Is the president stepping back on his explosive accusation that then-President Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower?
TIME published an interview with President Trump on Thursday morning, and mainstream media focus instantly went to a Trumpian barb the president threw at his interviewer at the end of a lengthy discussion.
What their coverage misses, though, is that President Trump made news on at least one important front in the interview, conducted Wednesday: he’s showing signs of calling it a day on the accusations that then-President Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped during the 2016 campaign.
The evidence? Trump says the comments of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes prove he’s “right” (emphases ours):
TRUMP: Now remember this. When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes. Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping. It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes. What I’m talking about is surveillance. And today, [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Devin Nunes just had a news conference. Now probably got obliterated by what’s happened in London. But just had a news conference, and here it is one of those things. The other one, election, I said we are going to win, we won. And many other things. And I think this is going to be very interesting.
…Yeah, just had it. Now the problem, the thing is, I’m not sure they are watching anything other than that, let’s see members of Donald Trump transition team, possibly, oh this just came out. This is a Politico story. Members of the Donald Trump Transition team possibly including Trump himself were under surveillance during the Obama administration following November’s election. House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes told reporters, wow. Nunes said, so that means I’m right, Nunes said the surveillance appears to have been … incidental collection, that does not appear to have been related to concerns over Russia.
Trump indicates, throughout that interview, that he’s satisfied putting issues to bed – Huma Abedin, NATO, the JFK-Rafael Cruz conspiracy, and more – as long as he believes he’s “right.” It’s possbile that Nunes’ press conference on Wednesday puts the issue to rest for the president, at least for the immediate future.
One thing is clear, though: the Obama conspiracy won over Trump’s supporters. A new Morning Consult/Politico poll found that, although Trump’s accusations caused his favorability to drop 20 percent with “all voters,” it increased favorability among his own supporters by 21 percent.
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