Trump lies about British intelligence agency spying on Trump Tower for Obama and refuses to apologize

It just gets worse. Trump continues to inflame his false wiretapping claims against Obama, refusing to back down or apologize despite both GOP and Democratic leaders in both houses of congress rebuking him.

On Friday, Trump provoked a public dispute with America’s closest ally after the White House aired an explosive and unsubstantiated claim that Britain’s spy agency had secretly eavesdropped on him at the behest of President Barack Obama during last year’s campaign.

Livid British officials adamantly denied the allegation and secured promises from senior White House officials never to repeat it. But a defiant Trump refused to back down, making clear that the White House had nothing to retract or apologize for because his spokesman had simply repeated an assertion made by a Fox News commentator. Fox itself later disavowed the report.

The angry response from Britain stemmed from Trump’s persistence in accusing Obama of tapping his phones last year despite the lack of evidence and across-the-board denials. At a briefing on Thursday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, read from a sheaf of news clippings that he suggested bolstered the president’s claim.

Among them was an assertion by Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, that Obama had used Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, the agency known as the GCHQ, to spy on Trump. In response to Spicer, the agency quickly denied it as “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous,” while British officials contacted American counterparts to complain.

“We said nothing,” Trump told a German reporter who asked about the matter at a news conference. “All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. I didn’t make an opinion on it.” He added: “You shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox.”

After the news conference, Spicer echoed Trump’s unapologetic tone. “I don’t think we regret anything,” he told reporters. “As the president said, I was just reading off media reports.”

Shortly afterward, Fox backed off Napolitano’s claim. “Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary,” the anchor Shepard Smith said on air. “Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time, any way. Full stop.”

White House officials, who also requested anonymity, said Spicer had offered no regret to the British ambassador. “He didn’t apologize, no way, no how,” a senior West Wing official said.

The furor underscored the continuing troubles for the White House since Trump first accused Mr. Obama of tapping his phones, an allegation refuted by intelligence agencies as well as Republican and Democratic officials. Even as Trump refused to back down, fellow Republicans appeared increasingly irritated by what they see as a distraction from their policy goals.

Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma said on Friday that Trump had not proved his case and should apologize to Obama. “Frankly, unless you can produce some pretty compelling truth, I think President Obama is owed an apology,” Cole told reporters. “If he didn’t do it, we shouldn’t be reckless in accusations that he did.”

Foreign policy analysts expressed astonishment that Trump would so cavalierly endanger that partnership. “It illustrates the extent to which the White House really doesn’t care what damage they do to crucial relationships in order to avoid admitting their dishonesty,” said Kori Schake, a former national security aide to President George W. Bush now at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. “America’s allies are having to protect themselves against being tarred with the White House’s mendacity.”

Trump Sticks With Debunked Claim That Obama Spied On Him

Donald Trump is sticking with his claim that President Barack Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower last year, despite intelligence officials saying there’s no evidence that ever happened, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

“He stands by it,” Spicer insisted in his Thursday briefing.

There is bipartisan consensus among intelligence leaders that there is no basis for his claims. Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a joint statement Thursday that they “see no indications” that Trump Tower was under government surveillance. House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) also told reporters Wednesday, “We don’t have any evidence that that took place.”

Asked if Trump will apologize to Obama for accusing him of wiretapping, if he comes to accept that his claims were wrong, Spicer said he wouldn’t want to “prejudge where the outcome is.”

Trump seems to be going “full birther” on this wiretapping story.

McCain tells Trump to retract wiretapping claim or prove it

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Sunday for President Trump to either prove his claim that President Barack Obama tapped the phones in Trump Tower during last year’s election campaign or drop the accusation.

“The president has one of two choices, either retract or provide the information that the American people deserve,” McCain said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the president of the United States could clear this up in a minute.”

Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) also formally requested the information last week in a letter to FBI Director James B. Comey and acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente. Trump administration officials have not provided any evidence to back up the president’s claim from earlier this month.

“If the allegation is left out there, it undermines the confidence the American people have in the entire way that the government does business,” McCain said.

Trump lies about Guantanamo prisoner releases while Spicer adds extra lies

Another day, another outlandish Trump lie. This time compounded by White House Press Secretary Spicer piling it on with additional lies.

On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!”

In fact, the overwhelming majority of those men were actually released under President George W. Bush, not by Barack Obama. Only eight or nine of those “confirmed” to be engaged in terrorist activities transferred out under President Barack Obama, according to recent intelligence reports.

Spicer then defended Bush  by telling reporters, “Just to be clear: There’s a big difference: under the Bush administration, most of those were court-ordered.”

But Spicer’s assertion that “most” or “many” of the Bush-era releases were court-ordered is a lie, according to lawyers involved in such cases and to Obama administration officials.

“That’s loony. …That’s just flat-out not true,” said Sabin Willett, a prominent lawyer for Guantanamo detainees. “You can count on one hand, and not even use all your fingers, the number of people a district court ordered released where that was not reversed on appeal.”

In fact, no more than three of the 532 Guantanamo detainees transferred out under Bush were moved because they won a court challenge, legal experts said.

“The truth is that Sean Spicer doesn’t know what he is talking about and doesn’t care enough to take the time to find out,” said former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig, who was deeply involved in Obama’s early Guantanamo policy.

And Trump tweets on.

Trump’s history of making false claims with no evidence

Trump’s latest lie, claiming that Obama wire-tapped Trump Towers before the election, is just the latest in a long history of lies – making wild claims with no basis in fact.

Here are some highlights from the Trump alternative facts universe.

Birtherism

In March 2011, Trump began promoting the idea that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, a claim previously confined to fringe right-wing conspiracy theorists. It was a suspicion presented without evidence, and Obama ridiculed Trump for it during the 2011 White House Correspondents Association dinner. Last September, without explaining why, Trump abandoned the claim with a statement: “Mr. Trump believes President Obama was born in the United States.”

Voter fraud that made him lose the popular vote

On Nov. 27, Trump tweeted: “In addition to winning the Electoral College, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” He cited no evidence. He also tweeted that voters from Massachusetts illegally voted in New Hampshire, which caused Trump to lose that state last November. No evidence was found to support that claim either.

His Electoral College win the biggest since 1984

During his Feb. 16 news conference, Trump claimed that his Electoral College win was the biggest since President Ronald Reagan’s in 1984, when he carried every state except Minnesota and the District of Columbia. However, election records showed that Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton (two times) and Obama (twice) won higher percentages of the electoral vote than Trump — in five of the seven elections since Reagan won his last.

There was major terrorist attack on Feb. 17 in Sweden

“Look at what happened last night in Sweden,” Trump told a crowd in Melbourne, Fla., on Feb. 18.

But no major incident had “happened” in Sweden. Trump had seen a Fox News show making claims about immigrants and crime in Sweden. In response, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt took to Twitter: “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?”

And on and on it goes…

FBI Director Comey Demands Justice Department Reject Trump’s Wiretapping Lie

In an astonishing showdown with Trump, FBI Directory Comey has said that Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of wiretapping by President Obama are simply not true and is demanding the Justice Department reject such claims.

In a tweet storm this weekend, Trump made malicious accusations against Obama, but provided no evidence to back it up.

Comey made the request on Saturday after Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter. He been working to get the Justice Department to knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.

Comey’s request is a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the position of questioning Trump’s truthfulness.

A spokesman for Obama and his former aides have called the accusation by Mr. Trump completely false, saying that Obama never ordered any wiretapping of a United States citizen.

“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,” Kevin Lewis, Obama’s spokesman, said in a statement on Saturday.

Trump’s demand for a congressional investigation appears to be based on unproven claims by Breitbart News and conservative talk radio hosts that secret warrants were issued authorizing the tapping of the phones of Trump and his aides at Trump Tower in New York.

ref: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/05/us/politics/trump-seeks-inquiry-into-allegations-that-obama-tapped-his-phones.html

Trump falsely accuses Obama of wiretapping him, backfiring on himself

I’ve been meaning to catch up on the plethora of lies coming out of Trump and his administration, but this latest news tipped the scale and forces an immediate post. We can come back to a more detailed list of recent lies later. They are frankly taking a lot of time to list!

Trump, in a storm of tweets, has accused Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower phones before he left office.

Not only has Obama and representatives strongly denied this, the president doesn’t have the authority to order wire taps. If the FBI was wire-tapping, it would have been done under court order which means there is probably cause for illegal activities going on. Trump is essentially pointing a loaded gun at himself. It’s completely irrational.

Trump offered no proof for his claims. ABC News has asked the White House for comment but has yet to receive a response.

The president’s tweets came after an article ran Friday on the right-wing news site Breitbart claiming that the Obama administration obtained authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign.

Later in the morning, Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, used Twitter to challenge Trump’s claims.

“No president can order a wiretap,” Rhodes, who continues to serve as a foreign-policy adviser to Obama post-presidency, said in one tweet. “Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.”

In response to Trump’s suggestion that a good lawyer could make the case that Obama tapped his phones, Rhodes tweeted, “No. They couldn’t. Only a liar could do that.”

Read more at: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-accuses-obama-wiretapping-phones-trump-tower/story?id=45905776