Wiretapping, what is it? Wiretapping is the practice of connecting a listening device to a telephone line to secretly monitor a conversation.
On March 4, 2017, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower. Trump tweeted on Twitter, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Donald Trump also called Obama a “sick/ bad guy.”
White House Secretary Sean Spicer stated this about Donald Trump’s tweet, “I think there’s no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election,” Spicer said. “The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.”
Although Donald Trump does claim that his wires were tapped, he has provided no evidence. Trump also accused former national security Susan E. Rice of committing a crime, without providing evidence to support it.
A former FBI agent and a cyber security expert, Clint Watts, believes that Russians may have had something to do with this. “You don’t know where it started,” said Watts, referring to Trump’s wiretapping claim, which the FBI has flatly denied. “You don’t know if it comes from the administration or if the administration picked it up from another outlet, which is part of the debate if you remember back when that [wiretapping] claim came out. Did he [Trump] hear that inside the government, or did that actually come from his news feed? And it sounds like the latter, it came from his news feed.”
Watts is referring to the previous tweet. What he is saying is where did Donald Trump get this information? Who told him this?
Republicans are trying to gather some evidence to support it, and they may have a lead. On April 3, they were able to find evidence that Susan Rice, the 24th United States Security Advisor, made unmasking requests that revealed the identities of Trump associates. There are valid reasons to be concerned about unmasking. Civil libertarians have long feared that spy agencies could use the legal targeting of foreigners as a back door to spy on Americans with whom they are communicating.
The Republicans are pointing fingers at Rice and the N.S.A. or National Security Agency. The N.S.A would have had to determine that the intercepts had “intelligence value,” and then to approve any unmasking based on its two criteria: that Rice had “a valid need to know” the identities of masked names and that unmasking was necessary to understand the report.
So far, more investigation is needed. Once more information has been revealed, we will report on the findings.