(Bob Unruh, WND) It was only a few months ago that James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, issued a flat denial when asked if he knew of a FISA court order to wiretap the Trump campaign in 2016.
Now he’s abruptly changing his story, admitting that Trump could have been recorded on wiretaps.
Clapper said in an interview with CNN Wednesday night it’s possible that Trump was recorded as part of the government’s surveillance of Paul Manafort, who served briefly as Trump’s campaign manager.
Clapper continued to claim Wednesday that he wasn’t aware of a FISA warrant against Manafort.
But when asked by Don Lemon if it was “possible the president was picked up in a conversation with Paul Manafort,” Clapper said, “It’s certainly conceivable.”
“Likely?” pressed Lemon.
“I can’t say. I wouldn’t want to go there. I will say it’s possible,” Clapper said.
Mediate pointed out Clapper had made it clear to Lemon that as DNI, he would know of any FISA order to wiretap an American citizen, meaning either Clapper wasn’t telling the truth or the order was carried out without his knowledge, which would have been illegal.
Mediaite also noted Clapper “unequivocally” stated that there was no FISA court order for “a surveillance” at the time.
“Please pay careful attention to the words used … Chuck Todd lays out a very specific scenario. If the FBI had a FISA order for surveillance of a member (or members) of the Trump campaign team, would James Clapper know about it? Clapper stated with no ambiguity that he would. He went on to firmly and uncategorically deny it.
“Obviously, Mr. Clapper had some explaining to do.”
The Mediaite report concluded that Clapper affirmed he would know about a FISA order if it existed, and CNN has confirmed that there was one.
“That leaves us with only a handful of conclusions,” the report said, including the option that “James Clapper is a serial liar.”
Back in March, Trump accused Barack Obama of ordering the wiretapping of phones in Trump Tower weeks before the election.
Establishment media erupted, charging Trump had concocted a ridiculous claim.
Clapper claimed at the time, “For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time, as a candidate, or against his campaign.”
But WND reported this week that after months of current and former federal officials insisting there was no merit to allegations the government conducted surveillance on Trump or his campaign during the 2016 cycle, there are now reports Manafort was being wiretapped.
CNN said the government procured a FISA warrant against Manafort and conduct surveillance on him in 2016 and 2017, bringing the earlier denials into the spotlight.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy told WND the way Clapper and others carefully worded their denials earlier this year left them wiggle room.
“I always thought that the denials, as indignant as they were by people connected to the Obama administration and even from the Justice Department after Trump took it over were always carefully couched and very narrow,” McCarthy said.
“What I took the denials to mean was that they were saying they never targeted Trump himself for surveillance and even more specifically that Obama did not do it,” he continued.
“I always thought that was quite narrow because, as we know, the president does not go to the FISA court and get the authorization to do these surveillances, much less do the physical work to set up the surveillance himself,” said McCarthy. “I always thought that the loudness and indignation of the denials was much broader than what the denials actually said read carefully.”
CNN’s reported Manafort was under surveillance from 2014 to early 2016 and again from late 2016 to sometime earlier this year, including after Trump became president.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warned that whatever happened to Manafort could happen to other Americans.
“Why did they engage in that wiretap?” Huckabee asked during Fox News’ “Outnumbered” program. “This is frightening.
“If your government can just decide that it’s going to tap into your phones because you played a political role that somebody in the government didn’t want you to play, I’m sorry, that scares the bejeebies out of me,” Huckabee continued.
If the federal government wants to “get you,” Huckabee said, they will find a way.
“It may not be that they end up getting you for what they went after, but there are enough statutes on the books,” Huckabee said. “There are a lot of people I’ve known personally who have been bankrupted, their reputations ruined. They ended up winning, but they were finished.”
“The federal government is using your tax dollars to come after you, and you have to use your own dollars to fight them off.”
The president, in a tweet, accused former President Obama of wiretapping him in the lead-up to the election.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee blasted the president for asserting that the Obama administration tapped his phones.
Former FBI Director James Comey, who later was fired by Trump and now is under investigation himself, told associates in March that Trump was “crazy” and “outside the realm of normal” for suggesting his predecessor used a secret hot mic to surveil him.
The former FBI chief said in a March 20 hearing before the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI had “no information” supporting Trump’s allegations.
Yet, under secret court orders, the government began surveilling Manafort during the election and continued to spy on the high-ranking campaign official into early this year, when Manafort was in communication with President Trump.
A FISA court authorized the secret order after the FBI began investigating Manafort for his relationship with a group of Washington consulting firms who have ties to Ukraine’s former ruling party.
The FBI stopped surveilling Manafort for lack of evidence in 2016 then obtained a FISA warrant began wiretapping him again in 2017 to probe the relationship between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives, sources told CNN.
The FBI finally stopped spying on Manafort when he and President Trump’s lawyers insisted it stop.
The new reports revealing the government’s surveillance of Manafort vindicates Trump’s allegations of the Obama administration abused its power to spy on the Trump campaign, Cheryl Chumley, author of “Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming Our Reality,” contended.
“After all, if Manafort – who was being secretly wiretapped – stood in Trump Tower, where he had an office, and spoke with Trump during the campaign season, wouldn’t those conversations be part and parcel of the feds’ audio collection?” Chumley wrote in an article for the Washington Times. “Manafort resigned from Trump’s campaign in August of 2016. But that’s not to say he never stood in Trump Tower and spoke with Trump in the months that followed.”
She said a whistleblower, “privy to the Manafort audio but not to the entire surveillance operation, may indeed interpret the taping as targeting of Trump Tower – or Trump. Voila – and there’s where Trump got his tip.”
Republished with permission from WND.com via iCopyright license