37° Good Afternoon
37° Good Afternoon

President Trump’s wiretap claim has become a clown show

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, March 13, 2017. Credit: AP

From microwaves to spurious claims that British spies did the dastardly deed, the sad effort by President Donald Trump to get out from under his reckless claim that he was wiretapped by the previous president has gone from slander to a joke to an international incident.

Trump tweeted on March 4 that Barack Obama was a “bad (or sick) guy!” for allegedly ordering wiretaps at Trump Tower. Obama has denied it. Chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees and House Speaker Paul Ryan have said there is no evidence to support the claim. And documents the White House submitted to the committees on Friday didn’t appear likely to change that assessment. When FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill on Monday, he must be clear and direct about whether there was a tap.

Instead of evidence, all we’ve had is a clown show. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway claimed that anything is possible because microwave ovens can become cameras. Press Secretary Sean Spicer cited unsubstantiated remarks by a Fox News commentator that the British government spied on Trump to hide “American fingerprints.” The Brits were outraged, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said they had “received assurances from the White House that these allegations would not be repeated.”

With the world watching his Friday news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump refused to apologize for his wiretap claim. Instead, he said all Spicer did was repeat what he heard on television: “You shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox.” And Fox wasted no time responding, with anchor Shepard Smith saying the network “knows of no evidence of any kind, that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way, full stop.”

Trump has to put up or shut up. The credibility of this administration is at serious risk.— The editorial board


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.