Hayden: Trump ‘Forgot That He Was President,’ Could See Wiretapping Proof

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The former director of the CIA said Monday that President Trump could simply demand proof that his phones had been tapped from the intelligence community, and that perhaps Trump “just for a moment forgot that he was President,” in making the claim without proof.

Michael Hayden told “Fox and Friends” that “my instinct is no,” President Obama did not order that Trump be wiretapped. The White House has demanded that Congress investigate Trump’s claim.

“It looks as if the President just for a moment forgot that he was President,” Hayden continued. “Why didn’t he simply use the powers of the presidency to ask the acting director of national intelligence, the head of the FBI, to confirm or deny the story he apparently read from Breitbart the evening before?”

“President Trump, in order to clear this up, could he demand to see this? Again, it would be unprecedented, but we’re in unprecedented circumstances,” Hayden said.

As House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and others have noted in response to Trump’s claim, a paper trail would reveal whether or not a court had granted a warrant to tap Trump’s phones. Trump would have the ability as President to demand that paper trail.

Either way, Hayden said, Obama wouldn’t have ordered the surveillance himself.

“He wouldn’t even be involved,” Hayden said. “You stay way back from this because of the separation of powers.”

Correction: This post originally referred to Jason Chaffetz as the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. In fact, he chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK