Trump Tower wiretapping allegations

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On March 4, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump wrote a series of posts on his Twitter account that accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping the phones of his Trump Tower office late in the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump presented no evidence for his claim but called for a congressional investigation. The Trump administration later stated that reports from various news sources supported Trump's claim, although none of these reports explicitly gave credence to Trump's allegation.

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. On March 23, it was announced that, according to Nunes, the Trump administration's communications might have been legally monitored during the transition period as part of an "incidental collection", though officials for the Obama administration denied involvement.[1]

On April 5, 2017, Trump made accusations without evidence related to the wiretapping allegations, saying that Obama's former National Security Adviser Susan Rice had committed a crime by attempting to unmask the identities of Trump associates collected during surveillance by US intelligence agencies related to Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.

On April 12, sources from both the Republican and Democratic parties said that the original documents cited by Nunes do not support claims that the Obama administration acted illegally or unusually.[2]

Origin and related claims[edit | edit source]

Previously published articles[edit | edit source]

On November 7, 2016 Louise Mensch reported[3] in the right-leaning[4] Heat Street, that the FBI had twice sought Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants in connection with its investigation of the Trump campaign's links to Russia. According to Mensch, the first request for a warrant which "named Trump" was denied in June 2016. According to Mensch, a second, more "narrowly drawn" request was granted in October 2016, and gave "counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of 'U.S. persons' in Donald Trump's campaign with ties to Russia," and to "look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons". Mensch further claimed that the October warrant was granted in "connection with the investigation of suspected activity between the server [in Trump Tower] and two banks, SVB Bank and Alfa Bank," and that "it is thought in the intelligence community that the warrant covers any ‘US person’ connected to this investigation, and thus covers Donald Trump and at least three further men." Mensch's article cited reports from two anonymous "sources with links to the counter-intelligence community."[3]

On January 11, 2017, the Guardian reported[5] that the FBI initially applied for a FISA warrant in June 2016, requesting to "monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials." This initial request was denied. A source told the Guardian that the FBI then submitted a more narrowly focused request in October, "but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation." The Guardian article was not cited by the White House in connection with Trump's wiretapping claim.[4]

The day after the Guardian report, BBC journalist Paul Wood separately reporteded that, in response to an April 2016 tip from a foreign intelligence agency to the CIA about "money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign", a joint task force had been established including representatives of the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Justice, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency; and in June 2016 lawyers from the FBI had applied to the FISA court for "permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks." The BBC alleged that the investigation was prompted in April 2016 by a "tip" from an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. According to Wood, this application was rejected, as was a more narrowly focused request in July, and the order was finally granted by a different FISA judge on October 15, three weeks before the presidential election. According to the article, the warrant did not name Trump or his associates.[6]

On January 18, McClatchy separately[4] reported[7] that “the FBI had obtained a warrant on Oct. 15 from the highly secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing investigators access to bank records and other documents about potential payments and money transfers related to Russia.” The McClatchy article was not cited by the White House in connection with Trump's wiretapping claim.[4]

On January 19, the New York Times published an article[8] with the print headline "Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides".[8][lower-alpha 1][9] The article was published online with the title "Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates".[10] The article stated that "American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort." The article also noted the uncertainty regarding the scope of the wiretapping, stating: "It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump's campaign, or Mr. Trump himself."[8]

On March 3, Breitbart News ran an article[11] headlined "Mark Levin to Congress: Investigate Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’ vs. Trump." On the previous day, right-wing radio personality Mark Levin alleged that Obama and his allies were conducting a "silent coup" against Trump, and asked: "How many phone calls of Donald Trump, if any, have been intercepted by the administration and recorded by the Obama administration?”[12][13] The Breitbart article stated the "the Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services".[12] Citing Mensch's November article, Breitbart's claimed the existence of a June FISA request "to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers", and of an October FISA warrant "focused on a computer server in Trump Tower." Breitbart cited a January 11 National Review article,[14] which speculated about alleged "wiretaps" of the Trump campaign and their legal ramifications. Like the Breitbart article,[15] the National Review article had also extensively relied on Mensch's piece.[4]

The Breitbart article was subsequently circulated among White House staffers, and was reportedly given to Trump on the following day, together with his morning newspapers and printouts.[12][4][16][17]

Analysis[edit | edit source]

In its March 5 analysis of the reporting that preceded Trump's allegations, The Washington Post, stated that "the articles all suggest that the FISA requests — if they happened — were done by the intelligence agencies and the FBI," and not by the Obama administration. According to The Post, Mensch's article was the only one to have alleged any surveillance of Trump Tower. No major news organizations have been able to confirm Mensch's account,[13] despite prolonged efforts by the New York Times and the Washington Post. This absence of verification, combined with Mensch's reliance on "vague"[15] and anonymous sourcing to individuals "with links to the counter-intelligence community," lead The Times and The Post to urge skepticism about the veracity of her account.[15][4]

Both McLatchy and BBC alleged the existence of an October FISA warrant, as did Mesch. However, these accounts differed substantially from Mensch's story with respect to the scope and purpose of the warrant. They alleged that the October warrant authorized to monitor financial transactions related to Russia — not communications.[4]

Unlike the derivative accounts in National Review and Breitbart,[15][4] Mensch's original article did not use the term "wiretap" (implying voice telephone calls), but only made claims about e-mail exchanged with SVB Bank and the Russian Alfa-Bank.[4] While Mensch did claim the e-mail server was located in Trump Tower, it was likely located in Philadelphia, as Trump outsourced e-mail to Listrak, which operates out of a data center there. Furthermore, The New York Times reported on Oct 31 that FBI had concluded that that the sever traffic could have been explained by marketing emails or spam. Contrary to The Times, Mensch claimed that the server's activity remained suspicious enough to lead the FBI to request the FISA warrant.[4][18]

Accusation[edit | edit source]

Initial claim[edit | edit source]

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

President Donald Trump (in the first of four tweets that claimed that former President Barack Obama tapped the phones in Trump Tower), Twitter[lower-alpha 2]

In a succession of tweets on March 4,[lower-alpha 2] President Donald Trump stated he had "just found out" that former president Barack Obama had wiretapped the phones in his offices at Trump Tower during the last months of the 2016 election.[19] He did not say where he had obtained the information and offered no evidence to support it.[20] Trump compared the alleged intrusion to McCarthyism and Watergate. Anonymous White House officials told The Washington Post that Trump did not appear to coordinate his comments with other White House officials.[19]

Followup[edit | edit source]

The White House claimed that reports "from BBC, Heat Street, New York Times, Fox News, among others" established the president's wiretapping allegation, providing links of these to The Washington Post.[18]

In a statement issued through press secretary Sean Spicer on March 5, Trump asked congressional intelligence committees to "determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016" as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the election.[21] In response, Representative Devin Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, stated that the committee "will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party’s campaign officials or surrogates."[22] Senator Lindsey Graham stated his willingness to use subpoena powers to find out whether Trump was investigated and what the cause for such an investigation was, if it did occur.[23] On March 15, Nunes reported that the House Intelligence Committee had not found any evidence supporting the wiretapping claim.[24]

White House officials gave discordant responses to initial media inquiries about Trump's accusations. Spicer banned cameras in the briefing room at a press conference the following day. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News' Fox & Friends that the president had "information and intelligence that the rest of us do not," although Spicer later said Conway was not qualified to make that claim.[25]

Extension of claim[edit | edit source]

During an interview on March 12, Conway told The Record's Mike Kelly that the surveillance could have potentially used hacked electronic devices: "You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways." She also suggested that Trump could have been monitored with "microwaves that turn into cameras."[26] Conway later retracted the claim, stating that "I'm not Inspector Gadget, I don't believe that people are using the microwave to spy on the Trump campaign."[27]

At a March 13 press briefing, Spicer claimed that Trump was referring to general surveillance rather than direct wiretapping.[28] Spicer also clarified that the White House believed that the Obama administration was responsible for the surveillance, not Obama himself, clarifying Trump's tweet which specifically named the former president.[29]

In a March 15 interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Trump supported his claims of wiretapping by citing a March 3 interview with Paul Ryan on an episode of Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News and the January 19 New York Times article.[30] While the New York Times article[8] mentioned "wiretapping" and reported that the FBI was "examining intercepted communications and financial transactions", it stipulated neither the targeting of American citizens for surveillance, nor any involvement in such surveillance by the Obama administration. Trump's March 15 assertion that the Times' article supported his allegations about wiretapping was deemed "false" by[4][30] On Special Report Brett Baier alleged that the FBI got a FISA warrant in October to "start a wiretap at Trump Tower with some computer and Russian banks and it doesn't show up anything [referring to the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russian election meddling], by reporting," and asked Ryan: "Have you heard that?" Ryan responded: "Well, again, like I said, none of us in Congress or anybody I know in Congress has been presented with anything to the contrary of what you just said." However, there may have been a misunderstanding between Baier and Ryan throughout the interview, with Baier asking about undue surveillance of the Trump campaign, and Ryan responding that intelligence gathering had produced no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump. Ryan stated, in response to a question about Trump's March 15 comments, that he had been unaware of any wiretapping allegations prior to his interview with Baier, and that "the intelligence committees [...] have determined [...] that no such wiretap existed"[31]

Claim of British involvement[edit | edit source]

If the telephone rang in GCHQ from the White House, that in itself would be unheard of. The director [GCHQ’s chief] would then ring his US counterpart, the director of the NSA — there’s a hotline on his desk — to ask if it was a hoax. The next person he would ring would be the [UK] foreign secretary to say we’ve had this amazing request. Nothing would happen without a warrant from the top of government and that would just never be granted in these circumstances.

David Omand (former GCHQ director)[32]

During a March 14 Fox & Friends interview, Andrew Napolitano said that "Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command," using the British GCHQ to implement surveillance to avoid leaving "American fingerprints".[33] Napolitano accused Robert Hannigan, who resigned from the GCHQ on January 23, of ordering the wiretap. Hannigan reportedly resigned for personal reasons.[34] Fox News anchor Bret Baier later stated that "the Fox News division was never able to back up [Napolitano's] claims."[35] Napolitano was reportedly temporarily taken off air by Fox over to the allegations.[36] One of Napolitano's sources was former intelligence officer Larry C. Johnson, who later told CNN that Napolitano had misrepresented the statements he made on an online discussion board. Johnson, citing two anonymous sources, claimed that the GCHQ was passing information on the Trump campaign to US intelligence through a "back-channel", but stressed that the GCHQ did not "wiretap" Trump or his associates and that alleged information sharing by the GCHQ was not done at the direction of the Obama administration.[37][38]

On March 16, Spicer repeated Napolitano's claim at a White House press briefing. The following day, a GCHQ spokesperson called Napolitano's claim "nonsense" and "utterly ridiculous".[39] A British government source said the allegation was "totally untrue and quite frankly absurd".[40] Admiral Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said he has seen nothing to suggest that there was "any such activity" nor any request to do so.[41] Former GCHQ director David Omand told Financial Times that "The suggestion that [Barack Obama] asked GCHQ to spy on Trump is just completely barking — that would be evident to anyone who knew the system.”[32]

The claim started a diplomatic dispute with Britain. Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader in Britain, said "Trump is compromising the vital UK-US security relationship to try to cover his own embarrassment. This harms our and US security."[40] The Telegraph said that two U.S. officials had personally apologized for the allegation.[40] The British government also said that the U.S. government promised not to repeat these claims.[42][32] The White House denied reports that it had apologized to the British government, saying Spicer was merely "pointing to public reports" without endorsing them.[43][40]

On April 12, 2017, it was reported that GCHQ (and other European intelligence agencies) had intercepted communications between members of the Trump campaign team and Russian officials, and shared the intelligence with their US counterparts. The communications were obtained through "incidental collection" as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets, not from a targeted operation against Trump or his campaign.[44][45]

Lack of verification[edit | edit source]

Into April and May there was no further evidence forthcoming on the claims. When questioned about the issue in an interview on April 30, Trump was evasive when asked about his relationship with former president Obama. He said 'I don't stand by anything' and he thought 'our side has been proven very strongly, and everybody’s talking about it'.[46]

Reaction[edit | edit source]

From politicians[edit | edit source]

Democrats and critics of the president accused Trump of fabricating the claim to distract from news stories about members of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Most Republicans in Congress distanced themselves from the claim and refused to comment on it, although members of both the Senate and House of Representatives vowed to investigate the matter.[47]

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."[19] The Wall Street Journal described Obama as "livid" when he heard about the allegations personally,[48] though other sources said he "rolled his eyes" and remained more concerned about Trump's conservative and nationalist agenda.[49]

Senator Rand Paul pointed out that a backdoor intercept of Trump’s communications were possible.[50] Elizabeth Goitein, a surveillance law expert at New York University, pointed out that backdoor searches of incidental records collected on Americans overseas were allowed by U.S. law.[51] Representative Frank LoBiondo, a senior member on the House Intelligence Committee, speculated on the day of Comey's testimony that it was possible there was incidental collection that occurred due to targeting Russian communications, but doubted that there was any evidence that there was a wiretap.[52] Incidental collection—also called backdoor collection by politicians such as Wyden[53]—has been publicly acknowledged by the intelligence community for years.[54][55]

From the FBI[edit | edit source]

On March 4, FBI director James Comey asked the Justice Department to issue a statement refuting Trump's claims.[21] Speaking to NBC's Meet the Press, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said "There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect."[56] There has also been criticism of Trump's claim as simply being a "dead cat", a false allegation against Obama intended to direct media and public interest away from Trump and his team's alleged connections with Russia.[57]

At a House Intelligence Committee open hearing on March 20, 2017, Comey stated that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department possessed any information to support Trump's wiretapping allegations.[58] On March 23, Nunes had stated that communications to and from Trump's presidential transition team may have been intercepted as part of incidental collection. In response, officials in the Obama administration refuted any claims that it had been monitoring the Trump team.[1] Later the same day, Nunes clarified that he did not know "for sure" whether intelligence committees had actually monitored the Trump team's communications.[59]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The article states: "A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: 'Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.'"[8]
  2. 2.0 2.1 The original tweets, in chronological order, are:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Spying claim by Intel chair renews fight over Russia probe". Associated Press. March 22, 2017. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  2. Jim Sciutto, Manu Raju and Eric Bradner (April 12, 2017). "CNN Exclusive: Classified docs contradict Nunes surveillance claims, GOP and Dem sources say". CNN. Retrieved April 17, 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia". HeatStreet. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Kessler, Glenn (March 5, 2017). "Trump's 'evidence' for Obama wiretap claims relies on sketchy, anonymously sourced reports". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  5. Borger, Julian (January 11, 2017). "John McCain passes dossier alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts to FBI". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  6. Paul Wood (January 12, 2017). "Trump 'compromising' claims: How and why did we get here?". BBC. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  7. "FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump". mcclatchydc. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Michael S. Schmidt; Matthew Rosenberg; Adam Goldman; Matt Apuzzo (January 19, 2017). "Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  9. Carroll, Lauren (March 16, 2017). "Trump says his Obama wiretap claim came from New York Times". PolitiFact. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  10. McCarthy, Andrew C. (March 9, 2017). "My Error: The New York Times Did Not Change Its Headline – There Were Two Headlines from the Start". National Review. Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  11. Pollak, Joel B. (March 3, 2017). "Mark Levin to Congress: Investigate Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’ vs. Trump". Breitbart News. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Stelter, Brian (March 6, 2017). "Trump's wiretap claim: How a conspiracy theory got its start". CNNMoney. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Finnegan, Michael; Barabak, Mark Z. (March 22, 2017). "How the phony conspiracy theory over wiretapping caught fire". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  14. McCarthy, Andrew (January 11, 2017). "FISA and the Trump Team". National Review. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Savage, Charlie (March 5, 2017). "What Can Be Gleaned From Trump’s Allegations of Wiretapping". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  16. "Media the enemy? Trump sure is an insatiable consumer". AP News. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  17. "Trump's Twitter frenzy on wiretapping came after an aide placed an explosive Breitbart story in his reading pile". Business Insider. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Adam, Karla (March 6, 2017). "This former British lawmaker is at the heart of the Trump wiretap allegations". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Philip Rucker; Ellen Nakashima; Robert Costa (March 4, 2017). "Trump, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of 'Nixon/Watergate' plot to wiretap Trump Tower". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  20. Allison Graves (March 5, 2017). "Why the White House defense of Trump wiretap accusation is misleading". Politifact. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Michael S. Schmidt; Michael D. Shear (March 5, 2017). "Trump, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of 'Nixon/Watergate' plot to wiretap Trump Tower". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  22. "Congress to investigate Trump’s wiretapping claim". PBS Newshour. March 6, 2017. 
  23. Manu Raju (March 9, 2017). "Graham ready to subpoena for Trump wiretap information". CNN. 
  24. Bertrand, Natasha (March 15, 2017). "'Clearly the president is wrong': House intel committee says it's seen 'no evidence' that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower". Business Insider. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  25. Ashley Parker; Jenna Johnson (March 6, 2017). "White House aides struggle to defend Trump wiretap claims". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  26. "Kellyanne Conway alludes to even wider surveillance of Trump campaign". North Jersey. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  27. "'I'm not Inspector Gadget': Kellyanne Conway refutes claims that she suggested Trump’s team may have been spied on with microwaves". Business Insider. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  28. Keneally, Meghan (March 13, 2017). "Trump was talking about general surveillance in wiretapping claims, Spicer says". ABC News. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  29. "Sean Spicer says Trump 'doesn't really think' Obama 'personally' wiretapped Trump". Business Insider. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  30. 30.0 30.1 Levy, Gabrielle. "Trump Says NYT, Fox News Sources for Wiretapping Claims". US News. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  31. "Trump suggests little-noticed interview between Fox News host and Paul Ryan helped fuel his explosive wiretap claims". Business Insider. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Weaver; Jones (March 17, 2017). "White House reassures UK it will not repeat Trump spying claim". Financial Times. 
  33. "Judge Nap: Obama 'Went Outside Chain of Command,' Used British Spy Agency to Surveil Trump". Fox News. March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  34. Haddad, Tareq (March 15, 2017). "GCHQ did not spy on Donald Trump, security official confirms". International Business Times. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  35. Stelter, Brian (March 17, 2017). "Reporting or commentary? Napolitano claim shows Fox's blurry line". CNNMoney. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  36. Bauder | AP, David; Bauder | AP, David (March 20, 2017). "Fox pulls Napolitano from air after Trump report". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  37. Master, Cyra (March 19, 2017). "Ex-intelligence official: Napolitano’s British wiretapping claim ‘didn’t get it right’". TheHill. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  38. Disis, Jill (March 19, 2017). "Consultant says he wasn't "knowingly" source for Napolitano report". CNNMoney. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  39. Gambino, Lauren; Rawlinson, Kevin. "GCHQ dismisses 'utterly ridiculous' claim it helped wiretap Trump". The Guardian. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Swinford, Steven (March 18, 2017). "Donald Trump fuels diplomatic row with Britain after apology from US officials over GCHQ wiretapping claims". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  41. Shane, Scott (March 20, 2017). "Highlights From the House Hearing on Russian Interference in the U.S. Election". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  42. Adam, Karla (March 17, 2017). "Britain: White House says it won't repeat claims that a British agency wiretapped Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  43. Westcott, Ben; Merica, Dan; Sciutto, Jim (March 17, 2017). "White House: No apology to British government over spying claims". CNN. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  44. Harding, Luke; Kirchgaessner, Stephanie; Hopkins, Nick (2017-04-13). "British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  45. CNN, Jim Sciutto, Pamela Brown and Eric Bradner. "British intelligence passed Trump associates' communications with Russians on to US counterparts". CNN. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  46. Graham, Renee (May 1, 2017). "OK, then, Mr. President, I’ll just see myself out". Boston Globe. 
  47. Sabrina Siddiqui, David Smith (March 8, 2017). "Top Republicans refuse to back up Trump's unproven wiretapping claim". The Guardian. 
  48. Brian Logan (March 8, 2017). "Obama is reportedly 'furious' over Trump's unsubstantiated wiretapping allegations". Business Insider. 
  49. Rebecca Savransky (March 8, 2017). "Obama 'rolled his eyes' at Trump's wiretap accusation". The Hill. 
  50. Nelson, Steven. "Authorities Intercepted 1,227 Obama Calls, Rand Paul Says, Misreading Report to Explain Trump". U.S. News & World Report. 
  51. Nelson, Steven (March 7, 2017). "Will Trump's Wiretap Claim Prove True?". U.S. News & World Report. 
  52. LoBiondo, David (March 20, 2017). "House Committee Hosts Public Hearing Into Russia Election Interference" (Interview). Interview with David Greene. NPR. There is no evidence demonstrating that there was a wiretap. What - now, was there something incidental that there was some listening on the Russians that somehow touched on that? …it's possible… I don't think there's any evidence anything went on. 
  53. Ball, James; Ackerman, Spencer (August 9, 2013). "NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls". The Guardian. 
  54. Savage, Charlie (April 1, 2014). "Letter Tells of U.S. Searches for Emails and Calls". The New York Times. 
  55. Clapper, James (March 28, 2017). "Letter to Senators Wyden". The New York Times. Director of National Intelligence – via Charlie Savage. 
  56. Diamond, Jeremy (March 5, 2017). "Clapper: 'No such wiretap activity mounted' on Trump". CNN. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  57. "Trump and the media - Is it war or love?". BBC. March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  58. Rosenberg, Matthew; Huetteman, Emmarie; Schmidt, Michael (March 20, 2017). "Comey Confirms F.B.I. Investigation of Russian Election Interference, Links to Trump Campaign". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  59. Cloud, David S.; Willman, David (March 23, 2017). "House Intelligence chair partially backs off claim about surveillance of Trump transition team". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 24, 2017.