On Thursday, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes said there was no evidence that former President Barack Obama or anyone else wiretapped Trump Tower during the run-up to the election.
Of course, this is not too surprising to the reality-based community. Since President Trump “informed” the world, via Twitter, that he had:
“Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism…”
Trump and his minions have failed to produce Iota One of evidence to back it up. Apparently, it was said by a ranting right-wing radio host and then, based on that “evidence,” repeated by Breitbart News. I am not counting either of those data points as “Iota One of evidence.”
On the other hand, McConnell and Nunes, because of their leadership positions, have full access to and get regular briefings on the latest findings of the intelligence community. Sure, maybe the CIA is keeping this from their civilian masters and only telling it to ranting right-wing radio hosts, but I choose not to believe that.
Nunes, by the way, said of the President’s tweet-claim: “At this point, we don’t have any evidence of that.” It is perhaps right and cautious to leave open the possibility that some evidence might someday emerge, so we’ll have to wait until the end of time to be sure. But McConnell actually said “There’s no evidence of that,” the truth of which is, of course, unknowable until the end of time. But it suggests that McConnell is pretty sure it didn’t happen.
Even more interesting, as we try to get our heads around the new situation that the election has wrought, it’s two high-ranking members of what is technically the same party that nominated Trump, both with access to top intelligence briefings, contradicting Trump and implying that he is either a loose cannon or a liar.
Two things most of us have learned about Trump is that he is fairly reckless with factual assertions of questionable veracity and also has a very hard time retracting and/or apologizing for the many instances in which he has injected falsehoods into the national discourse. As of yet, he has seen fit to issue neither a retraction, a clarification nor (God knows) an apology in the matter, so I’d like to help him out.
Let me clarify that I do not work for the Trump operation — political, corporate or otherwise — nor am I seeking such an opportunity. But I have recently taken to occasionally making and sharing with MinnPost/Black Ink readers what I wish he would say in certain circumstances, so here goes:
TRUMP: My fellow Americans. I would like to retract and apologize for a rash statement that I made the other day, accusing my predecessor, President Obama, of wiretapping my phones before the election. I had no real evidence for it and should never have said it. Now that I’m president, I need to be a lot more careful of what I say, and repeating unverified rumors from talk radio is the opposite of being careful.
I apologize to the American people and especially to Mr. Obama, who showed me great courtesy during the transition which, under the circumstances, showed a lot of class.
Also, even in my anger and recklessness that night, I made a particularly poor word choice when I accused Mr. Obama of “McCarthyism.” That made no sense at all. “McCarthyism” generally refers to recklessly accusing people of Communist sympathies. That has nothing to do with Mr. Obama, and I wouldn’t want you think that I’m historically illiterate.
Thank you, and now let’s all get back to working together to make America even greater than it already is.