The FBI claims no, it did not occur.
But, who believes the FBI anymore, now that Donald Trump has labeled them, the CIA, the American Democratic system, voting credibility, the media and anybody with which gets in his way--as being illegitimate or corrupt or the “enemy of the people”? What seems to work for the then-candidate is working for some of the extreme supporters of President Trump.
Let me be very clear. My comments below are not addressed to all Trump voters or even a large segment of the Trump voter population. I fully understand that many people who pulled the Trump lever felt trapped. They hated the alternative. They wanted or in some cases, needed a change. This is absolutely understandable. Eight years of any political party can produce the desire to reconfigure our political directions.
Nor are my issues with Trump necessarily political. I have previously written and publicly said the Democrats should not fight Trump on matters of cabinet appointments, unless there is an issue of ethics or criminalities. Dems have forever complained about the GOP refusal to cooperate with Obama. If they do the same with Trump, they will be engaging in the same wrong-doing. Something must give if this country hopes to come together one day.
Instead, my comments are focused on the population who find nothing wrong with any of the Trump activities during and post-election, who will defend him as if they were defending their own family members, under attack.
Trump knows he can throw out whatever nonsense he wants to cast out into the political winds and it will stick like glue on paper. Some of his ardent supporters and members of the right-wing media, will accept his statements as being true regardless of the logic. Or facts.
Ironically, the same people who scream “fake news” whenever he does, will promote his unproven claim, because he said it. Facts are necessary for mainstream media and those on the "other side"--not for Donald Trump or these extreme Trump apologists.
Their knee-jerk reactions in support of what appears to be their political "savior", has become as predictable as Monday moving into Tuesday.
The latest Trump statement seeking facts came this weekend with his "phone-tap" allegations. It conceivably could be accurate, but that is not the point. More important than the truth of the statement asserted are the actual words stated.
Trump tweeted his words as they are a fact. Not a maybe or coulda, woulda shoulda, but a fact.
When criticized for making another false claim, he then demanded a Congressional hearing on the issue. Had he said something like--"it looks like Obama tapped my phone" or "I believe he tapped my phone"-- this would be different. Instead, his tweet was definitive. If he had the facts, then there would be no need for an investigation to support the proving of his allegations.
Also, he is not merely candidate Trump, he is the President. As such, he could have demanded the declassification of the alleged FISA application so he would know if he was walking on certain grounds. He could do it today and put most of this to rest.
But, having the patience to ensure veracity is never an option for our new President. It is way too easy for him to just make a statement devoid of accuracy. That is what he has done in the past. That is what he did Saturday morning after consuming conspiracy theories from the extreme right.
Then, come Sunday morning, his team through Press Secretary Spicer took the cause to the ridiculous. His statement said the administration wants a hearing and the President and his team was not commenting any further, for now, until the hearing.
That lasted, well, how long? Spicer quickly broke his promise by issuing another tweet in the administrations' defense. One can easily conclude that their no further statement simply meant, they knew their credibility goose was cooked, so, for now, "no comment", until the next comment, that is.
So, now, the nation is split over whether Obama stepped all over the constitution, by engaging in surveillance of a presidential candidate of another party.
Some of those supporters are now screaming "Obamagate". Their minds are made up. If Trump said it happened, it happened. Damn the facts. Who needs evidence?
Currently, we have two competing claims. There are those who believe that Russia hacked into the Democratic Party computers and Clinton’s campaign emails and Wikileaks corrupted the democratic process. This group generally believes that there are too many questions involving Russian involvement and questions need honest answering.
The opposing claims come from Trump and his avid followers, who yell "ain't so" and "Russia, Russia, Russia". They demand that all of that is rank speculation. Their new mantra is the only thing that needs investigation is Obama spying upon Trump’s team during an election.
Quite frankly, in hearing their arguments, I am shaking my head in utter disbelief.
For months, I read and heard many Trump supporters claim that it was "hunky dory" that the Russians hacked into Trump’s opposition. It didn’t matter if it was legal or not. The ends justified the means and with the daily drip of information about the democrats and Hillary, good was done. Trump loved the daily expose and so did a good population of those supporters. in reaction, those disturbed by the growing facts revolving around Russian invasion into our electoral system spoke out--"it's the Russians disrupting our elections. What they are doing is against the law. It is destroying our democratic process."
The response from the deep land of Trump has been, “who cares? Who cares about the forbidden fruit. The fact that the Russians and Wikileaks got plums of information is all that matters."
But now, with Trump’s false statement of fact, many of these same people are screaming, how dare Obama order the tapping of Trump’s or his campaign phones (or whatever they tapped, if they tapped, at all).
“Lock him up!”, “Lock him up!”.
So, let us assume that Obama did cause the surveillance. If he did so and if it were an illegal act, then surely, he should be fitted for the pinstripes.
But, if he or someone else in his administration did order the surveillance, and they made a good faith argument to the appropriate authorities under the law, then, I suggest these Trump backers simply look at their blatant hypocrisy.
If Obama sought FISA court protection and action, his office would have made a case of probable cause. Yes, he would be ordering an investigation of his election or party-opponent. But, the President, whether he serves as an adversary to the campaign under scrutiny, he has a legal obligation to preserve the law and the facts if our national or domestic securities is being unlawfully compromised.
This means, that yes, sometimes, when a hostile foreign government intrudes onto our governmental institution, and if it appears there might be some collaboration by one of the candidates or campaigns, the President or one of his duly-obligated agents has the responsibility to present the information to the appropriate court and ask for governmental actions.
This is the system. This is not Russia or the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany (yet). This is how the American system of government works.
However, many of those people who are outraged by Obama’s alleged actions under the color of the law were giddy over the everyday droppings of a product that was seized under a criminal act. It mattered not that our own government told us that a foreign government, in this case, Russia, was interfering into our sacred elections. No. Their argument was, if it means we get the information on Hillary and the Democrats, it is acceptable. Plus, some even argued, "we do it to them, too, so, what's the issue?".
Think about it: Trump and some of his supporters justified the activities of the enemy’s illegality because it served their political purposes, but, arguably, are calling Obama a criminal for doing what a president is legally obligated to do.
I truly want to support this president. There are many issues of which I take issue, but I want to believe he has this country's best interests, at heart. Unfortunately, so many of his statements are so impulsive, so disruptive, so juvenile, so short-term minded, he is fast becoming a caricature of ridicule. Those backers who will defend virtually all of his actions are likewise losing their own credibilities.
If this country is really going to be great, those who oppose him must do their best to find common ground with the administration and to admit the legitimacy of opposing arguments and positions. Correspondingly, the loyal Trump advocates who will defend him at every turn are not serving him or this country at all, despite their good intentions.
The world is beginning to wonder if this President has the temperament and stability to handle the nation's problems. At some point in time, he will have gone to the well so often with false statements, that at real time of national need, nobody but his loyalists will be listening.
Even worst, those nations, our allies, will not stake their own young men and women to support a man that consider being a lunatic.
This is a sad and bad moment in our time.
Somebody needs to change. It must start from the very top.
Do you agree or disagree with the above opinion? Make your comments below