The Trump Taps: The Surveillance State in Action


President Donald Trump has a habit of commenting (or tweeting) on topics that “trigger” globalism’s minions in the main stream media. In knee jerk fashion, the MSM will throw a hissy fit over a Trumpian remark, claiming the president is making baseless claims, that he “cites no evidence” (a habit they should be familiar with) on one topic or another, only to subsequently be forced to back up when Trump’s claims turn out to be essentially true, as they did in the case of his comments on Moslem misbehavior in Sweden.

The latest wave of “cites no evidence” headlines followed a series of Trumpian tweets claiming that Obama was behind “bugging” the Trump camp. On March 4, Trump, for instance, tweeted that Obama had his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower prior to the election last November. Trump called Obama a “bad (or sick) guy,” and asked “Is it legal for a sitting president to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to election?” Trump further claimed that a court had turned down an Obama administration surveillance request, slamming, in typical Trumpian fashion, the “tapping” as “A NEW LOW.” He noted that the taps had “found nothing,” a reference to persistent claims (dare I say, “citing no evidence”?) by the MSM and Trump’s enemies in Washington that Trump’s campaign had colluded with the Russians to “hack the election” and prevent Hillary Clinton from winning.

There was one major problem with the howls of derision from the MSM about Trump’s “tapping”-related tweets: The MSM itself had been reporting on surveillance of members of the Trump team for some time, and the information used to smear short-lived Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was the result of “intercepts” of phone calls between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. This surveillance was taking place at a time when the MSM was closely following the ins and outs of prospective cabinet members and White House staffers at Trump Tower. So maybe Trump was onto something about Trump Tower being “tapped.”

Within a very short time the media narrative (Trump was making false claims about being the target of surveillance by the Obama administration) was collapsing. Andrew McCarthy pointed us in the right direction in a piece on Obama administration investigations of Trump and his campaign just one day after Trump’s flurry of tweets:

To summarize, reporting indicates that, prior to June 2016, the Obama Justice Department and FBI considered a criminal investigation of Trump associates, and perhaps Trump himself, based on concerns about connections to Russian financial institutions. Preliminary poking around indicated that there was nothing criminal involved. Rather than shut the case down, though, the Obama Justice Department converted it into a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). FISA allows the government, if it gets court permission, to conduct electronic surveillance (which could include wiretapping, monitoring of e-mail, and the like) against those it alleges are “agents of a foreign power.” FISA applications and the evidence garnered from them are classified—i.e., we would not know about any of this unless someone had leaked classified information to the media, a felony.?

McCarthy noted that in June, a FISA court had turned down an Obama administration surveillance request, a request that apparently named Trump and some of his associates. But the Obama camp was not giving up just yet:

Not taking no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department evidently returned to the FISA court in October 2016, the critical final weeks of the presidential campaign. This time, the Justice Department submitted a narrowly tailored application that did not mention Trump. The court apparently granted it, authorizing surveillance of some Trump associates. It is unknown whether that surveillance is still underway, but the New York Times has identified—again, based on illegal leaks of classified information—at least three of its targets: Paul Manafort (the former Trump campaign chairman who was ousted in August), and two others whose connection to the Trump campaign was loose at best, Manafort’s former political-consulting business partner Roger Stone, and investor Carter Page. The Times report (from mid-January) includes a lot of heavy breathing about potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia; but it ultimately concedes that the government’s FISA investigation may have nothing to do with Trump, the campaign, or alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S. election by hacking e-mail accounts.?

If the surveillance had nothing to do with any evidence of “potential ties” between Trump and the Russkies, then what we are most likely looking at is an effort to conduct surveillance of an opposition candidate’s election campaign, using the “Russian agent” (Manafort, Stone, and Paige were probably tagged the alleged “agents”) ruse as a pretext for “tapping” Trump. In his March 5 article, McCarthy reminded us that the surveillance was taking place even as the Obama administration was killing the investigation of the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal (McCarthy might have added that the administration never bothered to investigate a sale of US uranium that benefitted Russia, a sale approved by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. The deal was perhaps facilitated by timely donations to the Clinton Foundation.) This all appears to be, in McCarthy’s words, an “extraordinary, politically motivated abuse of presidential power.”

The Obamaites, aware of the potential scandal, have been using weasel words to deny that Obama himself had “ordered” the surveillance. But not “ordering” the surveillance doesn’t mean that Obama was not aware of it or that he did not tacitly approve of it.

Bill Binney, who worked at the National Security Agency for thirty six years before resigning in protest over surveillance abuses during the Bush II administration, seriously doubts that intelligence agencies’ surveillance of the Trump campaign was limited to parties named by a FISA court. Binney told Fox News that the FISA court is “basically totally irrelevant,” as extensive surveillance is carried out by executive order (Binney pointed specifically to Executive Order 12333) and the FISA court judges are “not even concerned, or are they involved in any way” with such “collection.” Binney said “collection” of this type is done outside the courts and outside of Congressional control. Binney further said that Trump was probably right: “His phone calls, everything he did electronically, was being monitored.” The leaks of classified information gathered by surveillance techniques, according to Binney, shows that the intelligence agencies are playing hardball with Trump.

A Wikileaks dump of material on the CIA’s own surveillance program has revealed just how extensive that surveillance may be. According to the Wikileaks gloss on the information dump, the CIA’s “global covert hacking program” included “weaponized exploits” against smartphones, Microsoft Windows, and even Samsung TVs that turned these devices into “covert microphones.” Trump’s accusations of phone “tapping” are apparently outdated, and barely touch the surface of what the surveillance state is capable of.

Yours truly has covered the “deep state’s” plotting against Trump previously, but it has been widely reported that Obama remained in Washington to lead the “resistance” against Trump. The former president is hold up in an 8,200 square feet, $5.3 million mansion not two miles from the White House. His close confidante Valery Jarret has reportedly moved in with her old boss and his family, the mansion becoming a “nerve center” for masterminding the “insurgency” against the lawfully elected president of the United States.  

We need look no further than Trump’s recent address to Congress to find the fundamental motivation for the “insurgency.” In his well-received address, Trump noted that “My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America.” Trump’s putting “America first” is hate speech to the globalists, who are conducting a war against everything once taken as normal, healthy, and patriotic. They represent an anti-America fighting their “insurgency” against normal patriotism. They represent a “resistance” to any healthy sense of attachment, and they are engaging in a not-so-hidden campaign to overturn the results of a lawful election.  

Denis Petrov

Denis Petrov is a Moscow-based journalist.

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