He pushed a similar theory on Twitter in early 2017, accusing Obama of having his “wires tapped” in Trump Tower before the election. There was no evidence then, nor has any come to light since, yet Trump indicated to reporters Tuesday he still believes it’s true:
.@POTUS says he doesn’t want to say the West Wing of the Obama WH was involved in the investigation of his campaign “but I think you know the answer”
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) March 26, 2019
It’s a baffling talking point that high-ranking officials in his administration continue to repeat. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did just that in an interview with CNN on Monday, blaming unnamed Democrats for being “behind the wiretapping.”
The accusation has repeatedly been rejected by other high-ranking officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. A long NBC News report published Tuesday details how Coats, who was recruited for the job by Vice President Mike Pence, has repeatedly found himself frustrated by the president’s intransigence:
Twelve days before Coats was sworn in by Pence as DNI in March 2017, Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him during the 2016 campaign. “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,” he wrote on Twitter on March 4. Coats would find it was a subject Trump raised repeatedly. …
Coats found it particularly hard to hide his exasperation with Trump’s insistence in the weeks after taking office that Obama had wiretapped him during the 2016 campaign, according to the officials. Over and over again Trump raised the issue, and over and over Coats told him he wasn’t wiretapped, officials said, but the president didn’t want to hear it.
“It was a recurring thing and began early on,” a senior administration official who observed the exchanges said. “You could tell that Coats thought the president was crazy.”