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The Week

by NR Editors

He pounds his chest, he roars, he perches on high-profile Manhattan real estate, and he can only be tamed by a clever blonde lady: Who could have seen this King Kong reboot coming?

Recently, President Trump leveled a bombshell accusation: that his predecessor in the Oval Office ordered that the phones at Trump Tower be “tapped” shortly before the general election. Trump seems to have tweeted without having the foggiest idea whether his specific allegation had any factual basis, and by doing so he needlessly created a sense of crisis within his own government and forced his aides to scramble for some justification after the fact. They have pointed to press reports of surveillance requests by the Obama Justice Department prior to the election. These reports are from outlets of varying levels of credibility, but they suggest that the Obama administration used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to surveil some of Trump’s associates in the final weeks of the campaign — although the reasons for the surveillance are unknown. None of these reports in the press, which themselves fall short of Trump’s accusation, has been independently confirmed, and Obama-administration officials have denied any wrongdoing. If there were legitimate fears that associates of the now-president were foreign agents, the president and the public deserve to know. Likewise, if that fear was simply a pretext for surveillance of Barack Obama’s political opponents, the president and the public deserve to know. That Trump’s aides in the White House seem determined to memory-hole the accusation suggests that the desire to know is limited.

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