White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday that Donald Trump may have claimed that his predecessor ordered wiretaps of his phones during the presidential campaign because the President receives “information and intelligence that the rest of us do not.”
Conway was asked during an appearance on “Fox and Friends” how Trump knew that his phones had been tapped by President Barack Obama. Trump made the explosive, unsubstantiated claim in a series of tweets Saturday.
“Let me answer that globally,” she said. “He is the President of the United States. He has information and intelligence that the rest of us do not. And that’s the way it should be for Presidents.”
Conway made similar comments Sunday night to Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro that suggested Trump made the claim based on some unique intelligence.
“He may” know he was wiretapped, Conway told Pirro. “As Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said on a different show today, Jeanine, the President receives different intelligence than everyone else.”
“What is everybody afraid of?” she added. “They want to investigate everything, even the attenuated stuff, and yet they are afraid of connecting here what the President has asked for, which is basically, if you’re going to investigate – to continue Russia-gate, Russia, Russia, Russia, why not add to that investigation of these allegations?”
The Washington Post reported Sunday that Trump was “steaming, raging mad” partly over a series of Russia-related leaks that many in the White House are said to believe are coming from entrenched government officials opposed to Trump. The White House has reportedly taken to calling those hostile to Trump the “deep state.”
“This will be investigated,” Trump said over golf about the alleged wiretapping, according to the Post. “It will all come out. I will be proven right.”
On Monday, Conway referred to the Washington Post report and said Trump
“wants an investigation.”
“People should know what the truth is,” she said. “Also, in terms of the President being very determined to discover, you know, once and for all what happened during the campaign.”
In the Sunday interview with Pirro, Conway parried denials from former of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and a spokesperson for former President Barack Obama that any Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order had been issued to surveil Trump Tower.
She said the wiretapping order could have come from “somewhere else” besides the intelligence agencies under Clapper’s purview, and argued that the Obama spokesperson had left open the possibility “that pieces of the administration may be the source of this.”
Later, referring to reports that FBI Director James Comey had asked the Justice Department to refute Trump’s unsubstantiated wiretapping claims, Conway challenged Comey to do it himself.
“If Mr. Comey a has something he would like to say I’m sure we are all willing to hear it,” she said.