Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman, reporting for The New York Times on the fallout from Donald Trump’s completely unsubstantiated claim that Barack Obama had Trump’s “wires tapped” during the election:
So for Mr. Trump’s allies inside the West Wing and beyond, the
tweetstorm spawned the mother of all messaging migraines. Over the
past few days, they have executed what amounts to a strategic
political retreat — trying to publicly validate Mr. Trump’s
suspicions without overtly endorsing a claim some of them believe
might have been generated by Breitbart News and other far-right
“No, that’s above my pay grade,” said Sean Spicer, the White House
press secretary and a feisty Trump loyalist, when asked on Tuesday
at an on-camera briefing if he had seen any evidence to back up
Mr. Trump’s accusation. The reporters kept at him, but Mr. Spicer
pointedly and repeatedly refused to offer personal assurances that
the president’s statements were true.
“No comment,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said earlier in the
day. Last week, Mr. Sessions recused himself from any
investigations involving the Trump campaign’s contacts with
“I don’t know anything about it,” John F. Kelly, the homeland
security secretary, said on CNN on Monday. Mr. Kelly shrugged and
added that “if the president of the United States said that, he’s
got his reasons to say it.”
How’s this for a reason: Donald Trump is not mentally fit. He is unhinged from reality. Many of us have said this ever since the election began, and were dismissed as being blinded by partisanship. Now that he’s in office, Trump is proving it by his own words and deeds.
Mr. Trump, advisers said, was in high spirits after he fired off
the posts. But by midafternoon, after returning from golf, he
appeared to realize he had gone too far, although he still
believed Mr. Obama had wiretapped him, according to two people in
Mr. Trump’s orbit.
He sounded defiant in conversations at Mar-a-Lago with his friend
Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media, Mr. Ruddy
said. In other conversations that afternoon, the president sounded
uncertain of the procedure for obtaining a warrant for secret
wiretaps on an American citizen.
Mr. Trump also canvassed some aides and associates about whether
an investigator, even one outside the government, could
substantiate his charge.
The president of the United States doesn’t know how warrants for wiretaps work, and considered hiring a private investigator to “prove” a fever dream charge against his predecessor. This man is unfit for the job, and not mentally well. Those surrounding him who refuse to acknowledge this and remove him from office are doing a grave disservice to the nation and the world, simply for the sake of protecting their own power.
★ Wednesday, 8 March 2017