Obama Chief Of Staff: The President ‘Can Not,’ ‘Did Not’ Order A Wiretap

Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune

A former White House chief of staff under denied categorically that former President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Donald Trump, despite the current President’s unsubstantiated claims to the contrary.

Norah O’Donnell of “CBS This Morning” asked Dennis McDonough, Obama’s chief of staff from 2013 through 2017, about the “multiple tweets by Donald Trump where he said President Obama has tapped my phones.”

“Is it legal for a sitting president to be wiretapping during – can the president order a wiretap?” she asked.

“The President can not order a wiretap,” McDonough responded. “The President does not order a wiretap. The President did not order a wiretap.”

Trump stood by the charge that Obama ordered surveillance on him again on Wednesday, in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. He did not offer any evidence to support his claim.

Earlier on Wednesday, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said they had seen no evidence to support Trump’s claim. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the same during a press briefing on Thursday.

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.
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