Wiretapping Trump’s Reality Detachment, One Tweet At A Time

In a series of reckless tweets over the weekend, President Trump accused President Obama of tapping his phone at Trump Tower. “How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy,” said Trump via his favorite form of communication. Of course Trump offered no evidence, and worse, it seems he received the “intel” from Breitbart News and the cranial hemorrhage conservative radio host, Mark Levin.

Trump’s presidency is built on lies, from the groundwork he laid as Birther-in-Chief, to eighteen months of bizarre and unsubstantiated claims while on the campaign trail. So perhaps his latest Twitter rage should not cause much commotion, except that he accused a former president of committing a crime.

However, sometimes in the world of Trump falsehoods there is a loose connection to reality, and that appears to be the case here. Unfortunately for Trump, reception is shoddy under that golden ill-tempered hinterland, leaving the recesses of ooze within his brainpan to consume the contaminated morsels of information that manage to get through.

Though Trump asserted he had “just found out” about this surveillance, he appears to be referencing a series of reports that began with a piece by Louise Mensch in Heat Street back in November, which was later corroborated by articles published by The Guardian and the BBC in January.  The reports may have come to Trump’s attention by way of a Breitbart story that ran on Friday, summarizing claims of a “Deep State” effort to undermine the Trump administration advanced by conservative talk radio host Mark Levin.

If it were true that President Obama had ordered the intelligence community to “tapp” Trump’s phones for political reasons, that would of course be a serious scandal—and crime—of Nixonian proportions. Yet there’s nothing in the published reports—vague though they are—to support such a dramatic allegation. [Julian Sanchez, Just Security]

Trump’s latest Twitter madness is deplorable because he pushes aside the formidable intelligence apparatus of the U.S. government in favor of right-wing disinformation, deflecting attention away from his Russia woes by appealing to his conspiracy-tinged base. It’s a childish schoolyard antic, perpetrated 140 characters at a time from the highest office, by a man detached from reality.

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