The United States attorney general under President George W. Bush on Sunday said he believes Trump Tower was under surveillance before the presidential election and that the surveillance was ordered by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
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“This is the difference between being correct and being right, I think the president was not correct certainly in staying that President Obama ordered a tap on a server in Trump Tower,” said former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on This Week.
Although Mukasey is retired, he said that based on the news accounts he has read, he believes there may have been a FISA order to conduct surveillance on Donald Trump.
“However, I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general – of the Justice Department through the FISA court,” Mukasey said, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court which oversees such requests.
“I also base it on (the) kind of inadvertent blurting out by Adam Schiff that his committee wants to talk to the counterintelligence agents at the FBI who were involved in this,” Mukasey explained, noting that Schiff complained about the FBI not telling Congress “any counterintelligence investigations they are conducting.”
Mukasey said the inference from that is clear.
“It means there were some basis to believe that somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians, for whatever purpose, not necessarily the election, but for some purpose,” Mukasey said. “And the FBI keeps track of people who act as agents of foreign governments. They keep track of people who act as agents of the Chinese, the Russians, the Israelis, everybody.”
The only way to verify what was done is a full public disclosure, the former attorney general said.
“And that should not be done even in a political storm as hot as this one,” he stated.
Reports have circulated for weeks that Trump Tower has been under surveillance. In early January, The Guardian revealed that the FBI sought a warrant in the summer of 2016 and was rejected, but may have received one in October.
Later in January, the National Review reported that there was a connection between a Trump Tower server and a Russian bank in regard to banking violations. The National Review report later said the link was investigated and found to be benign.
The issue surfaced again last week when radio host Mark Levin and the website Breitbart contended that a surveillance begun over a legitimate banking issue may have spilled over into surveillance of Trump and his family.
Trump then commented upon their reports in a series of Saturday tweets accusing Obama of having ordered the surveillance, launching the current firestorm of controversy over whether surveillance was conducted and who may have ordered it.
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