Ten days ago, President Donald Trump raised alarm when he tweeted that he had learned “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower.” He repeated the allegation in three other tweets but since then has offered no proof. And although he referred to it as “McCarthyism” and accused Obama of being a “bad (or sick) guy,” he also hasn’t apologized. Given that unwarranted wire tapping is a felony, the House Intelligence Committee gave the Justice Department until Monday to provide lawmakers evidence to support what Trump alleged.
Now the White House is doing some quick back-pedaling — and it’s not clear where it’s headed. After defending the president’s comments last week, White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday said the president “doesn’t really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally.” He said the president was using the term wiretapping “to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.” This followed an assertion from Trump senior counselor Kellyanne Conway that all appliances are now suspect — even microwave ovens. What? We thought this was about tapping not toasters. This whole things sounds like it’s less about phones being bugged than about some screws being loose. We agree with Arizona Sen. John McCain, who said on Sunday, “I think the president has one of two choices: either retract or to provide the information that the American people deserve.”