Originally appeared at MoonOfAlabama
[W]hen Mark Levin … contended that Mr. Obama had targeted Mr. Trump for surveillance … it struck a chord. Along with reports that in Mr. Obama’s last days in office his administration changed the rules on distributing intelligence and made a point of spreading information about Mr. Trump’s team and Russia to different parts of the government to “preserve” it, the wiretapping allegation pushed Mr. Trump over the top.
NYT March 5 – When One President Smears Another
In four tweets … Mr. Trump declared as fact a theory he apparently encountered on alt-right websites: “How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
The above assertions by the New York Times raise the question where Mr. Levine got his information from. A reader might also ask who published those ominous “reports” and on which “alt-right website” one might encounter such theories?
The New York Times does not know where all this came from? That is a bit astonishing. Let me help:
- On targeting Trump and his campaign for surveillance:
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.
It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself.
NYT – February 14 – Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications …
- Those “reports” that Obama spread the information on Trump and his associates?
NYT January 12 – N.S.A. Gets More Latitude to Share Intercepted Communications
In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.
In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information … about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government … to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.
- The “alt-right website” that peddled all this?
By now you will have guessed it. It is the New York Times itself that reported (and slandered) the news about the Obama administration’s surveillance of Trump and those associated with him.
The NYT and its editors now blames Trump for repeating, in a condensed tweet, the open and hidden assertions made in various reports by the New York Times itself.
There is zero evidence of any Russian involvement or hacking of the U.S. election. There is zero evidence of any collusion of Trump and those around him with Russia. There is zero evidence that any of the lunatic claims made in that Steele dossier, ordered up and financed by Trump’s political enemies, are true.
Even if Trump’s personal phone and email were not under direct wiretap, people near to Trump definitely were under communication surveillance. Inevitably such surveillance will have caught communication with and of the would be next president, Donald Trump. The Obama administration made sure that such taped communication would be widely distributed in raw form, guaranteeing future out-of-context leaks.
The Times knows all this and reported it – though often hidden in plain sight with misleading headlines and context.
Blaming Trump and others for repeating such reports is lame hypocrisy.