Former Obama Administration officials can deny it all they want, but it is abundantly obvious that someone in government was spying on President Trump during the campaign. The weekend started with full-throated denials by Obama-era officials claiming no surveillance had happened. But by the end of the weekend, they were walking that back saying President Trump had declassified information. What information was declassified if no surveillance happened?
About the only full-throated denial now comes from James Clapper, the former National Intelligence Director, who lied to Congress. He is not exactly the most believable character.
Based on press reports, it appears that the intelligence community began surveilling the Trump campaign after accusations about ties to Russia. It seems most likely that there was nothing to the surveillance. Had there been, we can be sure it would have come out before the Electoral College met on December 19, 2016. Remember, the week leading up to the Electoral College meeting was filled with press reports about Trump’s Russia ties and demands for private briefings.
Then the Russian allegations went away.
They now, oddly enough, crop up whenever President Trump has a few good days of press. Just before the Inauguration, more stories about Russia dripped out. Right after his successful speech to Congress, more stories about Russian dripped out. The stories only come out after the President has a run of good days.
No, I do not think it is likely that Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping. I do think it is very likely someone in the Obama Administration did. As Jay Cost noted on twitter, the dispersion of the information is clearly political. The President, however, thinks the collection of the information was political. That has not been established.
I have been skeptical of President Trump and did not support his election. The claim to ties with Russia has worried me. But I think at this point the steady drip of claims has come at politically opportune times to throw the President off his game. If there were substance there, that would not be happening.
At this point, I think it is most likely that any investigation was yielding no substance and now Democrats within the Intelligence Community are using the data for politics to undermine a President they loath. There should be an investigation, but it should be about that.