Below is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the disclosure of the possible surveillance of Trump campaign staff and a decision to “unmask” and distribute transcripts of those interceptions.  Fox has reported that there is a “smoking gun” linking the Obama Administration.  However, Nunes later went on CNN and seemed to backtrack a bit in saying that he did not actually see the evidence.  Evidence will reportedly be brought to Capitol Hill this week.

On the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Shining, Stephen King must be wondering if Washington is working on its own sequel. For the last couple months, Washington has been on edge, like we are all trapped in Overlook Hotel with every day bringing a new “jump scare,” often preceded by a telltale tweet. Indeed, a Twitter whistle has replaced suspenseful music to put the entire city on the edge of their seats.

In this Shining sequel, however, people are sharply divided on who is the deranged ax-wielding villain in this lodge, the president or the press. Ironically, with the recent disclosure that some of the Trump campaign may indeed have been subject to surveillance, the president is looking more like Danny Torrance, a character dismissed for constantly muttering “redrum, redrum” until someone finally looked in a mirror at the reverse image to see the true message.

The curious thing about President Trump is that his method and language in communications often mask legitimate issues or concerns. This may be such a case with the disclosure that indeed some Trump officials may have been subject to surveillance under the Obama administration.

Trump triggered this particular jump scare with the tweet on March 4 that he “just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” He followed with such tirades as “How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

The media pounced and rightfully demanded proof to support such a charge. When it was clear that no evidence would be produced, the media (again rightfully) pummeled the White House for failing to support one of the most alarming claims ever made by a president against a former president.

However, that is when the media seemed to switch roles and fell into a loop of repeating the same accusation over and over again like Jack Torrance endlessly typing “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The media seemed so delighted by the quagmire created by Trump’s tweet that it refused to acknowledge reasonable interpretations of the tweet or the possibility that there might have been surveillance.

One of the most telling examples of media mania was the insistence that Trump was referring only to wiretapping and no other form of surveillance. From the earliest days of the scandal, I balked at that narrow reading. As someone who has written and litigated in the surveillance field for over three decades, the narrow reading is absurd.

“Wiretap” has often been used as a generality for surveillance, particularly among those of Trump’s generation. It is the same colloquial meaning as when the Supreme Court commonly used “eavesdropping” to refer to surveillance.It was not limiting decisions like Katz v. United States to circumstances where people hid in the eaves of homes and listened to conversations within.

There is no reason to assume that Trump meant solely the act of an actual wiretap when he put wiretap in quotations  as opposed to surveillance. Yet, when this obvious point was made by White House spokesman Sean Spicer, the media lit up over the White House was changing its allegation.

Likewise, referring to President Obama as tapping phones can reasonably be understood as the Obama administration, not specifically President Obama, venturing to Trump Tower in some disguise as a repairman to tap a phone. Yet, the media has continued to express alarm that the “facts are changing” when the White House made that obvious point about these tweets.

Now, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (who previously said he knew of no evidence to support the allegation) has disclosed that he has seen evidence that Trump presidential transition officials had their communications monitored during the Obama administration (though Nunes later suggested that he might not have actually seen the evidence of the surveillance).

He also said that the inadvertent interceptions were then subject to “unmasking” where intelligence officials actively and knowingly attached the names of the parties to transcripts and then circulated the information widely within the intelligence community. If true, that would clearly support a part of the president’s allegations and raise very serious questions about the improper use of surveillance. It would be Trump’s ultimate “redrum” moment.

Yet, when this disclosure was made by the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, CNN and other news outlets immediately proclaimed that it did not prove anything about the Trump allegations — again emphasizing that he said Obama “wiretapped” Trump’s phone. That is like saying that an alleged victim is not to be believed because he said that some “second story man broke into my home” when the evidence showed that there was no second story on the house and the burglar entered through an open window. The point is whether Trump campaign staff were subject to surveillance under the Obama administration.

Of course, the original tweets were poorly worded and inappropriate as a way for a president to raise this issue. Moreover, the inadvertent surveillance is rightfully distinguished from the original suggestion of a targeting of Trump. However, this would still be a very serious matter if intelligence officials acted to unmask the names and distribute them. The masking of names is meant to protect innocent people from such inadvertent interception as part of the minimization procedures in the surveillance area.

The White House appears unwilling to address the exaggeration and unfairness of the original allegation, while most of the media seems entirely unwilling to admit that there might indeed be an alarming abuse of surveillance rules.

In the end, I suppose our Shining sequel is even more scary than the original because you cannot entirely trust anyone in the Beltway Hotel. It is nothing but jump scares and creepy moments. Citizens are left running in the maze with Danny yelling that in this game “the Loser has to keep America clean.” Redrum.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University Law School.


  1. I disagree with Prof. Turley’s position on Mr. Trump’s accusations because I find nothing that requires either interpretation or clarification. When I hear a person speak, I give his words their ordinary and customary meaning unless the context in which they are spoken suggests otherwise. I know what a wall is. So when someone says he intends to build a wall, I know what he means. I also know what “better” and “cheaper” mean. So when someone says that he will provide everyone with access to health insurance that is better and cheaper than what is presently available, I don’t need explanatory commentary. I know what a wiretap is. So when someone says that his telephone line has been tapped, the meaning is clear.

    My view is that Mr. Trump’s wiretap conspiracy theory is a close relative to his birther conspiracy theory. Had he evidence of either, we would have seen it immediately. We won’t see it, however, because it doesn’t exist other than in his imagination. (Whatever did happen to that crack investigative team he sent to Hawaii a few years ago?)

    I know that my words will not change the minds of those who kneel respectfully when Mr. Trump preaches that he is the only one who can save the nation. But just as truth is said to be the first casualty of war, so reason succumbs to idolatry.

    1. Excellent comment. My only quibble is your reasoning for Trump not being wiretapped. It is likely that Trump was monitored during the election and just as likely that he would call it a wiretap regardless of it’s technical name. He does not have a history of choosing words carefully. Moreover, the way the “monitoring” works – in order to get around the laws regarding “Reverse Targeting” is convoluted; not something Trump, or most anyone for that matter, would have any interest in fully grasping.

      The best explanation of the process I have come across, with compelling support for the argument, is in this post by Glenn Greenwald,

      Your argument about words and their meaning remains largely intact since Trump would assume Obama ordered this directly, and would also assume that the “monitoring” was close enough to a wiretap for government purposes.

      As Greenwald makes clear in another post, Trump could have cleared everything up in a moment since he has the authority to declassify virtually anything, including transcripts of any monitoring of his communications with foreign actors. In my view, a plausible reason Trump doesn’t come forth with such proof is he feels (perhaps justifiably) that doing so might provoke a debate that would threaten his own use of the same power to spy on his opponents.

      A case of having it and eating it.

      Of course without any proof, your thesis is as credible as this one.

      1. Glenn Greenwald’s post is indeed compelling. However, I do not believe that Mr. Trump thinks very far ahead and he lacks the self-discipline for the long game.

  2. The photo on the left at the top of the article. Is that Trump’s brother?

  3. First, I wish that Trump would reserve Tweets for Fireside Chats style informal connections with the public, kind of along the lines of we can do this go team! When he suspected illegal surveillance there were channels to go through to get proof, and then they could have called a grim press conference, laying the proof out like a royal flush that they had painstakingly gathered to prove their case. The past administration and the politicization of the intelligence community would look bad, and the Trump administration would have calmly done their homework.

    But past predicts future, so I expect more issues will be volleyed about via Twitter that deserve a more serious and prepared discussion.

    In any case, the allegations are disturbing, but not surprising in light of the fairly recent Clapper scandal where he lied about the warrantless surveillance by the NSA.

    1. “But past predicts future, so I expect more issues will be volleyed about via Twitter that deserve a more serious and prepared discussion.”

      If you consider the mess we are in from previous administrations, why not shake things up a bit? Statesmanship effectively lulled the citizen class into a state of ignorance and apathy. The last 8 years has certainly led many to take a look at what their government is actually doing. President Trump has seized on that with his communication style and I cannot imagine him changing it anytime soon.

  4. NSA Documents Prove Surveillance of Donald Trump & His Family
    Bombshell discovery shows targets of NSA’s “Project Dragnet”
    Jerome Corsi | – March 20, 2017

    NSA Documents Prove Surveillance of Donald Trump & His Family

    UPDATE: Bombshell – Obama Illegally Spied on Sheriff Arpaio’s Prosecution

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – have obtained credible information from law enforcement sources regarding individual records of U.S. citizens under National Security Agency (NSA) electronic surveillance in the years 2004 through 2010 – a database that suggests both Donald J. Trump and Alex Jones were under illegal, unauthorized government monitoring during those years.


    Michael Zullo, formerly the commander and chief investigator of the Cold Case Posse (CCP), a special investigative group created in 2006 in the office of Joseph M. Arpaio, formerly the sheriff in Maricopa County, an Arizona State Certified Law Enforcement Agency, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, provided sections of the database to

    The electronic surveillance database, provided to Zullo by a whistleblower in 2013, was apparently created by the NSA as part of the NSA’s illegal and unconstitutional Project Dragnet electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens, first revealed by news reports published in 2005, as further documented by the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

    Sheriff Arpaio and Chief Investigator Zullo have identified dozens of entries at various addresses, including both Trump Tower in New York City and Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, under which Donald Trump was apparently under NSA electronic surveillance from 2004, during President George W. Bush’s term of office, through 2009, the first year of President Obama’s presidency.

    The lawyer who founded Judicial Watch and later Freedom Watch, Larry Klayman, has sent a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, asking him to look at a whistleblower’s evidence of “systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans, again including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen such as Donald Trump, and even yours truly.”

    That spying was done, Klayman’s letter contends, by the FBI.

    It’s become a major issue following President Trump’s assertion that he and Trump Tower were spied upon by the federal government, and the subsequent denials by intelligence and law-enforcement officials, including FBI Director James Comey, who famously cleared Hillary Clinton on accusations she mishandled classified information as U.S. secretary of state.

    Klayman has been working with Dennis Montgomery, a former NSA and Central Intelligence Agency contractor who “left the NSA and CIA with 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of information, much of which is classified.”

    Montgomery then “sought to come forward legally as a whistleblower to appropriate government entities, including congressional intelligence committees, to expose that the spy agencies were engaged for years in systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans.”

    Read more

  5. Mr Turley, people, the NSA/FBI spying on Trump/others info has been out for in the public for over a week.

    Hell, I called my reps about this info last Monday.

    Trump & Infowars Vindicated! Obama Deep State Operatives Caught Spying On POTUS Transition Team

    Published on Mar 22, 2017

    Alex Jones breaks down how Infowars and Donald Trump have been vindicated now the House Intelligence Committee found that Trump transition team has was being surveilled by various intelligence agencies who spread that information far and wide.

    Help us spread the word about the liberty movement, we’re reaching millions help us reach millions more. Share the free live video feed link with your friends & family

  6. Several things are being conflated. There is the leak of the DNC emails, the involvement of the Russians in US elections (not just for POTUS), the various Trump campaign staff being paid by and lobbying on behalf of various foreign governments, the various Trump business dealings with many foreign governments that included known foreign gangsters. The last is not being mentioned but may very well be why Trump and his associates could have been targets of justice department attention well before the campaign began.

    1. What about the Clinton campaign’s ties to various foreign governments including Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey….?


      In addition to Saudi Arabia, Podesta is registered to lobby on behalf of Sberbank CIB USA Inc., a subsidiary of Russia’s largest bank, which is majority owned by the government.

      The Security Services of Ukraine accused Sberbank of transferring money to pro-Russia “terrorists” fighting for Soviet occupation in April 2014, a charge denied by the bank.

      Podesta’s job according to the disclosure forms is to assist the bank in clarifying the scope of sanctions from Executive Order 13660, which President Obama signed in March 2014 to block “property of certain persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine.” Podeseta is also tasked with exploring possible avenues for sanctions relief.

      Emanuel A. “Mike” Manatos, the senior vice president at the D.C.-based government relations firm Manatos & Manatos, was hired by the VTB Group, a Russian financial group that includes VTB Bank—another large financial institution that is majority owned by the government—, according to a foreign agents registration disclosure.

      Manatos was tapped to provide counsel to VTB and to lobby the United States Congress and the Obama administration on sanctions imposed on Russian-affiliated banks. He has bundled $40,300 for Hillary for America.

      Bundlers to Clinton’s campaign also lobby on behalf of Turkish interests.

      Capitol Counsel LLC, a D.C.-based firm, provides government relations services to the Republic of Turkey, disclosures show. David Jones and Richard Sullivan, both partners at Capitol Counsel, combined to bundle $1.3 million for Clinton’s campaign; Jones has bundled $762,666 while Sullivan has bundled $546,030.

      1. Bob,….
        “It is illegal for any foreign country to participate in our elections in any way, shape, or form”, said John Podesta, chief of staff for Hillary’s campaign.
        “We would never in a million years even think of doing something as illegal as that, unless we got a lot of money for it”. -WEEKLY WORLD NEWS, NOV.5, 2016.
        The same article goes on to say that numerous emails from Podesta to Putin were discovered.
        One email asks if Putin got the red reset button Hillary sent, and tells Putin that if he presses it 3 times, Hillary will send him classified information.

  7. If the previous administration was so keen to spy on allied heads of state and a swath of ordinary Americans and use the IRS to hamper opposing political organizations, the fact that democrats are so adamant that the Obama Administration is innocent is completely incredulous.

    1. Darren,
      While all that was proven to be true, what matters most is that Obama was very articulate when he spoke about his weaponized administration.

    2. I think it was around 1998 that I realized that the intramural culture of the Democratic Party was bereft of integrity. It wasn’t like that 40 years ago.

  8. Reblogged this on Bob's Opinion and commented:
    Well My, My, My… and meanwhile, we keep getting more and more refugees; the border crossings are down, but that don’t mean less bad guys — just the potential for less. California and the Democrats are out in the open trashing the Constitution! Just seems like its time to drop the hammer on this chaotic mess we call “The Washington Swamp”…

  9. and despire the best effort of the Marxist Leninist Collective they still own ACA and stil lhave no produced one fact to support the programmed posititon of the collective EXCEPT one provided by Comrade Schumer himself.

    Schumer jumps at chance to work ….on health care…. Did you see that headline.

    Her’es the offer. IF you meet our demands.


    Sound of Schumer shutting the door.l

    Let ACA die let the left die they are powerless, unimportant and their unsupported drivel is boringl.

    No Deals with foreign ideologies!

  10. Jonathan: do they pay you to spin this stuff, or do you come up with it on your own? tRump said President Obama “tapped” his phone. That is not the same thing as tRump campaign people being under surveillance, of which there is also no evidence. Even if the latter pans out, that does not excuse the false statement that Barak Obama personally tapped tRump’s telephone.

    You are buying into the Fox News “media mania’ argument. The POTUS is one of the most powerful people on earth. What POTUS says is reported and analyzed. This has been the case for decades, which is why previous Presidents have been very measured about what they say. When you have someone as reckless with facts as tRump, and who is a chronic, habitual liar, that, itself, is a story, and a big one.

    1. “What POTUS says is reported and analyzed.”

      That is a true statement. And conversely, the last 8 years proved there was very little interest in reporting how consistent the words matched the actions. Apparently many on the left prefer an articulate President over a constitutional one.

    2. Natacha – you are having the same mental masturbation the press is over the surveillance of the Trump Towers and the Trump team. This was more than incidental. Sheriff Arpiao has a list of all the Trump properties that were illegally surveilled and it included every place Trump could live. It also listed some of the Trump staff on the ‘hot list’ which included the golf pro at Trump National.

        1. “…is an attention whore.”

          I don’t believe there is a more obvious statement that can be made regarding anyone in the world of politics.

        2. dds – it took millions of dollars of George Soros dark money to take Arpaio down. Penzone isn’t half the sheriff that he was. Do you know Arpaio had his Sheriff’s Posse work the parking lots of the malls at Xmas time to stop thieves from stealing your presents? None of the cities offered to do it, they were too busy writing traffic tickets.

          1. The functions of the Sheriff differ from one jurisdiction to another. In New York (outside of NYC), they enforce court orders (including undertaking evictions), employ the bailiffs, run the county jail, and provide patrol and investigation services for municipalities without a domestic police force (a function of consequence in non-metropolitan counties and in the exurban portions of metropolitan counties). In New York City, they just enforce the court orders. Re the Sheriff, no news is good news; there’s controversy only when somebody f**** up.

    1. You may want to take a breath. The Democrats gave the last head of the Executive branch a standing ovation for taking power away from the Legislative branch. You should have no reasonable expectation this President will do anything on any timeline; just like we endured with the last President. The Democrats have effectively booby-trapped legislative oversight of the Executive branch, likely due to them expecting Clinton would need it to carry on the policies of the previous administration.

      Nicely done!

  11. Maybe I watched too many Law and Order reruns but the Trumpsters are acting guilty as hell.

    Follow the money. The emails? Meh.

  12. Turley stretches the accusations made by DDT well past the breaking point. This means that. That means this. DDT clearly stated in writing that Obama had his phones tapped. If one is to give any leeway to this statement it surely must include the history of the person that made it, not the legal maneuvering or self gratification of a lawyer. DDT has lied during his entire campaign and it was well over a month into the Presidency before a day went by that did not see a lie coming from that psychotic fish mouth. Nunes has added absolutely nothing that will change the fact that DDT is a liar and that the lie that Obama had DDT’s phones tapped is simply one more in an endless stream of idiotic lies; such as the millions of people who attended his inauguration-oh I meant watched it on TV, listened to it on the radio…, the three million votes for Clinton were all from illegal immigrants…., etc.

    The defense mounted by Turley belongs in the same category as that of the person who kills his parents and then seeks mercy because he is now an orphan. Lawyers do what they do and stretching arguments well past the point of idiocy has always been part of their schtick. On another note, the one thing that seems to be missing from this carnival is that DDT and/or any of his mob could have very well been surveilled while taking to any of the, now established, Russians and/or other foreign people/agents with whom they were hobnobbing before, during, and after the election. To surveil foreign diplomats/agents when they are on US soil and especially when they are cavorting with the likes of DDT and his ilk, is standard procedure and most assuredly happen to Clinton as well. This is a good thing and would have been done by a responsible administration, as well as the circus that is the one at the moment. The questions that a true patriot and lawyer should be asking would be more in the best interests of America if they centered around the hundreds of billionaire Russians who bought DDT properties, the dealings DDT has had and continues to have with Russia, and all that stuff which is vastly more factual and real than this convoluted, disgraceful, yet par for the course for a hack lawyer, legal defense of one of the most disgusting persons to make it to the White House. The questions that abound concerning DDT’s dealings with foreign dictators like Putin and his financial ties/obligations should be the focus and the move to have DDT’s tax info surveilled by an impartial body, is an absolute must. So, what’s next Turley? How about the fact that one in three of DDT’s visits outside Washington are to his own properties? How about his promise not to play golf and that he has played over a dozen times in his first month? How about the billion dollars it will cost to ‘protect’ his extended family as they travel around the world doing business? How about not being such a shill for DDT.

      1. A fun parlor game is betting on who is going to flip first. Or who already has.

      2. Anon….
        At least 4 GOP Senators have stated that Gen. Flynn should testify before Congress.
        (McConnell, Blunt, Graham, and Corker)
        I haven’t tallied up all of the GOP and Democratic senators who want Flynn’s testimony, but there are probably more than the 4 Republican Senators that I cited who want his testimony.
        As far as I know, Flynn has not volunteered to testify.
        Manafort, Page, and Stone have all volunteered to testify….I don’t know how the Senate sets the timing/ dates for witness testimony.

          1. Thanks for the info, Anon.
            The initial reports I saw said that all three were willing to give sworn testimony.
            I did a quick search after I read your comment…..there was a flurry of articles a few days ago about Manafort, some saying he would testify under oath, some said he would not.
            One source said he’d agree to testify either way if he could cross his fingers behind his back😉😏

  13. Nunes said 0ner day later that he never SAW the evidence he said the day before he had been holding in his hand. An apparent tool for the White House. Worse still about this piece is the fact that Trump NEVER SAID President Obama conducted SURVEILLANCE on Trump’s STAFF, what Trump said was that President Obama “PUT TAPPS [sic] ON MY PHONES.”

    The WH and Trump’s slavish supporters have been deceptively trying to alter the reality of what Trump SAID, pretending he “meant” that SOMEONE at Trump Towers was observed during “some kind” of surveillance. Unfortunately for them, Trump says what he means.

    And they are pushing even more obvious lies now, despite the hard fact of the Tweet itself, pretending that Trump “MEANT” not Obama but his Administration. But, no, that’s NOT what Trump said. He SAID it was President Obama who tapped his phones and that President Obama “is a sick or bad guy.”

    That’s like their pretending that the Muslim Ban Trump trumpeted for months on the campaign trail “doesn’t mean that he REALLY wants to ban Muslims.

      1. “Also, I would like to say that if the practice of leaking information that concerns not just the United States but also Russia, which has become a tradition in Washington in the past few years, continues, there will come a day when the media will publish leaks about the things that Washington asked us to keep secret, for example, things that happened during President Obama’s terms in office. Believe me, this could be very interesting information.

        Our American colleagues must decide if they respect the diplomatic procedure, if they keep their word on the arrangements made between us, primarily arrangements made at their own request, or we create a few very nice surprises for each other.” -Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow

  14. Mr. Turley writes: “He also said that the inadvertent interceptions were then subject to “unmasking” where intelligence officials actively and knowingly attached the names of the parties to transcripts and then circulated the information widely within the intelligence community. If true, that would clearly support a part of the president’s allegations and raise very serious questions about the improper use of surveillance.”

    I don’t know whether Mr. Turley supported Bush and his Roving band of acronymists, but the USA PATRIOT Act (otherwise known as the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act,, as amended) raises “very serious questions about the improper use of surveillance.” Of course, Trump offers nary a word on surveillance unless it pertains to his personal life. It’s just another example of a completely self-serving CEO of a nation which he operates like an 800lbs. corporation.

  15. This illegal distribution and unmasking goes to Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice. I would bet on it.

          1. “John Podesta may have violated federal law by failing to disclose stock shares he owned from a Kremlin-funded company.

            In 2011, John Podesta joins the board of this very small energy company called Joule Energy based out of Massachusetts. About two months after he joins the board of a Russian entity called Rusnano, puts a billion rubles which is about 35-million-dollar into John Podesta’s company. Now, what is Rusnano? It’s not a private company, Steve. It is a fund directly funded by the Kremlin. In fact, the Russian science minister called Rusnano, Putin’s child. So you have the Russian government investing in one John Podesta’s businesses in 2011, while he is an advisor to Hillary Clinton at the State Department.”

            He continued, “So then in 2013, he goes to the White House, to be a special counselor to Barack Obama, and that requires that you, you know, have financial disclosures every year. In his financial disclosure form in 2013, he not only fails to disclose these 75,000 shares of stock that he has in Joule Energy which is funded in part by the Russian government. He also fails to disclose that he is on one of the three corporate board that this entity has. It’s got this very complex ownership structure. He discloses he is on the company in Massachusetts, that is he on the board of a company in the Netherlands, but he fails to disclose that he is also on the executive order of the holding company. That’s a clear violation of the disclosure rules that needs to be looked at.”

            What makes the Podesta case clear is there was a transfer of money and there was a transfer of a lot of money that stood to make John Podesta a lot of money. That is unique and that’s extremely troubling because at the time that transfer is taking place he is advising Hillary Clinton at the State Department. We know that from the Podesta emails that he is helping her make personnel decisions, speech decisions, policy decisions. He is meeting with her monthly. It’s a transfer of money from a foreign government, at the time, that is he was advising America’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton.”


    1. Indeed. Please don’t tell me that Barack Obama and James Comey have not politicized the FBI. An open question still remains on who finally ‘cleared’ Ben Rhodes for his security clearances in 2008 after he was initially DENIED a clearance?


      “Adam Kredo of the free beacon reported Congress is seeking more information on Ben Rhodes because he was denied interim security clearance in 2008 when Barack Obama was moving into the White House. They forwarded a letter to the FBI asking for an explanation.

      “Recent reports indicate the FBI denied, or was going to deny, Ben Rhodes an interim security clearance during President Obama’s transition,” Reps. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.) and Jim Bridenstine (R., Okla.) wrote in a recent letter to FBI Director James Comey, according to a copy obtained by the Free Beacon.

      “This previously unknown fact is extremely troubling and calls into question the integrity of the FBI’s protocols and the wisdom of Mr. Rhodes’ continued government employment,” the lawmakers wrote.

      Security clearance can be denied for a number of reasons such as a criminal record, drug use, “questionable foreign ties or relationships,” Kredo wrote.

      The suspicion is on the latter. Rhodes has been promoting an extreme view of engaging Iran for years and Congress believes that to be the reason he was or almost was denied clearance. He wrote the Iraq Study Group report and there is suspicions that Iranian spies were whispering in his ears.

      The concern is that he attained security clearance because of political pressure.

      Podesta emails confirmed that Rhodes was not able to pass preliminary background checks by the FBI in 2008.

      “We agree that it would not be worth pushing for Benjamin Rhodes to receive interim status,” Obama transition team members wrote to Podesta in October 2008.

      “For your information, out of the approximately 187 people who we have moved through the process Benjamin was the only person declined interim status,” the email said.

      The White House said that Rhodes currently has the proper security clearances and has had them since before Obama entered the White House, a government official told free beacon anonymously.

      The Iran deal begun years before they admitted it. Backroom dealings with the treacherous Ayatollahs were conducted in secret.

      1. Comey not the Russians swung the election to Trump. Maybe he has regrets.

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