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Talk:Trump Tower wiretapping allegations

Unpacking thisEdit

Some notes/thoughts that aren't well enough formed to put in main space yet.

Everything seems to trace back to Louise Mensch's article, but that article differs from later claims in several respects:

  • It does not mention Obama, the White House, or the like, but only says the FBI obtained a warrant.
  • It talks about e-mail with banks, and doesn't mention "wiretaps" at all. Mensch pointed this out in a tweet.

It would be nice to figure out where these claims were added. A Guardian article cited by WaPo also has some useful information. The Washington Post fact checker article definitely seems to be one of the best sources. 71.41.210.146 (talk) 00:42, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Article nameEdit

I'm thinking that this article should be possessive, as in, "Donald Trump's wiretapping claim" or "Donald Trump's wiretapping accusations". Or maybe "Alleged Trump Tower wiretap", or some variation. If nobody has strong feelings about the current title then I'll probably be bold and move it. FallingGravity 05:36, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

A move seems like a sensible idea. How about Trump Tower wiretap allegations or Trump Tower wiretapping allegations? It hasn't earned a -gate suffix yet, but I've no doubt that'll happen eventually. This is Paul (talk) 13:38, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Another quick thought. Not sure it should be possessive, since not all the claims appear to come from Trump, the Fox News allegations about GCHQ for example (see here). This is Paul (talk) 15:36, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I didn't put a lot of thought into a name before putting this article up. Agree either "accusations" or "allegations" would be an improvement. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 15:47, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
The heart of the claim or accusation is that Trump blames Obama. If I put on my "I'm just a reader" cap I think I would search for a Trump Tower title. It differentiates this from other White house/campaign/Russian/transition team/etc surveillance articles. Buster Seven Talk 16:28, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I definitely support Trump Tower wiretapping allegations, as the claim has clearly gone beyond Trump. Laurel Wreath of VictorsSpeak 💬 21:20, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
If there are no objections, or strong preferences, then I'll move the page to "Trump Tower wiretapping allegations" soon. FallingGravity 00:22, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Article structure & originEdit

While this is as of today still an emerging issue, the current WP article does not represent this topic in the most accurate way. The core issue here is Trump's statements (initially on Twitter, backed up with interviews later) on alleged wiretapping at Trump Tower. There is still considerably ambiguity and lack of clarity on the reasons / sources behind these claims: whether they are based on some classified intelligence reports, or news articles in media outlets, etc. The Trump Tower wiretapping allegations are very specific, and different from "possible surveillance on Trump associates" - so articles like Heat Street or even the BBC report, currently cited in the lede, cannot be considered as the basis for these allegations. The article, especially the lede, needs significant changes. Aurorion (talk) 07:01, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree. The issue is Trumps claim that Obama bugged Trump Tower. Conflating that with all the other surveillance stories that are in the news just adds to the confusion in the lead and causes distraction. I do support the addition of the actual twitter page. It's the first use of that type of image i have seen and it goes a long way to bring clarity and direction. Buster Seven Talk 07:15, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
This habit of creating an article about every Trump tweet, stumble, or bad hair day is getting ridiculous.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:17, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Other Tweets have not accused the former president of a felonious act. This one is just a wee bit different. Buster Seven Talk 07:22, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
True, but he also accused him of being Kenyan. No doubt more is to come. Wikipedia is going to have an article about every random accusation. Sad.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:21, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
A bit of Wiki-surveillance should keep the useless stuff to a minimum. This story just keeps rumbling on, so by now it's met the notability guidelines for events, but I agree other stuff he says and does may not. This is Paul (talk) 16:41, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Those outlets are in the lede because Trump specifically cited them. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 00:51, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Absolutely, everything about the "origin," the articles that prompted Trump to make the accusation, is well documented in the "origin" section, and it doesn't belong in the lede. I removed that portion of the lede and moved the citation down to where it's re-cited. There are still a lot of aspects of this page that need consideration and editing for it to be balanced and informative. Right now it seems a little too much like a dump of news clippings. We need to decide how important each piece is, how best to structure it, and how to avoid being repetitive. J TerMaat (talk) 02:12, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Justice DepartmentEdit

I made several changes in the lede section and the text.[1] I gave what I thought was a better wording of the lede, and I added the important information that Comey included the Justice Department, not just the FBI, as having no evidence to support the claim. [2] User:Epicgenius immediately reverted my changes, while making other changes to the article, with the uninformative edit summary "clean up".[3] Epic, could you explain why you reverted my changes? In particular, why you removed the inclusion of the Justice Department in Comey's denial? Or was this an accident due to overlapping of our two changes? --MelanieN (talk) 16:05, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

@MelanieN: Sorry, it was an accident. I've restored your changes, but not before my computer crashed. If I forgot to reinstate any of them, let me know. epicgenius (talk) 16:17, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
LOL, not your morning, huh? No problem, I thought it might have been an accident.--MelanieN (talk) 16:59, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Disputed informationEdit

I added a disputed template because some of the claims made in the article are false, in particular, the opening paragraph:

Representative Devin Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, vowed to investigate the claim, later stating that the committee had found no evidence for Trump's statement. At a House Intelligence Committee open hearing on March 20, 2017, FBI Director James Comey stated that neither the FBI nor the Department of Justice possessed any information to support Donald Trump's wiretapping allegations.

The Hill's article[n1 1] from today directly contradicts what's written above:

"I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community collected information on U.S. individuals involved in the Trump transition," Nunes told reporters.
Nunes also said that "additional names" of Trump transition officials had been unmasked in the intelligence reports. He indicated that Trump's communications may have been swept up. 
The chairman of the House intelligence committee said Wednesday that the communications of Trump transition officials — possibly including President Donald Trump himself — may have been "monitored" after the election as part of an "incidental collection." [n1 2]

Bolded statement is key here. Nunes no longer denys wiretapping claims.

Nunes said he had viewed dozens of documents showing that the information had been incidentally collected. He said that he believes the information was legally collected.


2)

The article fails to adequately explain (at all) that the FBI were monitoring "Russian crime organization working out of a unit three floors below President Trump’s penthouse".[n1 3][n1 4]

This is important because it's clear that the FBI was monitoring Trump tower. Which explained Nunes change of claims that they may have accidentally wiretapped Trump as well.

Note that

Listening in on the Russians’ happenings resulted in more than 30 people being indicted in April 2013, with federal agents raiding the Trump Tower apartment. But the mastermind, Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov, got away and has since fled the United States justice system.

3)

Takeaway:

  1. Trump Tower was wiretapped
  2. Communications of Trump transition officials was collected
  3. President Donald Trump's communication may have been "monitored" as part of "incidental collection"
  4. FBI was already wiretapping Trump Tower for nothing to do with Trump relating to Russia Gambling Ring that was headquartered a few floors below


4) Refs


--CyberXRef 18:29, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Regarding takeaway number 4 (which seems to be redundant with takeaway number 1), it should be noted that the wiretap was from 2011 to 2013 if it's included in the article, not "just before the victory" as Trump claimed. Also according to the Star Tribune article you reference, "Nunes said the new information did not change his assessment that the wiretapping allegations were false." So how is this disputed? FallingGravity 22:26, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
This article is a bit clearer http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/devin-nunes-donald-trump-surveillance-obama-236366 Nunes' statements directly contradicts comey and the Wikipedia statements claiming no wiretapping took place. Wiretapping took place and this article needs to be very clear about it - even if through "incidental collection". To what extent is a different subject. --CyberXRef 22:49, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
@CyberXRef: Please read carefully: The White House and Trump’s allies immediately seized on the statement as vindication of the president’s much-maligned claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower phones — even though Nunes himself said that’s not what his new information shows. FallingGravity 01:17, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
tl;dr version: Incidental collection could have very well been done by the federal government. But there's no evidence for the claim that Obama tapped Trump's devices.
I don't see a contradiction here. epicgenius (talk) 01:48, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with epicgenius. Trump's allegations, which are the subject of this article, have several core aspects:
  • (a) Obama was responsible: President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election; Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory
  • (b) The alleged action was telephone tapping / wiretapping: President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election
  • (c) Trump's phones in Trump Tower were tapped: President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election; Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory
  • (d) That the alleged wiretapping took place in October, during or just prior to the election: President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election; How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process
This is a literal reading of the allegations - but considering that these effectively contitute a series of written statements by the President, the highest political office of the US, and that they are about his predecessor, that is important. Considering these aspects, in my opinion current version of the lede quite accurately summarizes this subject. More details about various statements made by officials such as Devin Nunes can be included in the sections, such as reactions from politicians. Aurorion (talk) 06:38, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Should we remove the {{disputed}} tag, then? I'm not sure that the statement is contradictory or factually incorrect. epicgenius (talk) 01:57, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Susan Rice involvementEdit

Numerous sources revealed yesterday and today that Susan Rice was the one who ordered information from Obama's wiretapping of Trump to be distributed throughout the federal government: Fox, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg. 96.255.240.103 (talk) 01:00, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

I don't see where those sources back up IP's claims, but what I see is that Rice requested unmasking at least one of Trump's transition team. This seems to be in line with Nunes' previous statements about incidental surveillance. FallingGravity 01:32, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
This, and the Farkas MSNBC interview from early March, appear to confirm that the Obama administration was collecting intelligence, via electronic surveillance, on Trump since at least 2015. 152.130.15.14 (talk) 14:25, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Note that Rice's unmasking of names of transition officials who were talking to foreign nationals under surveillance involved information collected after the election; the initial allegations were about direct surveillance before ("just before the victory"). grendel|khan 16:16, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
The Bloomberg article which first reported the unmasking also stated flat out that Rice unmasking members of the Trump transition does not prove Trump's accusation. Requesting US persons to be unmasked is was within her authority and is not the same thing as the President ordering surveillance. Trump also alleged it was wiretapping of Trump Towers specifically. I'm fine mentioning Rice in the article because she had been brought into the story but with reliable sources explaining the context. Knope7 (talk) 19:20, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

This article should be updated to at the very least mention Susan Rice (it currently doesn't).FinalForm (talk) 19:15, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

There are two paragraphs in the Susan Rice article that I think could fit in this article (possibly as a sub-section of the "Extension of claim" section). I think they just need to be edited to focus more on how this relates to the wiretapping claims. FallingGravity 05:49, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Can the information about Carter Page be added?Edit

It seems to me there is a common sense connection here. The FBI performed surveillance of Carter Page a member of the President's transition team, which matches with at least part of the modified claims by the administration. Thoughts? Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-obtained-fisa-warrant-to-monitor-former-trump-adviser-carter-page/2017/04/11/620192ea-1e0e-11e7-ad74-3a742a6e93a7_story.html Sephiroth storm (talk) 05:47, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Carter Page wasn't a member of Trump's transition team, he was a campaign foreign policy adviser who left last September. If there are reliable sources which connect this warrant too Trump's allegations then it can be included. FallingGravity 14:01, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Claim of British involvementEdit

Should these articles discussing GCHQ's role in spying on the Trump campaign be included in this section? The Guardian: British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia CNN: British intelligence passed Trump associates' communications with Russians on to US counterparts--Terrorist96 (talk) 03:06, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

RfC: Should this article include David Bromwich's allegations from the London Review of Books?Edit

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Closing RFC as per WP:SNOW; the only editor to propose including the statement has withdrawn the request.--Aervanath (talk) 14:26, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Should this article include the following attributed claims made by David Bromwich in the London Review of Books?:

David Bromwich, writing in the London Review of Books, commented: "Obama, of course, didn't order a wiretap of Trump by name, but the Trump campaign, including Trump Tower facilities, was under NSA surveillance; that would have included Trump, and it would have included phones: Obama could know this by deduction even if he wasn't directly informed." Bromwich noted that neither Obama nor Trump, as President, had disavowed the PRISM or XKeyscore surveillance programs—under which "everyone is surveyed." (Source: Bromwich, David (2017-07-13). "The Age of Detesting Trump". London Review of Books. 39 (14): 9–12.)

TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 07:24, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

SurveyEdit

  • 'Include' as a notable, attributed, well-sourced allegation, along with any rebuttals that may come along. This seems to fall clearly within the scope of an article titled "Trump Tower wiretapping allegations." TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 07:24, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude Most definitely not a reliable source; if you read carefully, you'll see this is an opinion source, and a misinformed one at that. The author has no expertise in national security nor anything else related to the subject matter and clearly misunderstands what has been made public about the NSA's mass surveillance activities. I mean, just for starters, Trump said Obama tapped his phones, but neither Prism nor XKeyScore were about phones. "Everyone is surveyed?" Well, sort of at one time, but that doesn't mean that the contents of Americans' domestic phone calls were being wiretapped, even before the bulk metadata program was changed in 2015. And does he mean surveilled? Clearly Bromwich's editor was asleep at the wheel here. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 06:16, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude - agree with DrFleischman's well-made points. Opinion source from commentator with no expertise in subject. Neutralitytalk 14:50, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude Per above. The paragraph is confused or misleading, and lacking reliable, secondary sources explaining why Bromwich's flawed opinion matters, it's not clear why this is encyclopedically relevant. Not every source improves the article, and not every published opinion is significant. Grayfell (talk) 21:15, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude per everyone above. This is not "reliable source" information. --MelanieN (talk) 22:29, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude. I am not seeing any evidence that the opinion of Bromwich is anything but that; an opinion, expressed in an article with no research and no oversight. Vanamonde (talk) 04:48, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude per everyone above. Not a RS by any means, and opinion pieces should not be presented as fact. Dschslava Δx parlez moi 04:58, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Threaded discussionEdit

  • Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I was surprised to see Bromwich's allegations in a periodical as prestigious as the London Review of Books, and initially could not see any reason why they should not be included along with similar assertions by Mensch, Napolitano, and (of course) Trump himself. However, on reflection, it seems clear that Bromwich's specific claims lack independent notability as demonstrated by secondary coverage (something that certainly cannot be said for the other analyses mentioned); his article would therefore constitute a WP:PRIMARY source for said claims, and quoting it in isolation would tend to give WP:UNDUE weight to the notion that these claims are true, when in fact their veracity has not been established (even given what is publicly known about NSA/GCHQ "incidental" surveillance of the Trump campaign). Finally, like DrFleischman, I suspect that Bromwich has bungled some of the relevant facts, although my own speculation is of course immaterial. Barring the release of new information, and considering the overwhelmingly one-sided response above, I would be content with a WP:SNOW close for this RfC—if anyone reading this knows how to do that. Thanks,TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 07:05, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Manafort wiretappingEdit

News just broke that campaign chairman Paul Manafort was being wiretapped "before and after the election."[1] Is this relevant to Trump's wiretapping allegations? Laurel Wreath of VictorsSpeak 💬 00:15, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

@Laurel Wreath of Victors: I think it is WP:SYNTH to put it in the article unless a reliable source has made the link. Until then it should stay out of the article in my view. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 10:25, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Uh, have you read the source? "For that reason, speculation has run rampant about whether Manafort or others associated with Trump were under surveillance. The President himself fueled the speculation when in March he used his Twitter account to accuse former President Barack Obama of having his 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower. The Justice Department and the FBI have denied that Trump's own 'wires' were tapped. While Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, it's unclear whether FBI surveillance of him took place there."TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 10:31, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I hadn't read the source, but I just know that with Trump people are quicker to jump to unsubstantiated or misinterpreted conclusions than when discussing other people. And in the bit you highlighted it says While Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, it's unclear whether FBI surveillance of him took place there.". This could be worth including if we change the scope of this article to wiretapping allegations in Trump Tower to something broader. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 19:27, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ CNN, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown,. "US government wiretapped Trump campaign chair". CNN. Retrieved 2017-09-19.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)

Actually it's already in the article, along with the Carter Page wiretapping, in a small section at the end called "Related reports". The two reports are short, factual, relevant, and neutral, and I see no problem with keeping them there. --MelanieN (talk) 20:06, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

New DOJ FOIA response: Cannot confirm or deny that Trump Tower was wiretappedEdit

Hours before CNN's bombshell report on Manafort broke, the DOJ responded to a new FOIA request and argued in court that it should not be forced to confirm or deny any FBI wiretaps on Trump Tower. Amazingly, this has received near zero media attention, in marked contrast to the massive publicity the DOJ's earlier (and apparently false) September 2 court filing received. If and when RS choose to report this story, Wikipedia will have to follow suit: Mentioning only the September 2 filing leaves a misleading impression.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 10:39, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

This is already mostly mentioned in the article. It says the FBI "cannot confirm or deny" claims of surveillance beyond Trump's tweets. USA Today has covered (what I assume are) the recent filings. FallingGravity 15:55, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
That the DOJ changed its response hours before the Manafort story broke strongly suggests what CNN was unable to confirm: That Manafort's residence in Trump Tower was tapped. Next question: Were other lines in Trump Tower tapped as well, or was Manafort's the extent of it?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 07:12, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Do you have a reliable source that says the DOJ changed its response? It could be that they're just responding to two similar but different FOIA requests. For example, the earlier FOIA request specifically mentions Trump's tweets, while the more recent one is just about "Trump Tower Wiretap". FallingGravity 23:46, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Recent editEdit

I'm infuriated by this edit by SPECIFICO, which reverted the entire article back to an earlier version and eliminated a good deal of careful copyediting. Combined with this edit, SPECIFICO also removed everything related to the Obama camp's non-denial denials:

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau cautioned: "I'd be careful about reporting that Obama said there was no wiretapping. Statement just said that neither he nor the White House ordered it." Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review considered Lewis's statement "disingenuous," because "under the FISA process, it is technically the FISA court that 'orders' surveillance." When asked by ABC News's Martha Raddatz "can you deny that the Obama Justice Department did not seek and obtain a FISA court-ordered wiretap of the Trump campaign?," the Obama administration's former press secretary, Josh Earnest, responded: "I don't know ... The president was not giving marching orders to the FBI about how to conduct their investigations."Sources: "'This Week' Transcript 3-5-17: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Josh Earnest, and Sen. Al Franken". ABC News. March 5, 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2017.; McCarthy, Andrew C. (March 5, 2017). "The Obama Camp's Disingenuous Denials on FISA Surveillance of Trump". National Review. Retrieved September 24, 2017.; Dukakis, Ali (March 5, 2017). "Former Obama spokesman: Trump 'working very hard' to distract from 'growing scandal'". ABC News. Retrieved September 24, 2017.

(SPECIFICO also, perhaps inadvertently, removed the most important part of Lewis's official statement: "As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.")

This content is impeccably sourced, and there are many other RS that made the same point about Lewis's non-denial. It also seems more notable in light of recent developments. I can see no reason to keep it out, and SPECIFICO did not even bother to give a reason, but Discretionary Sanctions mean that it cannot be restored without consensus. Thoughts?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 19:53, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

SPECIFICO also restored "unmasking" to the lead, even though Nunes's claims are almost completely unrelated to the article topic and covered in only one paragraph in the body. Is that appropriate?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:02, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Pinging all of the active editors in the last 50 edits to try to get a quick local consensus: SPECIFICO, MelanieN, Emir of Wikipedia, FallingGravity, Terrorist96, Marteau, El cid, el campeador.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:17, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't see any problems with putting less weight on Nunes's claims. I also don't see a problem with adding more stuff about Obama or his associates' responses, since they're at the center of the allegations and have a right to respond. Maybe they could go in a new section of the "Reactions" section, aside from the random politicians who weighed in on the matter. FallingGravity 20:19, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
I didn't get a ping notification for some reason (maybe because you edited it to fix it). But the edits by SPECIFICO were quite disruptive and WP:BABY.Terrorist96 (talk) 21:06, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Any innocuous copyedits can be reinserted easily enough. The two substantive changes I made are important and appropriate. Incidentally, you violated 1RR with your second round of edits, so except for what I presume was an oversight, they would not have occurred anyway. SPECIFICO talk 21:42, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

So, what is your problem with the full statement from Lewis and the deleted paragraph above? It's fine to say "I challenge this material under DS," but it would be better if you had a reason. (BTW, I do insist that you could have deleted that paragraph manually without restoring an earlier version of the article.)TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:47, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Lewis no good. I erroneously did not restore the Josh Earnest quote. That should have been evident from my edit summary, so I'm sorry my error caused you so much anger. SPECIFICO talk 22:20, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Well, I'm glad that you restored the Earnest bit, but I still don't see what was wrong with the rest of the text you deleted; "Lewis no good" isn't much to go on. The article already states: "Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis refuted the claim in a statement later that day saying: 'A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.'" What's wrong with including the rest of Lewis's statement, from the source? ("As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.")TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 22:28, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree that the rest of Lewis's statement ("never ordered surveillance") should be restored. That statement is forthright and addresses only what the White House could be expected to know. I think we should leave out Favreau and McCarthy; they seem to be implying that there is something wrong or "disingenuous" about the Obama administration only addressing what they actually know about. We can keep the reporter demanding that Obama's spokesman deny there was a FISA warrant, even though that was an unanswerable question. Obviously the White House cannot confirm or deny (because they would not know) what the FBI or the FISA court might have done; "I don't know" is not an evasion, it's the only possible answer. BTW I have paraphrased the reporter's question, which she posed with a double negative that made it incomprehensible. --MelanieN (talk) 18:12, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
MelanieN, it's far from axiomatic that the Obama administration had absolutely no idea what its own DOJ/FBI were doing. DOJ/FBI are, after all, still part of the Executive Branch (for better or worse); presidents have directed DOJ to prosecute or not prosecute individuals and classes of individuals throughout American history, and personally ordered wiretapping prior to 1978. (Remember LBJ ordering wiretaps of the Nixon campaign due to its collusion with South Vietnam prior to the 1968 election?) There have certainly been strong institutional barriers put in place over the past several decades to minimize political interference with DOJ, but it's hardly impossible to imagine that President Obama at least knew of any FISA warrants to investigate the Trump campaign for collusion with Russia. At a minimum, that is the argument of McCarthy, a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York: "Personally, given the explosive and controversial nature of the surveillance request we are talking about ... it seems to me that there is less than zero chance that could have happened without consultation between the Justice Department and the White House."TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 22:11, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
WP:SOAPBOX - not for this talk page, and it's pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel to cite this partisan speculation. SPECIFICO talk 01:35, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Just to be perfectly clear for all the pingee's -- My mistake: I apparently made my edit from an old version, causing some problems and losing part of what I intended to restore to the article. I removed the Favreau bit, which, as I said, was used SYNTHY-style and I restored the Josh Earnest statement from his interview on ABC TV - I think Earnest gave a succinct statement of all that's appropriate here. I also restored the brief substantive comment from Nunes that had been removed from the lede. SPECIFICO talk 22:31, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

NSA Records all telephone traffic crossing border. Why isn't that addressed?Edit

My understanding is that the NSA (National Security Agency) records all cross-border telephone traffic, and has for years. It also did this for domestic calls, until and through the time that NSA head James Clapper lied about this practice at a Congressional hearing in 2013, yet was never prosecuted for such a lie. That domestic recording eventually ceased, by law. I also understand that this recorded traffic is mostly merely recorded and not transcribed or listened to, mostly due to its huge volume. However, if later the government develops a need to listen to examples of this traffic, they can get a FISA warrant to do so. If this is true, it presumably means that much telephone traffic for Donald Trump and his staff (and perhaps anyone they talk to by telephone, if the call is routed over a national border) remains available in the government. Donald Trump, and his staff, might not have realized that these practices were and still are going on, at least for international traffic. If somebody in Government obtained a FISA warrant to access Trump's, or his staff's, phone calls, and somehow news of that access were leaked, they might conclude that they were wiretapped. This article should not take a stilted, limited definition of "wiretapped". No "wires" need actually be tapped, and in fact that process hasn't been necessary for decades. 2601:1C2:4E02:3020:6C24:308D:26CE:6918 (talk) 01:47, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Do you have any source for this? Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 20:15, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Return to "Trump Tower wiretapping allegations" page.