September 19, 2017

"US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election..."

"... sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe. The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump... The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence, according to one of the sources. The FBI then restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new FISA warrant that extended at least into early this year...."

You may remember a series of Trump tweets last March:
1. "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

2. "Is it legal for a sitting President to be 'wire tapping' a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!"

3. "I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!"

4. "How low has President Obama gone to tapp* my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"
Here's BBC discussing the response to those tweets back in March:
[The tweets] were not backed up by any evidence, and Mr Obama's spokesman and former US intelligence chief James Clapper denied that any wiretap had been ordered.... FBI Director James Comey for the first time on Monday confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that the agency is investigating possible links between Russia and Mr Trump's associates as part of a broader inquiry into Moscow's interference in last year's election. He also disputed Mr Trump's wiretapping claims.

"With respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI," he told the panel....

110 comments:

tim in vermont said...

But Trump's the liar on account of reasons.

mccullough said...

So the whole Russia bullshit is a pretext for this? Let me guess, the second warrant used the silly dossier information as a basis to electronically surveillance Manafort again.

Laslo Spatula said...

Stasi.

I am Laslo.

Henry said...

The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence, according to one of the sources. The FBI then restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new FISA warrant that extended at least into early this year

That brings up one of my favorite arguments:

The very lack of evidence suggests it must be true.

Big Mike said...

Did they tap Paul Manafort because they had evidence of wrongdoing on his part? Or because they hoped to pick up something said by Trump that would let them tap Trump? Did they stop at Manafort or did they in fact tap Trump himself on some flimsy pretext? How many other close Trump associates were tapped?

Chuck's denunciations of Trump's tweets make our fellow commentator look very foolish now.

darrenoia said...

Maybe it's time for the current administration to start investigating the former one. Benghazi, email servers, IRS scandals, Fast & Furious. Are there any charges that should be brought there? Mutually assured destruction is the only safe way to handle a weaponized bureaucracy.

Ken B said...

"Chuck's denunciations of Trump's tweets make our fellow commentator look very foolish now."

Coals, Newcastle.

LYNNDH said...

The IC all LIE like rugs. Breaking big rock into small rocks would be a fine punishment for them all. But we all know nothing will happen to any of them, except Trump people. Talk about Trumped up charges.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlbertAnonymous said...

Big Mike ... he always looked foolish.... always does.

Sebastian said...

So the MSM lied, Comey lied, Obama flacks lied, and Trump was right? The swamp did in fact spy on Trump and try to collect dirt on him? Say it ain't so!

What did O know, and when did he know it?

Mike said...

"Did they tap Paul Manafort because they had evidence of wrongdoing on his part?"

The latter. The FBI had been investigating Manafort since 2014 for his Ukraine dealings. Long before he became Trump's campaign manager. The then resumed late last year, after he was out. Moreover, it was FISA warrant sought by the FBI, not something Obama ordered. This doesn't "vindicate" the Donald in any way, shape or form. It means he hired a campaign manager who was so dirty the FBI had already been investigating for two years as a possible agent of a foreign government.

Chuck said...

All this is now a result of the problem that I raised from the moment that Trump's March Tweets came out; nobody can tell what exactly Trump was talking about.

If Trump is now going to be presumed to be right, it is because what Trump originally wrote was sufficiently vague and imprecise to include a court-issued warrant to surveil Paul Manafort, who has been under investigation from before the time that Trump announced any intention to run for the presidency.

narciso said...

Just like he was right about the tube bombing, now my theory is a ghcq cutout was also operating and the discovery of that is what prompted the sacking of hannigan

Mike said...

Where's the vichy republican from Michigan to tell us that there are no such things as "wiretaps"? An immense amount of digital words were deployed on this blog to attack Trump for what he tweeted back in January. Many of the more grounded commenters here tried to caution the LLR and the gleeful deranged liberals that Trump was right, only to be confronted with dictionary definitions of "wiretap" and other pedantic overkill.

Suck it! We told you the scummy Obama admin was spying on Trump and the more we learn the more right we are and were.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Manafort making money off Russians = bad, evil, mind control over Americans who really adore Hillary.

Hillary Clinton making money off secret Russian Uranium deals = not worthy of any scrutiny or attention.

Mike said...

nobody can tell what exactly Trump was talking about

We ALL knew what he was talking about. THIS news makes it clear that (again) the previous admin was out of control. YOU didn't know because you are obtuse and fixated on your Trump hatred.

By the way, how long was Manafort employed by Trump? A month? Two? In a fluid campaign environment from a first-time presidential candidate, to me it looks like Trump quickly saw what Manafort was about and replaced him immediately.

narciso said...

You betcha, now what's in this for Mueller, well one of the big clients of wilmer cutler were Qatari investors in Barclays and other parties that were threatened by general flynns push against salafis here and abroad. Recall that Susan rice pretext for unmasking flynn and kushner wee they were meeting with prince zayed who in turn has been backing president asisi, and his desert Conrade general hafter against the brotherhood and al queda

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Democrats lie. If the FBI is filled with democrats, the FBI is useless and corrupt.

David Begley said...

Yeah, no evidence. Maybe the MSM should start investigating.

Chuck said...

Mike, I think that what most Trump supporters -- including many people who comment on Althouse's blog -- think was that somehow, Obama was personally responsible for a politically-motivated attack on Donald Trump's privacy.

The developing story doesn't support that.

Here's one of the things that I wrote, by the way, back in March when Althouse blogged the story of the Tweets:

I'm not so sure anybody has mentioned it yet; if we make the (plausible, I submit) presumption that there was some form of FBI-requested/FISA-approved electronic surveillance within Trump Tower, and Trump has based his morning Tweets on that, has Donald J. Trump broken any laws by revealing the existence of same? Has Trump compromised information that was given to him in a classified briefing or other classified communication?

If Trump was talking about the wiretaps whose existence is being reported now, what was Trump doing, Tweeting about them back in March? That has to be a breach of DoJ and FBI procedures of a staggering sort.

tim in vermont said...

Team blue dances around the field, cheerleaders go wild, announcers and commentators spin on endlessly, then Trump comes out of the pile with the football.

narciso said...

He didn't have to, chuck as with the irs, or osha or doj's extortion unit known as the civil right commisars

tim in vermont said...

Pretty sure Trump can declassify anything he wants to. That's some serious despair on display by team blue.

Unknown said...

Manafort will soon be indicted. Who will be next? Things are unraveling faster now, good.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

TRUMP TO BE indicted - for beating HIllary.

narciso said...

Like with bob Mcdonnell, but mcauluffe is untouched same with Fitzgerald picking favirirs in Chicago and dc, these are all Clinton supporters and for Obama appointees making these decisions

Ron Winkleheimer said...

That has to be a breach of DoJ and FBI procedures of a staggering sort.

Going to hang your hat on that? Trump does things I don't approve of and refuses to play by rules designed to maintain the status quo he was elected to change.

OK then.

tim in vermont said...

"this is now a result of the problem that I raised from the moment that Trump's March Tweets came out; nobody can tell what exactly Trump was talking about."

I guess nobody is allowed to qualify their stements based on their current state of knowledge.

Chuck said...

tim in vermont said...
Pretty sure Trump can declassify anything he wants to. That's some serious despair on display by team blue.

You said that before. But I am not so sure that we are talking about classified information. We may be simply talking about an ongoing criminal investigation.

Big Mike said...

@Mike, thank you for your 9:01 response to my question. But in that case I wonder why Manafort is being pursued but not Joe Biden's son Robert? (He goes by his middle name, "Hunter")

narciso said...

Its the captain queenan play from the departed

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/obama-nsc-adviser-admits-seeking-trump-aides-identities-intel-reports/amp

Meanwhile she and Rhodesia allowed Russia and Iran to run rampant in Cuba Venezuela Syria and even yemen

tim in vermont said...

Amazing how all of the stories based on transcripts of wiretaps stopped on a dime when the narrative became "nobody tapped Trump's phone. But remember, the number of fingers Democrats are holding up is the nuber they tell you, not the number you see with your lying eyes.

JAORE said...

You would think someone, a frequent writer on this blog here, a MSM outlet there.....SOMEONE would have the moral consistency to say something like:
"I was wrong".

Nope, nope, nope.....

tim in vermont said...

So your story now is that an incoming president has no right to complain about wiretaps on him when the content was appea8daily in the press?

You go with that Chuck.

Big Mike said...

@Chuck, Obama was such a notorious micromanager that it is difficult to believe that his direct reports would get involved in something as sensitive as investigating people close to the Republican president-elect without Obama's implicit agreement.

EDH said...

Chuck said...
Mike, I think that what most Trump supporters -- including many people who comment on Althouse's blog -- think was that somehow, Obama was personally responsible for a politically-motivated attack on Donald Trump's privacy.

The developing story doesn't support that.


Couldn't Nixon make the same denial about the Watergate break-in? Even today, if he were alive.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...Mike, I think that what most Trump supporters -- including many people who comment on Althouse's blog -- think was that somehow, Obama was personally responsible for a politically-motivated attack on Donald Trump's privacy.

The developing story doesn't support that.


That's not good enough, Chuck. I'm not a Trump supporter but that's not nearly good enough.
That's the same dodge the upstanding unbiased members of the Media rely upon exclusively when minimizing the Lois Lerner IRS wrongdoing, Chuck. "Well, the President didn't directly order this action, and there's been no 100% certain link back to anyone in the White House giving an order for this to happen, so it's just wrong to say that any of this is the President's fault." That's now how it works, Chuck.
I'm going to hope you agree that President Obama's administration should bear responsibility for the Lerner-led political targeting and other wrongdoing that occurred during Obama's tenure. If so I hope you understand why Obama's administration must bear responsibility for any actions taken against Trump campaign staff during the run up to the election. If you want to argue that the actions taken were all valid and above-board, fine. But don't argue that none of this goes back to Obama. It does.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hey, quick question: did Mantafort have a residence in the Trump Tower? If so, is it possible that residence was "wiretapped?" If so doesn't that mean that Trump Tower was, in fact, wiretapped? A part of it, anyway?

Original Mike said...

"Hey, quick question: did Mantafort have a residence in the Trump Tower?"

Yes, he did.

Birches said...

That's the same dodge the upstanding unbiased members of the Media rely upon exclusively when minimizing the Lois Lerner IRS wrongdoing, Chuck. "Well, the President didn't directly order this action, and there's been no 100% certain link back to anyone in the White House giving an order for this to happen, so it's just wrong to say that any of this is the President's fault."

Bingo!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I gotta say, I do hope this opens up our involvement in the Ukrainain mess. Our government was heavily involved in the political situation there, and seems to have done quite a lot to influence events "on the ground." It's not strictly a partisan issue, either: Republican John McCain, among others, was deeply involved.

I don't have any particular love for Yanukovych, but his last election seemed to be valid. The events leading up to what amounted to a coup in early 2014 sure have a lot of US fingerprints and I'm willing to bet high-placed US officials would prefer the Media to not dig too deeply into who backed whom, etc. The Media has respected those wishes, of course, but if the impetus behind "getting" Mantafort is that he was trying to help people the Russians supported in the Ukraine mess, it sure seems like it'll have to come out that those actions were a problem mainly because the official US position was to help people on the Russians opposed!

The supreme irony of all of this is that to hear the Media (and Democrats, and many NeverTrumpers) tell it Donald Trump's election is suspect precisely because some foreign nation "interfered in our election!" Which, you know, it's pretty clear the US did, in a big way, in Ukraine.

Bay Area Guy said...

Has Mueller indicted anyone yet? It's been over a year now.

Usually, there is strong evidence of a crime (masked robbers taking $$ from Bank), and then you try to find the bad guys who did It.

Here, they don't know if a crime has been committed, and our floundering about trying to find something on Trump or his colleagues.

Mueller should resign. This is pitiful.

Or maybe he should indict Russia.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Chuck,
That's odd, Chuck. I don't recall anyone saying that Obama personally ordered the wire taps. Seems pretty clear that Trump was referencing actions by the government during Obama's administration.

bagoh20 said...

Every President knows he doesn't have to specifically order things he wants done. That understanding is central to the chain of command, and required of all underlings to be hired. That's why we never have proof of responsibility at the top. It's also why we should hold the boss responsible for his administration's actions, despite the fact they so often get excused of it. That is, of course, the very reason for the tactic.

James K said...

Hillary Clinton making money off secret Russian Uranium deals = not worthy of any scrutiny or attention.

And Podesta was in deep with the Russians.

Gabriel said...

@Mike: Moreover, it was FISA warrant sought by the FBI, not something Obama ordered

When did the FBI go rogue, then? Obama, last I checked, was at that time the head of the executive branch, according to the Constitution, and the FBI is under his authority.

So if the FBI did it, he didn't stop them. Did they not inform him? In that case, they went rogue. If they informed him and he didn't stop them, they had his consent.

Saint Croix said...

Mr Obama's spokesman and former US intelligence chief James Clapper denied that any wiretap had been ordered…

I don't know why anybody believes anything Clapper has to say about anything or anybody.

He should straight up be in prison for committing perjury to Congress.

Got his own damn go to jail website and everything.

Every news article with James Clapper ought to have the words "Unindicted Felon" and "Ought To Be In Prison" in that opening paragraph.

bagoh20 said...

"Has Mueller indicted anyone yet? It's been over a year now. "

There will be no crime discovered. The crimes will be created by the investigation asking lots of questions until they get someone to lie. Then that becomes the whole thing. Remember the Valerie Plame bullshit. No real crime, and the technicality that was violated was done so by the home team, so nobody got charged with it, but the poor bastard that lied or mis-remembered an irrelevant detail goes to jail for lying about a crime that didn't happen. Nice system you got there.

Saint Croix said...

CNN has some real egg on their faces.

Chris N said...

Hey Chuck, have you considered your oddly focused commitment towards some principles, and against Trump, blinds you to many truths and possibilities?

Mike Sylwester said...

I suspect that Robert "The FBI White-Washer" Mueller himself is leaking this information to Trump-hating journalists.

When Mueller was the FBI Director, the FBI leaked juicy tidbits about the FBI's main suspect Steven Hatfill for two reasons:

1) To apply psychological pressure on Hatfill.

2) To inform the public that the FBI was making good progress.

That's how Mueller managed investigations then and now.

For many years, Mueller was the mentor of "Crazy Comey the Leaker" and taught Comey by his own example how to use leaks to promote his investigations.

Mike Sylwester said...

I recommend that everyone read:

--------

"The Russian Hacking Story Continues to Unravel" by Mike Whitney

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/the-russian-hacking-story-continues-to-unravel/

-------

"Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" by an anonymous retired IT executive of the IBM corporation

https://nef4rhc.wordpress.com/


-------

Martin said...

So, Comey lied to Congress. So what? Nobody cares.

They should, but if it has even the smallest potential to hurt Trump, they don't.

MadisonMan said...

We have no information to support those tweets. All I can tell you is that we have no information that supports them.

That was Comey's quote from way back when. Althouse link.

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

... former US intelligence chief James Clapper denied that any wiretap had been ordered ...

During the 2016 election race, Hillary Clinton criticized Donald Trump for ignoring the judgment of "17 intelligence agencies" that Russia had meddled in the campaign.

James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, knew that Clinton's accusation was total bullshit, but he did not issue any correction to the electorate. Clapper knew that Clinton's accusation was winning for her, and he wanted her to win the election.

In his federal position, Clapper did not serve the entire nation. Rather, he served only the Democratic Party. He viewed his role as directing the US Intelligence Community to collect and report information that would help the Democratic Party win elections.

Clapper was a thoroughly corrupt official.

Clapper's attitude is shared by many other Intelligence Community officials:

* Robert "The FBI White-Washer" Mueller

* Sally "Russian Blackmail for Violating the Logan Act" Yates

* James "Crazy Comey the Leaker"

* And many, many others.

Michael K said...

It means he hired a campaign manager who was so dirty the FBI had already been investigating for two years as a possible agent of a foreign government.

Yes, Manafort, a private citizen, was hired by the legally elected president of Ukraine to help overcome a coup d'etat being run buy Obama and his admin to overthrow the Ukraine president because he was too close to the Russians.

Here is a reasonably fair account of the events.

Mr. Manafort’s greatest victory in Ukraine came in the presidential election in 2010. Mr. Yanukovych’s campaign focused on a platform of economic competence and targeted voters in the south and east by promising to give the Russian language special status and to avoid scuffles with Moscow.

The circumstances were favorable: The leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution, Ms. Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko, had turned on each other. Ms. Tymoshenko, the prime minister, was battling a 15% drop in economic output in 2009.


Ukraine has a large Russian population in the eastern part of the country. Crimea was arguably more part of Russia than Ukraine.

We got heavily involved in Russian affairs under Obama who picked favorites, as in Israel.

tim in vermont said...

Everything is wiretapped, what was done in the case of Trump Tower is that that specific data was queried. It's a distinction without a difference.

Birkel said...

I entered Chuck into my LLR-to-English dictionary and I got the following:

Nobody could have known exactly what Trump meant and the fact you guys wrote things at the time that are now proven accurate in no way makes what Trump wrote clear, despite you guys getting it correct back then and me being a freak show.

Can anybody confirm this translation?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?!"

Hey, the king didn't ORDER the murder, so how can anyone blame Henry for Becket getting his skull hacked through? READ WHAT THE KING SAID, guys! You people are such unreasonable partisans, to pretend you have proof of something when there's just no direct link! Sad.

Drago said...

Can anybody confirm this translation?

#CNNStrongDefenders have to do what they must to defend their MSM beloveds while simultaneously providing back-tracking cover for another in their long, long, (endless) string of "stuff" they got wrong.

And continue to get wrong.

readering said...

Haven't read any comments that actually vindicate POTUS nutso tweet against predecessor. Speculation on where he was coming from, but not anything that actually casts him in a good light. Still shows him to be paranoid lacking in impulse control, let alone mature judgment.

Mike Sylwester said...

One personal consequence of this investigation for Paul Manafort is that his two daughters -- and all the publishers of tabloid magazines -- have learned that he had a mistress while he was married.

Tabloids reported the news right after Robert "The FBI White-Washer" Mueller ordered his team to search Manafort's home.

Lots of rich associates of Donald Trump likewise have mistresses and do not want their wives and daughters to be informed about their infidelities.

Mueller has learned well from the example of previous FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover about how to pressure people to cooperate with federal investigations.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

CNN - Democrat Hack Party Headquarters.

roesch/voltaire said...

Manafort shared in the dirty politics of the Ukraine to at least the tune of 17 million and according to Bloomberg" Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating what they call a “criminal organization” set up by Yanukovych via bribes and theft of state assets before he fled to Moscow after the killing of more than 100 protesters in 2014, and they are looking at what role Manafort may have played in the suspected scheme. They’ve repeatedly asked the FBI for help to question Manafort as part of their inquiry into a New York law firm in connection to a report that largely defended the Tymoshenko prosecution."
Considering that Trump Tower was marbled with Russian money launders etc, I am sure, as I have said before, there were wire taps for at least Manafort.

tim in vermont said...

"Still shows him to be paranoid lacking in impulse control, let alone mature judgment."

Except he was right, and the wiretappers were leaking bits that looked juicy when stripped of context daily. But not admitting that you were wrong is one more data point.

tim in vermont said...

Are you paranoid if people in power really are out to get you? Does anybody deny that lots of powerful people, including people at intelligence agencies, were and are out to get Trump?

Pookie Number 2 said...

Haven't read any comments that actually vindicate POTUS nutso tweet against predecessor. Speculation on where he was coming from, but not anything that actually casts him in a good light. Still shows him to be paranoid lacking in impulse control, let alone mature judgment.

Agree on the apparent impulse control, although I suspect that this aspect of his image is somewhat intentionally manufactured rather than real. In his own clumsy way, Trump was attributing the wiretapping to Obama the same way Obama sycophants say that Obama "killed bin Laden". It's more-or-less how actual people talk, notwithstanding the intentionally-dishonest selectively-applied legalistic hair-splitting.

It's possible (more accurately: "undeniable") that Trump is crass and imprecise, and that the Obama administration still abused its power.

tim in vermont said...

Please cite your sources regarding Trump and Russian money laundering. This isn't the DailyKos or one of your classrooms.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I will ask a simple question: to whom, in our system of government, does the FBI report? A follow up: who does that person report to? The answer to question one is the Attorney General. The answer to question two is the President of the United States. So the conclusion we can reach is that Director of the FBI is in the executive branch for which the President has overall responsibility. Yes? No?

Straying a bit into history: what was the sign Harry Truman had on his desk? The answer: "The buck stops here." What did Truman mean to signify with that sign? The answer: that he, as president, was responsible for all actions in the executive branch. So if that was the case then, how has the position of the President changed so that a wiretap by the FBI is an action for which the President is not responsible?

Open your blue books. You have one hour to answer the final question.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

What money laundering, Roesch?

There was actual money flow, laundering, improper influence pedaling, and insider power deals - but I doubt you care.

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

but but but CNN, insisted it was all lies.

Chuck said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
Chuck,
That's odd, Chuck. I don't recall anyone saying that Obama personally ordered the wire taps. Seems pretty clear that Trump was referencing actions by the government during Obama's administration.


What a goddamned fucking lie. Who the fuck do you think you are kidding? If Trump knew all about this story, why bring Obama into it? A warrant request from the FBI, on an investigation that was many months old when Trump first began to think about running; a warrant that was granted by a federal judge. And yet Trump goes out of his way to personalize it as to Obama, saying that Obama is a "Bad (or sick) guy."

We wouldn't be arguing over the meaning of what Trump tweeted, if only he had been clearer to begin with. Or if he had sat down and explained it afterward. Trump never did that.

You are all going to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. And I am not.

You wanna see how this works? The DoJ and the FBI made a statement on this subject: "Both FBI and NSD confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets..."

AND THAT IS TRUE! They easily get away with saying that, because Trump's Tweets talked about "Obama" having Trumps' "wires tapped" in Trump Tower. If Trump had Tweeted that he understood that there had been a warrant for a wiretap of Paul Manafort, and that the wiretap might have picked up a Manafort phone inside of Trump Tower, and that one or more conversations with Trump might have been surveiled, I might expect that the FBI/DoJ might have had a different answer.

But then, Trump's whole story would have been different from the start, too.

Which, again, has been my point all along. Trump, saying slippery, half-true, salesman-type shit. Which his supporters -- the ones who would accept him shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue -- all take as true, and as adequately accurate.

Honestly, anybody who proposes to deal with Trump has to assume the worst. That unless you have Trump under oath, under cross-examination, with a court reporter, you can't believe him.

Getting Trump under oath, under cross-examination, with a court reporter, is how you get a $25 million civil fraud judgment against him.


Kevin said...

I think that what most Trump supporters -- including many people who comment on Althouse's blog -- think was that somehow, Obama was personally responsible for a politically-motivated attack on Donald Trump's privacy.

I think that what most Trump detractors -- including many people who comment on Althouse's blog -- think was that somehow, Obama was in no way responsible for a politically-motivated attack on Donald Trump's privacy by the Executive Branch when he was the head of the Executive Branch.

FIFY.

When will people get it through their heads that it wasn't just the collection of the data, but the unmasking and the spreading of it throughout the government to agencies, who were not investigating Manifort and who had no need to know, that was so reprehensible?

And who did the unmasking (Susan Rice) and who did the spreading around (Barack Obama)?

tim in vermont said...

"Both FBI and NSD confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets..."

LOL, I am sure that my wife would be greatly reassured if she asked me if I were having an affair and I told her that I had never had an affair with a redhead or a brunette.

You already went to great lengths filling in for Donald what he *must have* really meant, then said that that was false. Like I said Chuck, you are no good at this shell game you are trying to play.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I'm just going to suggest people do some reading and Googling on their own.

To get you started: Rick Davis was John McCain's campaign manager in 2000 and 2008. Davis is a partner in the non-creatively named consulting firm "Davis Mantafort." Davis helped arrange meetings between Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and McCain (plus a few other Senators) in 2006. Deripaska is seen by some as a key Putin proxy.

How about: McCain is chairman of the IRI - International Republican Institute. That organization exists to help influence foreign politics--to promote pro-Western/pro-democracy movements and groups within foreign nations. The IRI was heavily involved in a bunch of the Arab Spring countries, in Haiti (pre-'04 coup), and importantly in Poland. The IRI has over the years gotten a bunch of money from USAID for these activities...so there's a pretty solid argument that the US government is in that way officially involved in interfering with the politics and elections of other countries. McCain personally went to the Ukraine protests in late 2013, told the anti-government protesters he was on their side, threatened sanctions against the Ukraine if the government was violent in breaking up the protests (while many protestors were throwing Molotov cocktails, etc...), and--hilariously--saying that foreigners like Putin must not interfere in Ukrainian affairs.

Please remember that most of these protests were kicked off when the elected Ukrainian government decided to back away from a large trade and finance deal with the EU and instead seek a financial deal with Russia. The elected leaders making their own policy was apparently unacceptable for McCain et al.

Side research: the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm run by John Podesta (President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff and special counselor to President Obama) and his brother Tony, did a bunch of work for the Ukrainian Party of Regions. That's the same party (a pro-Russian group) that Davis Mantafort advised. The Podesta Group didn't initially disclose that work...but went back early this year and filed the paperwork to admit they did work lobbying for a foreign power. What's fun is that the Podesta Group's work was probably directed by...Mantafort! The Podesta Group ostensibly worked for a think tank called European Center for Modern Ukraine and since they said that group wasn't controlled nor financed by a foreign power the Podesta Group didn't disclose the work to the Justice Department. After a lot of this news broke regarding Mantafort, though, the Podesta Group went back and filed Foreign Agents Registration Act paperwork!
Now, note: the Podesta Group also had to file some amended FARA paperwork regarding their efforts for India after John Podesta's hacked email proved that activity was occurring. Part of the Podesta Group's work included setting up meetings with State Dept. officials and staffers for congress people with members of that "think tank," and some of those staffers worked for...Senator John McCain.
Oh, John Podesta was chair of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Small detail.

Anyway...Google up!

narciso said...

Yes and chuck, comey and company have been proven as liars ask Steven hatfll orf frank quattrone, he arranged the whole blame deal for fits even though they already knew the leakier, or take clapper.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe it isn't. shell game? Maybe you just really think that only what seems to enter your purblind field of vision is in fact reality? You should look up "purblind" Chuck, everybody should know the meaning of words that describe them to a 't'.

hombre said...

"Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime." Lavrentiy Beria, NKVD, USSR, circa 1938; Robert Mueller, Special Prosecutor, 2017.

If Sessions doesn't counter by investigating the Obots, the FBI and the Clinton's, Trump should fire him regardless of the consequences. Mueller and his Democrat button men will aim to bring the Administration down and the crooked Democrats will, as usual, walk away unscathed. Sessions has probable cause. Mueller never did.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Lifelong Republican gets all worked up defending the virtue of his boyfriend Obama.

Curious, that.

Pookie Number 2 said...

You are all going to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. And I am not.

That distinction is probably about right. Empirically, the former approach works much better than the latter if one is interested in reality.

(The latter approach is far better for unhinged self-congratulatory Trump bashing, of course.)

tim in vermont said...

If I were Chuck I would say that accusing me of having an affair was impossibly imprecise! What hotel was I at? If you can't answer that, don't ask the question! I don't care if you keep finding lipstick on my collar and blonde hairs on my jacket! (OK, Leaks to the press.)

Mike said...

I don't know why anybody believes anything Clapper has to say about anything or anybody.

He should straight up be in prison for committing perjury to Congress.


Relevant and true. Same applies to Comey now.

tim in vermont said...

It is true that giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, as in his condemnation of AntiFa, and this issue is more likely to get you to the factual answer.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, it also turned out that Trump was correct in his comments that the latest UK subway interior redecorator was known to the police. It turns out, in fact, that both of the arrest parties were juvenile refugees fostered by the same couple. One Syrian and one Iraqi. The guy who took in the bomb had been arrested two weeks prior.

So Trump can afford to say these things, take the resulting media backlash, and wait for the truth to emerge. Over time, it's going to build his credibility with the electorate and destroy the media's credibility. This pattern is beginning to gain strength, and every reiteration will reinforce Trump's hand come election time. Trump keeps losing in the media and winning in reality.

In a very short period of time Trump has turned the opposition's best weapon (their influence in the press) into a very double-edged sword. If they don't back off, at some crucial time in the future Trump may in fact be able to babble inanities and be believed.

Mike said...

Lifelong Republican gets all worked up defending the virtue of his boyfriend Obama.

Curious, that.


Has never heard any synecdoche in which Obama gets credit/blame like:

"Obama got Osama."
"That's my Obamaphone."
"Obama helped Dreamers with DACA."
"Obama gave away the store to Iran."
"Obama saved General Motors."
"The Obama IRS was targeting conservatives."
"Obama wiretapped my phones."
"Obama sold guns to Mexican cartels."

Funny that!

hombre said...

Blogger Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...
"Democrats lie. If the FBI is filled with democrats, the FBI is useless and corrupt."

The FBI is corrupt. No "if" is necessary. Recent refusal to testify before Congress. Failure to examine DNC computers after "hacking." Accepting DNC contractors assessment of "Russian hacking." Political wiretaps. Untimely immunity grants in Hillary's email investigation. Comey's infamy. Etc.

buwaya said...

Cicero, De Inventione, Book I, Chap. XVI -

"We shall render our hearers willing to receive information, if we explain the sum total of the cause with plainness and brevity, that is to say, the point on which the dispute hinges. For when you wish to make a hearer inclined to receive information you must also render him attentive. For he is above all men willing to receive information who is prepared to listen with the greatest attention."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Mike said...
Has never heard any synecdoche in which Obama gets credit/blame like:


That's funny, I just posted this in another thread:


To assist some of our Life Long Republican friends, a couple of concepts to help explain common human communication:

Wiki: Metonymy

Wiki: Synecdoche

Wiki: Metalepsis

Consider those concepts when deciding whether, in context, "Obama" might mean "the Obama Administration doing Obama's will", whether "Trump Tower" might mean "members of the campaign residing in Trump Tower" or "discussions occurring in Trump tower among people working to elect Trump", and whether "wiretap" might mean "covert surveillance techniques and methods."

Consider how plainly stupid it is to insist that a POLITICIAN acting as a politician always use precise, lawyerly language to communicate every idea...especially when politicians who are in fact lawyers have been known to intentionally mislead during actual depositions on topics such as what the meaning of "is" is.

Yancey Ward said...

Manafort worked for Trump for about 3 months. Follow the timeline and add in the necessary lag in the way things are done, and you can probably better understand this.

The original warrant was not renewed because there was no evidence supporting its continuance- that is an important point that is being lost here. Why did the FBI go back for second warrant after that? Because it was a way tap the Trump Campaign. The problem for the Obama Administration, however, was this- Trump fired Manafort too quickly. After August, Manafort's connections to Trump were practically zero and the warrant ended up being less useful for political purposes than they had hoped.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Remember when CNN rigorously insisted that the murder of Seth Rich had nothing to do with anything DNC, Podesta or Clinton?

FullMoon said...

Chuck whispers:

What a goddamned fucking lie. Who the fuck do you think you are kidding?

Aww, you are soooo cute when you are angry :-)

Left Bank of the Charles said...

James Comey really was a piece of work as FBI Director. But since he was a deep state official, if he was surprised by a question a truthful answer to which would have compromised a secret national security operation, he was allowed to say whatever was expedient to get out of the situation, even if he was under oath.

That's the unwritten rule. One can complain about it all one wants, but nothing is likely to be done about it.

Humperdink said...

The most hilarious theme throughout the comments is that our beloved LLR is outraged!!! Yes he's outraged!!!!

Wags finger at camera ..... I did not have sex with that wiretap accusation!!"

traditionalguy said...

The stupid Medea that plays acts like they are heroes taking out our President, just like Watergate did to Nixon, are gonna cringe the day they wake up and see that this is another political campaign burglarizing the other political campaign's offices for information, and it was Obama & Clinton doing it.

Birches said...

What Maxed Out Mama said.

The media is committing seppuku.

Scott McGlasson said...

All this is now a result of the problem that I raised from the moment that Trump's March Tweets came out; nobody can tell what exactly Trump was talking about.

If Trump is now going to be presumed to be right, it is because what Trump originally wrote was sufficiently vague and imprecise to include a court-issued warrant to surveil Paul Manafort, who has been under investigation from before the time that Trump announced any intention to run for the presidency.


Chuck, you misspelled "mea culpa".

Char Char Binks said...

"It means he hired a campaign manager who was so dirty the FBI had already been investigating for two years as a possible agent of a foreign government."

Being investigated = guilty? Are you a Constitutional scholar?

n.n said...

In Watergate, the government was only guilty of a coverup. It seems that with Towergate, there was an official conspiracy to target a presidential candidate, with the intent to disenfranchise American citizens. The official rationalization hinges on investigation of an individual close to the campaign whose business became suspect following a Western-backed coup in Kiev, which also colluded with the Obama administration (and other foreign intelligence assets) to concoct dossiers and with the press to publish a coverup of the administration's role in an elective regime change which coincided with a progressive obsession with Russia's choice to intervene in Obama's new and reopened Middle East wars, refugee crises, etc.

Todd said...

Birches said...
What Maxed Out Mama said.

The media is committing seppuku.

9/19/17, 2:17 PM


Sorry but no. Seppuku was an honorable suicide committed by Samurai after they have shamed themselves. The media shows no honor. They are simply children playing with nitro and will accidentally blow themselves up. More akin to "Darwin award" winners than Samurai.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I am thankful for the chance to read all the comments here which clarify, essentially, that an action by the Obama administration may -in shorthand - be considered an action by Obama. It reaffirms my believe that this is one of the few comment sections that is largely composed of adults who have had a good deal of experience with the real world.

I have done my best to ignore Chuck since I can't get a handle on what motivates him but in this case I think most of you are being much too kind to him, for in this case he is full of shit right up his eyebrows. What Trump said would, in any normal interpretation be considered if not 100% accurate, accurate for normal conversation and understanding. I will admit that Chuck is not alone. The guys at PowerLine Blog are as obtuse about the chain of command.

Life would have been wonderful for me back in the days when I was a battery commander (picking another hierarchical example) if I could tell the Battalion Commander, when one of the gun bunnies fucked up by firing "180 out", that I was not responsible because that gun bunny did not report directly to me. Never happened - thank God- but lesser incidents were sufficiently anxiety producing that I was very aware that in my position I was responsible for everything that happened within my organization and I had better stay on top of it. Obama spent most of his administration trying to convince us that he was only responsible for the good stuff and God alone knew who was responsible for the bad stuff - maybe Gremlins. Apparently Chuck fell for it.

Susan said...

What did Obama know and when did he know it?

Jim at said...

"Has Mueller indicted anyone yet? It's been over a year now."

Nope. But it's coming soon. It's unraveling fast now.
Any. Fucking. Day.

- unknowntwit

buwaya said...

"The media shows no honor. They are simply children playing with nitro and will accidentally blow themselves up"

They aren't children, though they have no honor. They are hired guns, both as individuals and the entire industry, acting according to the will of their owners. These are large, complex hierarchical organizations that are centrally directed, and as we have seen , there is also industry-wide central direction. Whatever they do, or say, they are told to do or say.

Matthew Sablan said...

If only journalists had pursued this months ago.

The Godfather said...

As I understand it, Mueller's brief as special counsel is to investigate whether there was a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. The reason Sessions recused himself from that investigation was that he had some connection to the Trump campaign. If Mueller's investigation is now focusing on Manafort's business connections with the Russian government before Manafort joined the Trump campaign, and after he left the campaign, that would seem to mean that Mueller's investigation is now outside the scope of Session's recusal. That wouldn't require that Mueller has to stop, but it may mean that Sessions should direct that Mueller start reporting to him, as Attorney General, with respect to anything in his investigation that does not directly involve a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to affect the election. If Mueller isn't on the track of some criminality regarding a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election, then perhaps the Attorney General should direct that Mueller turn his files over to regular DOJ prosecutors and return to the private sector.

Have I missed something here?

Khesanh 0802 said...

All right, pencils down. No one answered the exam question. The answer is nothing has changed. Obama was responsible for everything that took place in his administration. Therefore he is responsible for the wire taps that "inadvertently" included Trump.

Fabi said...

One of LLR's chief complaints about Trump is his -- arguably -- lack of character. This thread exhibits for all to read that Trump has far finer character than his most notable Althouse detractor.