Over the weekend, Trump took to Twitter to accuse former President Barack Obama of tapping his phones in Trump Tower before the 2016 Election.
Like many of Trump’s alternative facts, he failed to provide any evidence to back up the allegations against Obama. In turn, former Press Secretary Josh Earnest denounced the claims, saying it was all a ploy to distract the American people from the controversy surrounding Trump’s team and their ties to Russia.
“President Trump is working very hard to try to distract the American public and the news media from the growing scandal about why his administration and why he himself has, at best, not been forthcoming about their talks and their ties with Russia,” Earnest told ABC.
“There is one page in the Trump White House crisis-management playbook, and that is simply to tweet or say something outrageous to distract from a scandal, and the bigger the scandal, the more outrageous the tweet,” he said Sunday.
The Press Secretary for President Obama added, “This may come as a surprise to the current occupant of the Oval Office, but the president of the United States does not have the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of an American citizen.”
For a wiretap to be performed on an American citizen by the FBI, “It would require FBI investigators, officials at the Department of Justice, going to a federal judge and making a case and demonstrating probable cause to use that authority.”
However, when asked if the act was ever performed during the Obama Era, he responded with a simple, “I don’t know.”
“Even when I was in government, I was not in a position of being regularly briefed on an FBI counterintelligence investigation. No one at the White House, including the president of the United States, should be in a position in which they are trying to influence or dictate how that investigation is being conducted,” Earnest explained.
“The president was not giving marching orders to the #FBI about how to conduct their investigations,” he added.