In a new interview with John Dickerson of CBS’ “This Morning,” President Donald Trump refused to back down from his unsubstantiated claims that President Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped, and Trump ended the interview when asked to explain those claims and defend calling former president Obama “sick” and “bad.”
Trump began by suggesting to Dickerson that calling Obama “sick” and “bad” was justified, saying, “You saw what happened with surveillance. I think that was inappropriate.” Dickerson asked him to clarify. Trump responded with, “You can figure that out yourself.”
Remember, Trump’s wiretapping claims have been denied by FBI head James Comey, who said, “I have no information to support those tweets,” as well as members of the House and Senate Intelligence committee on both sides of the aisle.
Trump Tower was indeed wiretapped in the past, but that FBI wiretap targeted a Russian organized crime ring operating out of an office in the tower, a case that led to 30 indictments in 2013.
Rep. Devin Nunes, a former member of the Trump transition team and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has claimed that FISA court wiretaps placed on foreign targets incidentally picked up communications with members of the Trump transition team. He has since recused himself from further investigations into Russian interference in the election.
Later in the interview, Dickerson asked Trump if he stood by the wiretapping claim, to which Trump said:
I don’t “stand by” anything. I just, eh, you can take it the way you want. I think our side’s been proven very strongly, and everyone’s talking about it, and frankly, it should be discussed. I think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think that is a very big topic, and it’s a topic that should be number one, and we should find out what the hell is going on.
When Dickerson pressed him for more, Trump told him, “I have my opinions, you can have your own opinions,” and quickly shut down the interview. “Okay, that’s enough. Thank you. Thank you very much.”