Lt Col Tony Shaffer marks the passing of two weeks since the Saturday morning tweets by President Trump stating his belief that the Obama regime had wiretapped his communications. Shaffer cleans up what has transpired in that period of time and what we now know, Rick Wells reports.
Shaffer says, “We know now that the basic fundamental idea and claim is true. Something happened and we have to understand that when Mr. Trump tweet ‘wiretapping,’ it wasn’t two pair of cable being tapped in, it’s ‘data,’ phone numbers, data; and Trump Tower, I think is euphemistic like the whole campaign.”
Shaffer continues, “So what we know now is there was some level of collection, not relating to the ‘Russia investigation’ or Russia issue,’ that has now come forward. And I think what we’re seeing now here, frankly, is a work of walking the razor’s edge. We have to be careful about giving up what we call tools, techniques and technology of how things were collected. At the same time, we know now that even if this collection was done legally, the unmasking of names and the dissemination are probably felony-level crimes, that break not only protocol but break the law.”
They play a clip of Bob Woodward from a few nights earlier, saying, “The idea that there was intelligence value here is really thin. It’s, again, down the middle, it’s not what Trump said but this could be criminal on the part of people who decided, ‘oh, let’s name these people.’ Under the rules that name is supposed to be blanked out and so you’ve got a real serious problem, potentially, of people in the Obama administration passing around this highly classified gossip.”
Shaffer agrees, saying, “Clearly they were after gossip because it’s political. This has no intelligence value and let me be clear on this. I’ve run these sorts of operations before. I’ve had to go to the White House and brief on this sort of operation and you instantly bin information related to US persons. It used to take us time, like minutes. Now it can be done instantly, I mean the moment it hits, so there’s absolutely no technical reason. So what I’ve been saying is this ‘incidental,’ it’s ‘accidental on purpose,’ they knew exactly what they were going for.” He says, “I believe this is much worse than Watergate by an order of magnitude, but the fact that you had people, both within the intelligence community, who were political appointees.”
“And I would argue,” says Shaffer, “Mr. Trump’s battle against the intelligence community wasn’t just the community, it’s about these political appointees running the intelligence community, who are clearly, now, the evidence is they abused their authority and used it for political purposes. And that’s what I think we have to look at very carefully.”
Shaffer clears up what may be a misconception, that it is not necessary to tap Trump Tower to intercept data coming in and out of the building. He says that is the issue, “Someone authorized the intelligence community to collect on Trump’s networks and for purposes then unmasking individuals and disseminating information illegally, and that’s what the real issue is at this point.”