want, nothing will change. There's lots of money for politicians and lawyers to make on no change.



Sam L. said...

"Why doesn't the NYT care about this problem!" Because it's theirs, and it puts them in a bad, very bad, light, which they want to turn off, douse,cover up, and pray to Hillary that it will go AWAY.

Michael K said...

Chuck and Inga show.

Plus Ritmo.

Good night.

Unknown said...

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/23/politics/adam-schiff-trump-russia-grand-jury/

"Washington (CNN)The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is claiming that he has been presented with new information on collusion between associates of President Donald Trump and Russia, suggesting "it's the kind of evidence" that a grand jury investigation would want to consider.

Rep. Adam Schiff told CNN Thursday that he had seen additional evidence, but would not specify what it was.
"We continue to get new information that, I think, paints a more complete picture of at least what we know at the outset of our investigation," Schiff said.

Asked to explain his comments earlier in the week when he said there was more than just "circumstantial evidence of collusion," Schiff said, "I do think that it's appropriate to say that it's the kind of evidence that you would submit to a grand jury at the beginning of an investigation."

AprilApple said...

“The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources. The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.”

-James Rosen

Bob Loblaw said...

Why does anyone still read Carlos Slim's blog?

Brent said...

Good grief Chuck, what educated idiocy you filled space with above. My real regret is the time I just wasted reading your poorly disguised partisan attempt at sounding intellectual. BS immaturity.

There is no "one" way to read Trump's tweets. The parsing over the meaning of his statements is ridiculous and ultimately meaningless sport for those who live lives of little meaning. Have not read enough of your drivel yet Chuck to know how deeply ypu qualify there. But --- sadly --- I at some point I will have.

Trump tweets are not the Constitution of the United States. Why don't you save your sanity (if not too late) and read and parse that for somwone.

AprilApple said...

Bob Woodward: Obama officials possibly facing criminal charges for unmasking scheme

Bob Loblaw said...

The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.

Who could have imagined the guy who took Bush's domestic surveillance efforts and turned them up to eleven would spy on political opponents? It's inconceivable, I tell ya.

AprilApple said...

Inga- Who killed Seth Rich?

Lewis Wetzel said...

"How can intelligent people be so taken in??"
Says the women who thinks that it is okay to illegally leak intelligence gathered from Americans.

Unknown said...

He doesn't even "know for sure"?! Jesus. And the hysteria on these pages, hilarious.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/intel-chair-devin-nunes-unsure-trump-associates-directly/story?id=46325928

"The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know "for sure" whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications now being cited as partial vindication for the president’s wiretapping claims against the Obama administration according to a spokesperson.

"He said he'll have to get all the documents he requested from the [intelligence community] about this before he knows for sure," a spokesperson for Nunes said Thursday. Nunes was a member of the Trump transition team executive committee.

At a press conference yesterday, Nunes announced he obtained "dozens of reports" showing the U.S. intelligence community -- through its "normal foreign surveillance" -- "incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition."

But Nunes never said Trump or any of the president's associates personally participated in the communications that were intercepted."

Unknown said...

"Who killed Seth Rich?"

You.

jr565 said...

Mealy mouth words is a good way to describe what's happening here. The degree to which they are Parsing trumps tweet to get around the fact that they were surveilling trump associates (and possibly trump himself) is astonishing. It's so bad that even Jon Favreu, obama's speech writer tweeted out that he knew it was a non denial denial.
Favreu wrote: I"'d be careful about reporting that Obama said there was no wiretapping. Statement just said that neither he nor the WH ordered it."
So he's saying, yes, Wiretapping may have been done. But obama himself didn't order it.
So, when the trump critics say trump lied when he says obama ordered wiretaps of him in trump tower there are so many ways they can get around saying that, yes, this happened, by being mealy mouthed with words.
So obama may not have ordered. But did his Ag order? Is the issue the word "order" as opposed to "request" if someone else in administration or DOJ or justice either ordered or requested such surveillance and told obama about it, you can say obama didn't specifically order it. But clearly he knew about it. He got intel reports daily. They NYT laid out how obama administration in last days changed the rules to make it easier to disseminate information among agencies. The NYT even reported thst the British helped us by providing info about conversations between trump associates and Russians. And yet Fox News fired Napolitano for basically saying the same thing. Because the Brits had a shit fit. But, if both Napolitano AND the times reported it (and both even cited three anonymous sources) it's probably true.
Another mealy mouth use of words is arguing that trump lied when he said he was "wiretapped". Since of course they will say HE wasnt wiretapped. It wasn't an INCIDENTAL surveillance and the people on the other end just happened to be on phone calls. If you are surveilled you are surveilled. People who are surveilled are not going to know precisely how it was done. The other objection would be it wasn't a WIRETAP spcifically.
Or HE wasnt wiretapedd SPECIFICASLLY his CAMPAIGN was. Or finally, there wasn't a tap at trump tower specifically. Rather they got records from phone calls which may or may not have been placed from trump tower. But there wasn't a wire IN trump tower.

chickelit said...

Chuck wrote: This is a deeply embarrassing post from you, Professor Althouse. I'll have another post shortly, which puts it in an even worse light.

It's deeply embarrassing for you, Chuck. Are you writing this witty riposte while bilking a client ?

Yes, I think you're a complete fraud.

Laslo Spatula said...

From his earlier post, we see that Chuck commands a Grand Stage. I do not mean this facetiously: he obviously puts steadfast thought into his comments, and displays a depth of knowledge that can be quite impressive

Yet he is disliked by many here, and responds like the proverbial bull to any and all flags. He is proud of his staunch values, and finds those who fall short worthy of rebuke. Then, for me, it finally clicked:

Chuck is Inspector Javert, and Trump is his Jean Valjean.

The figurative Bread that Trump stole was the Republican Nomination.

HE WILL NOT LET TRUMP GET AWAY WITH THIS.

Hugo's work is a weighty beast, so I'll cheat and go to a song lyric from the "Les Miserables" musical:

Damned if I'll live in the debt of a thief!
Damned if I'll yield at the end of the chase.
I am the law and the law is not mocked
I'll spit his pity right back in his face
There is nothing on earth that we share
It is either Valjean or Javert!

Sound familiar?

Javert is the 'Real Republican' in a time of tumult. Rules are changing, but Javert is steadfast, unyielding -- BREAD HAS BEEN STOLEN -- for a thousand-plus pages or so. Until:

"...Javert's struggle to accept the ways in which the laws he spent his life upholding may be unjust is what leads to his eventual suicide..." (from Wiki)

Bread for thought.

I am Laslo.

AprilApple said...

Wrong answer - inga the idiot.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Question: What evidence is there that Trump colluded with the Russians to illegally or legally leak information that would damge Hillary Clinton's presidential prospects?
Answer: There is none, not even in the illegally leaked, anonymously sourced information.


Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who endorsed Hillary Clinton and called Donald Trump a dupe of Russia, cast doubt Wednesday night on allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Morell, who was in line to become CIA director if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. He also raised questions about the dossier written by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
. . .
"On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all," Morell said at an event sponsored by the Cipher Brief, an intelligence web site.

"There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark. And there's a lot of people looking for it."

There is a Captain Queeg level of paranoia and paralysis going on with the American Left. They are stuck in the anger and denial stages of Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief.

chickelit said...

pacwest said...

Chuck,
I keep reading your posts hoping to see how you feel about the Trump Administration's policies, but all I ever get is that you hate him because he is crude. How do you feel about his stated objectives on immigration, taxes, healthcare, regulations, foreign policy?


As someone noted years ago, Chuck acts like one of Mitt Romney's sons. Chuck is personally offended by Trump's very existence -- always has been and always will be. Nothing Chuck writes is objective, clear, and free of this bias. It's so blatantly obvious.

Chuck said...

Let's look at a timeline:

January 20, 2017 ~ New York Times does this story, under the headline that Althouse highlighted in this post: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.” The headline has changed, and that has already been discussed keep on discussing it if you want:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/us/politics/trump-russia-associates-investigation.html?_r=0

End of January, all of February, first two days of March ~ Nothing much happened. If Donald Trump had "learned on January 20" about his being 'wire-tapped' he said nothing, Tweeted nothing, did nothing.

March 2, 2017 ~ Alt-right radio talk show host Mark Levin used his Thursday night as a megaphone for the "HeatStreet" blog of supposed anonymous sources claiming something about a FISA warrant for a server in Trump Tower.

March 3, 2017 ~ Alt-right news site Breitbart does a story on the Levin radio show. Here is the link. And transparently, THIS IS THE SOURCE OF TRUMP'S TWEETS A FEW HOURS LATER. It's all there; "4...The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons..."

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/03/03/mark-levin-obama-used-police-state-tactics-undermine-trump/

March 4, 2017 ~ In the early morning hours of Saturday the 4th, Trump goes on his Twitter rant about how his "wires" were "tapped." And how "Obama" did it. "Bad (or sick) guy." It is all straight out of that Breitbart report. The Times story, weeks earlier, contained nothing like any of that. Also, transparently, Trump's Tweets that he "just found out" about it that morning.

March 4-15, 2017 ~ National outrage over the Trump Tweets. The national narrative is obvious; asking for the basis of the president's Tweets. The connection with the Breitbart story was obvious, which led to national scrutiny of "HeatStreet" and the author with the anonymous sources. Questions were raised as to why Trump was looking to Breitbart for national security news when he was, uh, the President. And so, pretty clearly, the White House staff started looking for an explanation. And it was a long time before they reverse-engineered one. Somebody found the Times headline from January 20. There ya go!

March 15 ~ Trump is interviewed in Detroit by Tucker Carlson. Carlson asks Trump about the March 4 Tweets, and where his info came form. Trump answered with two things, both incredible. One was the January 20 New York Times (then why did Trump Tweet on March 4 that he "just found out"?) and the other was an interview of Paul Ryan done by Bret Baier a day earlier, which didn't support much of anything in the Trump Tweets. Trump said nothing to Tucker about the Breitbart story. It was an obvious thing to ask. But Carlson didn't ask it.

March 15-23 ~ The New York Times, joined by the Washington Post and others, begins to question the story that Trump somehow relied on the January 20 Times story. The Washington Post deconstructed it here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/about-that-new-york-times-wiretapping-article-trump-has-it-all-wrong/2017/03/16/7f57d99e-0a86-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html?utm_term=.8cb89e247196

And the New York Times has addressed it in several places, most recently in the piece that became the subject for this Althouse blog post.

So that's really how this came about. I'm not sure that Althouse followed this; she was traveling out west through much of this. If she didn't appreciate it, that's okay. But she should take it all in now, as she gets into criticizing the New York Times on this story.

Lewis Wetzel said...

jr565 said...
Mealy mouth words is a good way to describe what's happening here. The degree to which they are Parsing trumps tweet to get around the fact that they were surveilling trump associates (and possibly trump himself) is astonishing.

Not just surveilling, but illegally compiling and illegally leaking information on Americans to achieve a political result. By American spies who are not supposed to spy on Americans. This is ends justifies the means, Chicago style politics.

chickelit said...

And if "Chuck" exists merely to troll Althouse commenters -- "to keep the place from becoming an echo chamber" as Althouse used to worry -- there certainly are trolls much better at it. Ones like R&B.

Lewis Wetzel said...

You left this off of your timeline, Chuck.
Nov. !, 2016. NY Times: Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/us/politics/fbi-russia-election-donald-trump.html

FullMoon said...

Laslo says
Chuck is Inspector Javert, and Trump is his Jean Valjean.


Pretty good.

chickelit said...

Lewis Wetzel said...There is a Captain Queeg level of paranoia and paralysis going on with the American Left. They are stuck in the anger and denial stages of Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief.

They are adverse to introspection -- as if even a little would be harmful. At least Bernie Sanders was able to compare them to passengers on the Titanic.

jr565 said...

Lewis,
Morelle also poured water on the dossier thst the democrats (and John McCain) trotted out. It was actually put out by trump opposition groups both never trumpers and democrats and people were paid to provide information. Morellle says it is completely discredited as a document.
And Morelle is actually interesting since he was Obamas CIA director, voted for hillary and was one of first people who said trump was a Russian dupe. If HE is saying the dossier is garbage, it's garbage.

Birches said...

Laslo is a genius.

That is all.

Chuck said...

pacwest said...
Chuck,
I keep reading your posts hoping to see how you feel about the Trump Administration's policies, but all I ever get is that you hate him because he is crude. How do you feel about his stated objectives on immigration, taxes, healthcare, regulations, foreign policy?

You left out "nominations to the federal judiciary."

Federal judiciary: all we have to go on, so far, is Gorsuch. I'd call Gorsuch a home run for Donald Trump. Maybe, a grand slam.

Immigration: I'm sort of a hawk on immigration. I'd like tougher administration, done right. But Trump's proposal of "a complete and total shutdown of Muslims..." was nuts. It was never going to be policy, much less effective policy. And now it is haunting him very badly, even as his legal staff tries to defend his re-drafted executive orders.

Taxes: Does anybody know what Trump's policy is on taxes? I don't. I think we need broad tax reform. I hope that somebody walks Trump through that. I'm hopeful, to be honest with you.

Healthcare: It is an area in which Trump is uniquely ill-suited, which is saying a lot for Trump because his qualifications are so thin everywhere else. Trump made such laughable campaign pledges about covering everybody, lowering costs, providing great coverage, with a terrific plan. He never had a clue. I think Trump is eventually going to declare defeat, blame it on Congress, and then whine about it for the next three years.

Regulations: Most Republicans do pretty well with scaling back the regulatory state, and I expect that from Trump too.

Foreign policy: I don't have a good feel for Trump's foreign policy. It can't be much worse than Obama's. Trump improved things with Israel overnight.

Budget: You forgot the budget. Trump's budget is a bit shocking. It's going to hurt so many people, I can't imagine how anybody could run on it in 2018. I don't know. There's a lot of work to do.

The border wall: You forgot the border wall too. Which is a perfectly idiotic idea, in my view.

Thanks for asking. I hope I answered directly enough for you.

Amadeus 48 said...

"I love the NYT. I have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight."

That ship sailed sometime in the George W. Bush administration.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Re: my addition to Chuck's timeline: Nov. !, 2016. NY Times: Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia

Everything we've heard so far about all the Trump links to Russian intelligence and Putin are pre Nov. 1, 2016. Nothing has changed, no new information has come to light since the Times wrote "Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia" The intelligence report Obama demanded before he left office was all made up of the same data that led the Times to write "Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia"
With the possible exception of the discredited Steele dossier.

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight.

The reason it won't is financial. You fell in love with a different animal back then -- one more attune to its readers via subscriptions and advertisers. Who pays to publish the NYT these days?

madAsHell said...

I am Laslo.

ya know.....you really need to a bigger forum.

bagoh20 said...

Althouse said: " They should just do what's right. Save yourself, NYT. Let the Democratic Party solve its own problems."

That's like expecting Scientologists to abandon Scientology. Sure, some will, but not the powerful, the connected, the ones in too deep to climb out. Everything they are is part of the problem. They have nowhere to go now.

Of course they all do. They could follow the truth, but that is such a lonely path. There are no cocktail parties for the truth.

madAsHell said...

shit.....you really need to PARTICIPATE IN a bigger forum.

Bob Loblaw said...

Hugo's work is a weighty beast, so I'll cheat and go to a song lyric from the "Les Miserables" musical:

Hahaha. That's only a slightly upscale version of "I didn't read the book, but I saw the movie."

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Plus Ritmo.

Good night


Go put your dick in a blender.

Put a sock in it. No one cares. Wake choking on your pillow, nursemaid boy.

Mary said...

Ann you are really reaching here to try and save Trump. Let's just take Flynn as an example, first he should have known that those conversations with the Russian ambassador would have been "tapped". From what I've read this is common knowledge that this occurs, standard procedure. So he should have known about it and he lied about it. Why lie about it if it were nothing?

Trump said "How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!" Clearly he wasn't talking about general surveillance, he said Obama tapped his phones during the election. Which is completely false.

And now you're making a case where FISA warrants should have no interest in American citizens when they are speaking to foreign adversaries in an attempt to disrupt an election, or if there is any sign of espionage (wikileaks!)? I really can't believe your going so low.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The Times is great on society, culture, and the arts.
But they have to inject their wacky, unthinking faddish politics into their straight news stories. Ditto their science coverage. They get stupid when they do that.
The NYRB is the same. Great commentary on lit, but when they get into politics they have to promote a left-wing orthodoxy that makes them stupid.
Example: Linda Greenhouse reviews a book on the history of women's integration in the Ivies. She feels the need to stick in a paragraph or two about Justice Alito's possible membership in a reactionary student organization at the time:

Other obstacles came in the form of alumni and current students—young men who, after all, had made the explicit and increasingly countercultural choice to attend a single-sex college. Samuel A. Alito Jr., a member of the class of 1972, would later join an organization called Concerned Alumni of Princeton and would use this affiliation as a conservative credential when he applied for a job in the Reagan Justice Department in 1985. Malkiel doesn’t mention this, but she does discuss the organization at some length, describing its viewpoint as:

Everything about the “new” Princeton was troubling: not only coeducation and the admission of significant members of black students but also the increasing emphasis on drawing students from more modest socioeconomic backgrounds and from public schools, the downplaying of the admission of alumni sons, campus protests over the Vietnam War, the retreat from ROTC, and a philosophical imbalance that tilted toward leftists and “liberal-radical[s]” among the faculty.

Challenged during his 2006 Supreme Court confirmation hearing by Democratic senators who read aloud inflammatory passages from the organization’s magazine, Alito testified that he didn’t remember having joined.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/04/06/coeducation-how-smart-women-got-chance/
No reason for it. Alito was a nobody back then. He had no influence on Yale's policies. Read the Greenhouse paragraph I've bolded. What was its purpose in a review of a book about the ivies going co-ed? It's pure virtue signaling. If you are in favor of co-ed at the ivies, you must hate Alito.

pacwest said...

Chuck,
Thank you very much for your reply. I am not able to respond in kind on my phone, but would like to discuss your points on another appropriate AA thread if that is OK with you. We agree on a lot of things yet seem to be polar opposites in regards to President Trump.

Always willing to check my assumptions.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck has told us he can probably forgive Obama if Obama did improperly have the gov conduct surveillance on Trump because Trump is "such a prick."
I think that's about all we need to know to put his arguments on this topic into the proper Co text.

Greg said...

Ann Althouse said...I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight.

Are you familiar with Gell-Mann Amnesia?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Context

Drago said...

Mary apparently still thinks it's February and nothing has happened since.

We are so far down the road its doubtful she will ever catch up.

Kebas said...

I hadn't actually read the article (only the famous headline) and didn't know until I read an extended excerpt today that the BODY of the article itself also used the term "wiretapped." So they can't blame this on just a sensationalistic headline editor.

Looks like Pres. Trump reads the New York Times more closely than its own reporters.

Mary said...

Drago
March 4th is date of Trumps tweets. I could go back even further to last August when Roger Stone tweets that "it will soon the Podesta's time in the barrel." And then what happened? Podesta emails dumped October. (wikileaks!)
I absolutely hate conspiracy theories and don't want to go down that road. But this stuff is just too much. How do all of them seem to "see the future", even Ann has pointed out how Trump can see the future! I'll link later, it's late and I'm tired, but I remember her talking about how he could see the future. And it's because they know it's coming. Russia pulling the strings here. Wikileaks.

Francisco D said...

The Lifelong Republican wrote: "But Trump's proposal of "a complete and total shutdown of Muslims..." was nuts."

For those of you unfamiliar with Chuck's mendacity, let me simply state that Trumps original EO applied to 7 countries (designated by the Obama administration) as having non-functional governments incapable of discerning active jihadists from regular citizens.

It was not a ban on Muslims.

Chuck is not a Lifelong Republican.

The Easter Bunny does not leave those multi-colored eggs in your back yard.

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

Because Hillary was explicitly a "third term Obama candidate," I certainly hope that she gets swept up into this mess. Taking down a JV piker like Obama is one thing, but impugning a professional criminal like Hillary would be amazing.

Here's hoping

chickelit said...

"Mary" wrote: Russia pulling the strings here. Wikileaks.

Why the obsession with Russia? (1) It's not buying you votes/sympathy with commie-hating, God-fearing, midwestern Trump voters; (2) It signals that you're a Hillary partisan.

Achilles said...

Drago said...

Who could forget that the creator of the Gorelick Wall, Jamie Gorelick of the Clinton Administration, who made it nearly impossible for the intelligence services to share information with the FBI was actually made a member of the Commission that "investigated" 9-11!!

Wall shmall. I wanna see the board meetings and political favors done while she was running Fannie Mae. She was paid millions of dollars and took down the US economy in an obviously corrupt crony scheme.

Drago said...

Mary: "Drago
March 4th is date of Trumps tweets..."

Nice try, but we are moving so fast past the fake dem Trump/Russia collusion gambit heads are already spinning.

It's clear the collusion charges are lies. There is no "there" there. Not even a hint of impropriety.

No, what we have here is a lie. A Trump/Russia collusion lie which is appearing more and more like a contrived "cover story" for what could be massive obama admin spying on many Americans as well as the Trump team and spreading that information around broadly.

But you go ahead and keep it up with the fake collusion story which even the press barely pushes anymore. The MSM'ers looked downright morose in the press briefing today as they know the story is shifting and they, along with their IC deep state/dem allies, cannot stop it.

pacwest said...

The Lifelong Republican wrote: "But Trump's proposal of "a complete and total shutdown of Muslims..." was nuts."

In defense of Chuck I do remember Candidate Trump making a statement to that effect early on. His position (to my mind) has since changed to a more common sense solution to violent Islamic culture in the present world.

eddie willers said...

It is very interesting watching Ann Althouse's disillusionment with "progressive" institutions in real time. Of course for me "real time" in this case means since 2007 or so

My "real time" came during the Clarence Thomas hearings. In the morning I was a diehard Democrat. That night when he accused Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden of a "High Tech Lynching" I stood up and cheered and vowed to never vote for a Democrat again. I have kept that promise.

And Ann, we here in Atlanta became wise to the NY Times during the Leo Frank trial for the murder of Mary Phagan.

wildswan said...

The "wiretapping" thing is like a Tom Clancy novel. There's a technique we aren't familiar with as a culture but there are adepts using the technique to attack America. So Jack Ryan or John Clark or young Jack battle away to restore justice.

And ordering surveillance on minor figures into order to conduct surveillance on major figures seems like such a technique. All we have to think is that this is commonly done for legitimate goals and that Obama suggested that to someone, call her X, that it should be done to a group of people surveillance of whom would be surveillance of Trump's campaign. X ordered the surveillance. And it included for a time surveillance of Paul Manafort who was Trump's campaign manager during the convention and the cover story was surveillance of Russian banks impinged on Manafort whereas really the wish to get Manafort led to Russian banks and then back to Manafort. And then the wish to get Kelly Anne Conway led to some Russian banks in Trump Tower and then circle back to "incidently" pick up Kelly Anne Conway, Bannon and Trump. And then the handy dandy "Russians" were alleged to be affecting the campaign and so the campaign was surveilled to get the Russians whereas the campaign was surveilled to get the campaign.

But all they ever found out was that Conway, Trump and Bannon thought they could crack the blue wall. "HAHHAHA - how ridiculous. Take it easy, Hillary babe, they are delusional, our wiretaps pick up nothing but that same silly idea, over and over. They plan visits to Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, they believe alternative polls, it's pathetic listening to how they are working on it all."

11/9 Omigod.

Achilles said...

The Washington Post's Bob Woodward warned on Wednesday that there are people from the Obama administration who could be facing criminal charges for unmasking the names of Trump transition team members from surveillance of foreign officials.

The Canary in the leftists coal mine

The WaPo is warning you leftists. Shit is about to go downhill fast for a lot of Obama staffers. Will one of them flip for immunity to go on the record about Obama's role in this? I love the smell of panic.

I wonder what the DOJ will do when they start digging into the political pressure brought by Obama appointees to kill investigations into the Clinton Foundation.

Rules are for the little people. Welp, losing an election makes you the little people. Now the train is coming down the tracks. Choo Choo!

Francisco D said...

pacwest,

It would be edifying if you could reference the supposed Trump statement on a total Muslim ban. If it exists.

Whether true or not, do you think that deliberate actions speak much louder than careless words?

for example, does Obama really believe there are 57 states? What would be the reaction if Trump misspoke that way.

Note that I am distinguishing between careless words and deliberate lies, such as "I you want to keep your doctor ..."

eric said...

20 years ago there was a rumor of a blue dress. Talk of such a thing was so low, so beyond the pale, that talk show hosts instantly shut down anyone who cared to bring it up. Six months later, the he dress was real. Oh, and also, it was no big deal because a presidents do that.

Today I'm seeing that trump accusing President Obama of spying on him is so crazy, so out of bounds, that Trump should be impeached for it.

Six months from now we will know Obama spied on Trump and eh, who cares? Nothing to see here. Move along.

Yancey Ward said...

I wrote here right after Nunes press conference that he seemed to be trying to get himself out in front of something coming down.

I think it pretty clear now what happened starting around the time Trump secured the nomination- a deliberate effort was started to electronically monitor the people with whom Trump and his campaign staff were communicating. It finesses the charge that the Obama Administration was targeting Trump and his staff. Everything could be claimed to be inadvertent while being pretty damned comprehensive.

Also, it pretty fucking clear there isn't anything at all to the Trump collusion with the Russians story- if they had found anything it would have been printed in the NYTimes before the election or afterwards. After almost 6 months of leaks and stories, it is still all at the level of innuendo with not one single piece of verifiable evidence- not one.

pacwest said...

Francisco D,
Without taking the time to find a link to the line he delivered I found it to be within the context of the current situation in the ME.
I am entirely behind President Trump's travel ban EO. And from what I know it seems not just a good idea and a logical starting point, but well within his executive powers. I think it is hard to separate any ME problem from Islam for obvious reasons.
"Trumpspeak" seems to be hard for a lot of people to understand. His overstatement (which seemed to serve a NY real estate well) grates on a lot of people. I think it is serving him well in bringing critical issues to the forefront.

Jon Ericson said...

Yes, Laslo is exceptional.

Smoove move, Pedro, defender of oral hygiene deniers.

Jon Ericson said...

https://youtu.be/Yt6-gBGCJ-4

Go for it.

rehajm said...

Ann Althouse said...
I love the NYT. i have been reading it for 50 years. I'm begging it to go straight.


You've invested a small part of yourself over a long period of your life in NYT.

When investing it's important to know when to cut your losses.

Big Mike said...

Chuck is not a Lifelong Republican.

@Francisco D, agreed! I've been pretty active in local GOP politics backin the day, and he is like no real Republican that I've ever met. He's trying to paint himself as a country club Republican, but more thoughtful. If he ever actually knew any country club Republicans he'd see his mistakes. About the only part he gets right is that country club Republicans like cheap Hispanic labor mowing their lawns and providing cheap maid service.

Joshua said...

From about 2001-2007, people opposed the Bush administration's "warrantless wiretapping." They were referring not to wiretaps, in the technical sense, but surveillance.

Google, "warrantless wiretapping," and see what comes up. The Washington Post, NPR, ACLU, even the HuffPo used the term "warrantless wiretapping" to mean "warrantless surveillance." Hell, Ron Wyden used it exactly that way yesterday in his statement explaining his opposition to Gorsuch.

Rosa Marie Yoder said...

Dear Ann, With regards to having become disillusioned about the NYT, please refer to an earlier blog. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2017/03/what-incorrect-belief-did-you-carry.html

Mike Sylwester said...

Francisco D

For those of you unfamiliar with Chuck's mendacity, let me simply state that Trumps original EO applied to 7 countries (designated by the Obama administration) as having non-functional governments incapable of discerning active jihadists from regular citizens.

It was not a ban on Muslims.


Chuck was talking about statements Trump made during the Presidential race, not to executive orders after the election.

Mike and Sue said...

FYI people. Laslo does maintain his own blog. It's undiluted. So for the naive I recommend "hot tub rules"..... short, measured doses, not to exceed 10 minutes at first.:

http://iamlaslo.blogspot.com/

That is all. (We now return to regular scheduled programming).

iowan2 said...

You claim that 'wire tap' may be a dead metaphor. I just dont know, that's a tough row to hoe.

tim in vermont said...

You know what's a tough row to hoe? Pretending not to understand figurative speech when most people clearly understand.

tim in vermont said...

When commenters so clearly try to distract from the truth of the situation and focus on disingenuous arguments about expressions, you have to wonder about their motivation, because it is clearly not to get to the truth.

tim in vermont said...

They say that the study of law sharpens the mind by narrowing it.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Pretending not to understand figurative speech when most people clearly understand.

That's why Chuck's derangement is so entertaining. He himself said he'd be fine if Obama spied on Trump because Trump "is such a prick."

So Chuck is either in favor of corruption or using (Heaven forfend!) figurative speech.

Oso Negro said...

Damn! This blog is on fire since the retirement! Revelations abound! As a devoted reader I love it best when the Professor Emeritus experiences inner turbulence - I think of these as the "Althouse Agonistes" posts. In this case, the New York Times has been unmasked as a organ of the Democrat Deep State, despite being a staple of our hostess intellectual life for 50 years. For the record, the "Duranty" flag has been thrown by myself and others in the past, and though it waves from the dimming past, still illustrates the fundamental commitment to truth of the Gray Lady.

I have had my own revelation in the course of this thread! Although I loathe Trump and was a staunch supporter of Ted Cruz, I have come to believe that of the field of 2016, Donald Trump was the only candidate with a prayer of shaking up the totalitarian state that was built by the New Dealers, and subsequently expanded at varying pace, by both parties. Consider this - Since 1933, the Republicans have controlled the Presidency, the House and the Senate simultaneously for six years. Exactly three Congressional terms. This current Congress is the fourth time. In those years, nothing was done to reverse the totalitarian powers seized by government in the New Deal. Democrats, on the other hand, have controlled both all three, for 17 Congressional terms, or 34 years total.

While the Republicans were cautious in Ike's one time at bat, and George W. Bush sadly proved to be a compassionate conservative, the Democrats don't fuck around when they are in charge. They used the New Deal era to seize massive new powers for government, the LBJ years of the '60s to perpetrate the monstrous Great Society, the Jimmy Carter years to expand into education and energy, Bill Clinton's first two years to pass NAFTA, and the first two years of the mellifluous mulatto to grab healthcare. So as I see it, it takes a Republican with a "fuck you" attitude, plus the House and Senate to try to do anything to alter the course of American government. It is not clear to me that Trump can do it, but he is the best chance we have had in the past 84 years.

I want freedom, not security. Freedom is an American value, security is not. I want equality under the law, not social justice. Equality under the law is an American value, social justice is not. I want American culture preserved, not turned into some multi-cultural mush. Donald Trump may not be able to do it, but he is the best shot we have. And he faces an incredible array of opponents.

AprilApple said...

Benghazi Liar Adam Shiff has ZERO credibility.

Drago said...

eric: "Six months from now we will know Obama spied on Trump and eh, who cares? Nothing to see here. Move along"

Members of the White House Press Corps, and clearly on the dems side, were attempting to make make that very case already.

As if they understood what was coming as well.

Further, there was only 1 pathetic attempt that I recall during that presser where the now standard fake Trump/Russia collusion charges was even offered up and that was only in half-hearted way. Spicey hit back on that one pretty hard.

Soon the fake collusion lies will go the way of the fake "dossier" lies and we will be focused on real ACTIONS taken by the left/dems/MSM as they attempted their palace coup.

Boy, if someone wanted to make Putin look like an All Powerful Genius Manipulating The World you would do precisely what the dems have done over the last year as they struggled to keep corrupt Hillary afloat and clearly broke laws to do it.

You know the old adage: "When you strike at the King you must kill him" (in our case politically/legally)

Well, it looks like the democrats broke laws and struck at the "King".......and missed.

Now the King gets to strike back...and with all the "tools" the dems left for him.

tim in vermont said...

The "King" here is the deep state.

sparrow said...

For the record the NYT has been dishonest for far longer than 50 years. The lies of the notorious Walter Duranty, who whitewashed mass starvation in Stalin's Soviet, is the clearest case in point.

sparrow said...

I'd add they (NYT) also neglected/minimized Mao's Cultural Revolution until far after the fact ,j ust like Chomsky minimized Pol Pot. The hard left is shameless.

AprilApple said...

Covering for lying liars who lie(D) - WaPo and NYT, standing at the ready.

Anthony said...

Blogger Hagar said...
Heard on the news tonight that it is called "reverse targeting," i.e., officially, the foreigner is the target, but it really is the American.


Bingo. All they need to do to spy on Person A (illegally) is to find someone else they can spy on (legally) so they will be certain to spy on Person A as well.

It's so transparent even the media twits could figure that out.

Meaning a lot of them have and don't care (as long as it hurts conservatives) and also a lot of them are dumb as stumps anyway and can't.

grackle said...

Here’s the wiretap deniers’ basic problem:

True, the FISA warrant was legal and thus wiretapping the target, a Russian diplomat, was legal. But the unmasking of American citizens who may have spoke to the Russian diplomat was highly illegal.

The crux of the matter as I see it is: If the unmasking also included “incidental” conversations between the diplomat and some regular citizens(like for instance the diplomat’s florist) then I think the wiretap deniers will be able to hunker down and win the narrative.

But if the unmasking was selective, if the unmasking was all Trump-related … then the denier narrative will lose and the wiretap narrative will win.

Further speculation:

I doubt that Nunes would be having press conferences, calling Speaker Ryan and going immediately to the Whitehouse unless the whistleblower’s evidence proved selectivity. To me Nunes is acting like a man wanting to avoid being caught up in a legacy-destroying scandal. Perhaps he was confronted with explosive evidence by a whistleblower who was probably smart enough to cover his own ass in case Nunes decided to suppress the evidence.

First Rule of Whistleblowers: Always have secure copies of the evidence hidden away.

First Rule of Politicians: Always cover your own ass when confronted by a cagey whistleblower.

Fictional plot: A whistleblower from an intelligence agency is brought to you and the whistleblower has explosive evidence that proves the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump presidential transition team in Trump Towers.

So you call in Steve Bannon and you, Bannon and the whistleblower devise a plan. The whistleblower will go to Nunes, who is head of the committee who is investigating you, and offer in private to turn the evidence over to Nunes.

But first you tweet that you just found out that Obama wiretapped you. Then you sit back and watch the fun.

Sam L. said...

It's the NYT, lady! It's ALL weasel words.

Rusty said...

Chuck
That you consider Brietbart and Levin "alt right" is reason enough to mark you as a moby'

It comes down to this, then. What was it about Hillary that would have made her a better alternative to Trump?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Yancey Ward said...I think it pretty clear now what happened starting around the time Trump secured the nomination- a deliberate effort was started to electronically monitor the people with whom Trump and his campaign staff were communicating. It finesses the charge that the Obama Administration was targeting Trump and his staff. Everything could be claimed to be inadvertent while being pretty damned comprehensive.

Right, but none of that would matter under the old rules--the Trump people's names would have been redacted. The really crucial point, the one the Republicans need to start hammering hard, is that Obama changed those rules so that the names of people picked up incidentally would be both exposed and shared widely within government.

To date I have heard NO explanation as to why that change was necessary from a national security nor a law enforcement perspective. It seems to have served NO purpose other than to allow the dissemination and leaking of highly sensitive information (in a way that can smear individual American citizens without giving them a chance to defend themselves). Which, you know, is exactly what happened. For me that rule change is the key to this--to presenting this as an actual scandal. The leaks were illegal, as leaks of that kind always are, but the "DC elites" always tolerate horrible leaks when they serve a political purpose (witness the Media's highly selective outrage depending on who a given leak hurts). Without the rule changes Obama implemented as he was on the way out, though, these particular leaks would not have been possible.

It's very difficult to conclude the rule changes were not designed for exactly this. That's weaponizing the government's intelligence apparatus against political opponents, and that's a "big fucking deal." I don't know why a long time Republican like Chuck seems to think it's ok just 'cause Trump's such a bad dude, but I have to think that most of the American people would find this entirely unacceptable.

The Obama rule changes allowing the umasking of people who weren't targets and the sharing of that information is the aspect to focus on.

chickelit said...

I don't know why a long time Republican like Chuck seems to think it's ok just 'cause Trump's such a bad dude, but I have to think that most of the American people would find this entirely unacceptable.

Occam's Razor suggests an easier explanation for Chuck: He's a fraud of the first magnitude.

Chuck said...

Rusty said...
Chuck
That you consider Brietbart and Levin "alt right" is reason enough to mark you as a moby'
It comes down to this, then. What was it about Hillary that would have made her a better alternative to Trump?

Nothing. Which is why I voted for Trump. And why, as I have written very recently, I would also be one of the majority -- an overwhelming majority of like 98.5% or something fantastically similar -- of Trump voters who do not regret and would not change that vote.

Just how hard is it for you to wrap your head around the simple ideas that a) I voted for Trump, as the least-worst option; b) I voted for Trump principally to advance the cause(s) of the Republican Party in Washington; c) My personal feelings toward Trump are a mixture of extreme disrespect, personal loathing, ridicule, fear and very limited hope that things will be better than what Trump's skills and personal qualities might dictate...?

I know that there are a lot of voters like me. I am not any sort of rare outlier. There may be almost as many of me, as there are folks who think that Donald Trump is the greatest thing to happen to politics in two decades or more.

ken in tx said...

Using the term Wiretapping, in whatever form of it you use, to mean electronic surveillance, is a kind of skeuomorph--not a lie. It's like the little floppy disk icon to indicate Save, when no floppy is in fact used, or the shutter click noise used to indicate when a picture has been taken, when no shutter is actually opening and closing. It is also analogous to someone saying Film, or Tape, when actually referring to a digital video recording. No one except Word Nazis, or someone with an agenda would call these things lies. It's like arguing about the meaning of the word Is.

Chuck said...

Francisco D said...
The Lifelong Republican wrote: "But Trump's proposal of "a complete and total shutdown of Muslims..." was nuts."
For those of you unfamiliar with Chuck's mendacity, let me simply state that Trumps original EO applied to 7 countries (designated by the Obama administration) as having non-functional governments incapable of discerning active jihadists from regular citizens.
It was not a ban on Muslims.
Chuck is not a Lifelong Republican.
The Easter Bunny does not leave those multi-colored eggs in your back yard.


I see that some of my many close and personal friends here have already begun to defend me against this attack.

Let me see if I can make this beatdown of Francisco D any better.

Francisco; Dude! Trump actually said that; "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." That is from the official Trump-Pence website, from a statement drafted for Trump's use. (Trump said, "can figure out what the hell is going on..." when he read the statement.) Here's the link:

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration

Now the reason that that old campaign statement keeps coming up is because Trump's adversaries in the litigation of his two executive orders keep bringing it up. I don't agree with the (all-Democrat) state attorneys general and others who are challenging Trump's EO's. I have written many times, that I think some bad law may be made in those cases, if the EO's are judicially nullified.

But the fact that Trump said something so stupid, and so impossible to enact, is where I was making my point. Trump was never going to get a "Muslim ban." The first EO, somewhat carelessly drafted and badly introduced within the Executive Branch, was not a Muslim ban. Rudy Giuliani -- in another case of saying something that would later be used against the EO's -- said that Trump wanted to put his campaign idea into legally-doable language. But it could never be a "Muslim ban." It would never be "a Muslim ban." It wasn't a "Muslim ban," when real lawyers worked it out. And so Trump should never have talked about a "Muslim ban."

Except insofar as it may have been one of those grand lies that politicians tell during campaigns, that get dumb and emotional people fired up and that attracts lots of publicity to an otherwise marginal candidate. On that score, Trump's "Muslim ban" statement was pure, winning Trump.

I hope that this clears up how stupid and reprehensible your post was, Francisco D. You got the substance entirely wrong, which then makes your ridicule of me beneath contempt. Any questions?

chickelit said...

@Chuck: You chose long ago to go after Trump in a personal and vicious way. You are reaping what you sowed.

Schadenboners all around.

Chuck said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
Chuck has told us he can probably forgive Obama if Obama did improperly have the gov conduct surveillance on Trump because Trump is "such a prick."
I think that's about all we need to know to put his arguments on this topic into the proper Co text.


Speaking of context, I remember having typed that. I remember at that time thinking, "somebody is gonna take this very literally and I really should not hit "Publish Your Comment." But that there was context! I was pissed about something going on, on the Comments pages (yet more personal insults of me, no doubt, which were probably on the extreme side at that moment) and I unwisely published that comment instead of taking the deep breath that I should have taken.

Where did you find that line from me? Do you have a link?

Chuck said...

chickelit said...
@Chuck: You chose long ago to go after Trump in a personal and vicious way. You are reaping what you sowed.


I did. So I might agree, Donald Trump may be entitled to go after me in a personal and vicious way. (What a surprise!)

When I never initiated any attacks on anyone here, what gives Althouse commenters any basis to attack me personally? Particularly when there is a written rule specifically prohibiting such personal attacks?

You are attacking me, because I attacked Trump. It is an observation that I have been making here, regularly, weekly, and sometimes daily, for more than a year.


Drago said...

Shorter "lifelong republican" Chuck: Nobody knows, da trouble I seen, nobody knows my sorrow....

Chuck said...

ken in tx said...
Using the term Wiretapping, in whatever form of it you use, to mean electronic surveillance, is a kind of skeuomorph--not a lie. It's like the little floppy disk icon to indicate Save, when no floppy is in fact used, or the shutter click noise used to indicate when a picture has been taken, when no shutter is actually opening and closing. It is also analogous to someone saying Film, or Tape, when actually referring to a digital video recording. No one except Word Nazis, or someone with an agenda would call these things lies. It's like arguing about the meaning of the word Is.


Baloney. Trump wasn't speaking off the cuff. And he wasn't responding to a question on the fly. Trump wrote it out and published it. And then he did it again. And then again. And then, for more than a week, he had no explanation, and no justification, for one of the most explosively hostile things ever uttered by one President of the United States against a former President.

And when he finally got around to answering one or two of the relevant questions (he should have answered many more), his answer was bullshit.

Trump used the phrase "wiretap," or various botched variants of that phrase repeatedly, and never used the word "surveillance." I presume it is because Trump has trouble spelling "surveillance."

But let's be clear; the way that this whole mess reflects badly on Trump doesn't rest on any use or misuse of "wiretap." It is bad for Trump because of the entire context; his getting the story from Breitbart/Levin/HeatStreet; his raving, unedited Tweets at 6 am; his deflection of why he wrote them; the lie about having gotten it from the NYT; and most of all, his vicious and hateful personalizing it, without evidence, as to Barack Obama.

Drago said...

Sorry Chuckie, but I'm afraid your continuing efforts to NOT talk about the potentially biggest and mostest explosive story in the last 100 years involving the illegal surveillance of incoming President by a sitting President as well as nothing less than an attempted palace coup are yielding fewer and fewer returns.

But by all means continue bringing up interviews from decades past or unique and new and edgy insults about Trumps hair or comments made months ago on the campaign trail.

We'll just stick with this astonishing, incredible, unprecedented developing story that clearly scares the hell out of you and your "lifelong republicany-ness".

Chuck said...

Drago said...
Shorter "lifelong republican" Chuck: Nobody knows, da trouble I seen, nobody knows my sorrow....


If I moderated these Comments pages, you'd have been gone a long time ago.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "If I moderated these Comments pages, you'd have been gone a long time ago."

Yeah, I get that alot from left-wing fascists.

tim in vermont said...

The more he talks...

Drago said...

So, the question on the table is: What did Obama know about the now obvious surveillance of the Trump Campaign, when did he know it, and what OTHER actions did he take during the final months of his Presidency to facilitate law-breaking?

Remember, our sneaky li'l ex-President changed the rules to make it easier to disseminate raw data and intercepts throughout our government and...and this was a more obscure one but see if you recall it:

During the time the dems were screaming for Sessions to recuse himself from any and all investigation overisght/decision-making, which Sessions did (though he should not have), we discovered that Obama had secretly altered the order of succession within the Dept of Justice so that if any Special Prosecutor or Investigator was to be assigned to investigate the fake Russia Collusion charges, it would be one of obamas/Holders butt-boys doing the assigning.

Remember that?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/10/trump-executive-order-obama-justice-department-succession/97752898/

snip: "Seven days before he left office, President Obama changed the order of succession without explanation to remove Boente from the list. Obama's order had listed U.S. attorneys in the District of Columbia, the Northern District of Illinois and the Central District of California."

It all stinks to high heaven and you can tell it doesn't look good based on the reactions of the lefties/MSM/"lifelong repubicans". Which makes me feel all warm inside!

Drago said...

And now we see that Nunes is calling Comey and Rogers up to the Hill for a closed session and that Manafort is also voluntarily coming up as well!

Well, isnt that very interesting indeed?

Manafort, just as happy as a clam to come up and testify, UNDER OATH, and questions, backed up by documentation, will be asked of Comey and Rogers. Need I remind you that will be UNDER OATH as well?

Not even Schiff-ty will be able to conduct effective covering operations.

Now here is an even more interesting question: What, precisely, has been told by IC members TO democrats on the hill about all of this?

More succinctly, what did the dems know and when did they know it? And from whom? And on what basis?

I ask because the timing of the democrat attacks, the rhetoric used since way before the election all the way thru to today, "suggests" they had inside knowledge and were helping their little obama-holdovers and MSM pals in this endeavor.

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