The story that may have prompted President Donald Trump to accuse the Obama administration of wiretapping Trump Tower phones may have originated at someone’s kitchen sink.
The person who wrote the article is Breitbart editor Joel Pollack. He said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press Daily” that the idea of potential spying at Trump Tower during the 2016 election came to him while he was washing dishes and listening to a popular conservative radio host.
“It was late at night and I was washing dishes, listening to Mark Levin’s show from earlier in the day and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’ I had seen all these articles, but nobody had actually put the case together the way Levin had,” Pollack said.
Host Chuck Todd challenged that, asking Pollack whether he had oversold Levin’s conclusions in writing his own story. The Breitbart editor cited a number of well-reported stories from The New York Times, The Washington Post and others that have alleged US intelligence officials were investigating possible ties between Russian operatives and people in Trump’s inner circle.
Pollack said the stories, which almost exclusively cited anonymous sources, were being “treated as established reality” to build a case about Russian influence in the 2016 US election. He said that in writing in his own story, he relied on the wiretapping scenario pitched by Levin.
Trump made the claims nearly two weeks ago. In a Fox News interview Wednesday night, the president indicated he has no concrete evidence to support his claims. “I’ve been reading things,” Trump said, while pointing to a New York Times article and remarks that a Fox News host made on the subject.
Trump implied that some evidence would eventually surface.
“I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks,” he said.
House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes said on Wednesday that there is no such evidence.
Multiple current and former Obama staffers have denied the former president ordered a spying operation against Trump. Experts say a president cannot unilaterally order surveillance on an individual in the US.
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