Declaring the political storm over the alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower “insanity,” Bill O’Reilly of Fox News Thursday night declared the matter “settled.”
On March 4, following media reports that efforts had been taken in 2016 to surveil Trump Tower, President Donald Trump tweeted that his predecessor, President Barack Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 campaign.
Since that time, congressional committees have requested information to substantiate the claim. Leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, which gave the administration until Monday to produce any evidence, have said nothing was produced.
On Thursday night, O’Reilly brought Fox News reporter Brett Baier on his show to discuss the latest developments and the background of the case.
“To me, all that matters in this insanity, and that is all that it is, insanity, that the president started when he tweeted out that he believed that President Obama tapped him in the Trump Tower. All that matters is, whether a FISA warrant was requested by the Obama administration. Is it possible to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to that question?” O’Reilly began.
“Both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, chairman and ranking members have said they have seen no evidence of a FISA request, for surveillance of Trump Tower,” Baier replied.
“But I want to be very clear on this,” O’Reilly said. “The whole thing is now settled that there was no FISA warrant requested by the Obama administration. As we sit here, it’s settled because the House and the Senate intel people say they can’t find it.”
“They haven’t seen it,” Baier said. “Now I should caveat, that they have not heard officially from the Justice Department, the FBI, and they’re expecting to, [Friday].”
During the show, Baier also offered an explanation as to why House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., seemed to initially support the claim and then later rejected it.
“What happened was there was a pre-taped interview with Speaker Ryan, I was going through a series of things that I wanted to ask him. I came across a Real Clear Politics write up of public reporting that had been compiled the night before by Mark Levin, and it was listing all the things that had been publicly reported by different news organizations,” Baier explained.
“He compiled it in a talk show and he’s talked about that. Real Clear Politics just summarized it,” Baier said.
“So, I asked Ryan about these reports, saying, had he heard anything about it. To be honest with you Bill, I expected the Speaker to say ‘no,’ and we would probably cut that part out of it,” Baier continued.
“But because of his answer and how he cryptically answered it, I asked again, and you heard me, and I asked again, and it seemed like he was somehow tangentially confirming it,” Baier said.
Ryan later told Baier he had never seen evidence of surveillance being conducted at Trump Tower.
“What he misunderstood, and I think it was an honest mistake, is that you were asking him if he saw any evidence that the Russians were involved with the Trump campaign,” O’Reilly said.
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