In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson this week, President Donald Trump said that he didn’t expose the Obama administration’s surveillance of his campaign because he didn’t want to “violate any strength of an agency.”
Trump also said that he learned of the wiretapping from a New York Times article.
“I’ve been reading about things,” Trump said. “I read in January a New York Times article. I think they used the exact term ‘wiretapping.’ I read other things. I watched your friend (“Special Report” host) Bret Baier where he was talking about certain, very complex sets of things happening. I said, ‘Wait a minute, there is a lot of wiretapping happening.’”
In The Times print edition, that article was titled “Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides,” according to the Washington Examiner.
The word “wiretapping” did not appear in the headline of the article’s web version, which said “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates.” However, the article itself still hinted at extensive surveillance of Trump’s campaign.
“American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said,” the article read.
When Carlson asked Trump why he didn’t go to the intelligence agencies for evidence of the surveillance, the president replied like the chief executive he is — one who understands how a huge, compartmentalized organization needs to be run.
“I don’t want to do anything that’s going to violate any strength of an agency,” he said. “We have enough problems. But, we will be submitting certain things and I will perhaps speak about this next week.”
“Don’t you devalue your words when you can’t provide evidence?” Carlson asked.
“Well, The New York Times wrote about it — not that I respect The New York Times,” Trump said. “I call it the ‘Failing New York Times.’ But I think that, frankly, we have a lot right now. If you watched Bret Baier and what he was saying, you would feel very confident. I think you will see some interesting things going to the forefront over the next few weeks.”
Trump also made clear he was referring to surveillance in general, not just wiretapping.
“And don’t forget, when I say ‘wiretapping,’ those words were in quotes,” the president added. “That really covers … because wiretapping is pretty old-fashioned stuff. But that really covers surveillance and many other things. And nobody ever talks about the fact that it was in quotes.”
Check out that part of the interview here:
If this is the case, it’s a stand-up move from the president. Instead of using American intelligence to advance the story, he decided to let it go on its own. That would certainly be a refreshing change of pace.
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H/T The Daily Caller