Mark Levin – the hatriot talk show host who reportedly was the source for Donald Trump's notion that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped him – got more than 12 minutes on Fox & Friends this morning to yell about “police state tactics” being used against “the victim” Trump. But when asked how much Obama was involved, Levin replied, “I’m not Nostradamus here, I just think that we ought to find out.”
With even Trump's aides refusing to defend his claim, I can understand why Levin would feel an overwhelming need to justify himself. And of course, the Trump Cheerleaders also known as Fox & Friends were ready to do everything possible to help.
PolitiFact has an excellent deconstruction of the claims which were echoed by Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on ABC News (and rated false by PolitiFact). But without wading into the weeds of the complicated facts, let me just point out that not one of the three Fox cohosts questioned – much less challenged – a single word Levin said.
Instead, cohost Pete Hegseth – the star of another Trump rehab effort that day – gushed, “You lay out a devastating case based on public documents, as you point out, and not right-wing sources but mainstream, left-stream sources.”
It wasn’t until 10 minutes in that someone asked about Obama’s involvement. You know, the thing that Trump tweeted about with an unequivocal claim. That was when cohost Abby Huntsman asked Levin, “Do you think former President Obama was involved in this and if so how much was he involved?”
Levin’s reply? “I’m not Nostradamus here, I just think that we ought to find out. But I will tell you this: He’s more involved than he says.”
In other words, Levin had no idea how much Obama was involved. In fact, as Raw Story noted, Levin had no concrete proof Obama was involved at all.
Not surprisingly, not one of the cohosts pointed out that not even the dubious source of Trump’s baseless claim could back it up.
Yet cohost (and supposedly objective correspondent) Ed Henry teamed up with Levin to help further the “Obama operatives are sabotaging Trump” narrative.
HENRY: [Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer] has been trying to block as many Trump nominations as he can and slow the process … Now that Jeff Sessions has recused himself [from any investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia], the person in charge here is going to be a career bureaucrat. … You have people inside Justice – some, maybe who have been trying to undermine President Trump who are now in charge of this investigation. And the chances of Chuck Schumer and the Democrats in the Senate confirming the nomination of the deputy attorney general, a Trump loyalist, now seems nil. So they have seized control of this investigation, haven’t they?
LEVIN: They not only did that, they have squirreled their appointees into the bureaucracy and they’re buying more and more time to do that.
Not one of the four people indicated a hint of concern about Trump’s ties to Russia.
Hegseth closed by saying, “Mark, you laid out a devastating case. We know now why they call you the Great One.”
Watch Fox & Friends put Trump’s interests over America’s below, on March 5, 2017.
As I understand it, the Patriot Act (is it still in force?) allowed the intelligence/legal agencies to wire-tap Americans but only if their actions were backed by a warrant. By all accounts, judges have been reluctant to sign warrants based on unfounded allegations. Bully for them, I say. As POTUS, Donald Trump can declassify any warrants granted by the FISA panel. If he doesn’t do so – and quickly – I cannot but think that his allegation was more mud thrown against the wall.
As there are probably fewer (if any) restraints on the wire-tapping of foreign citizens, anybody in Trump Tower who may have been identified as a party to calls with those foreign citizens (operatives) should also be investigated. That’s a no-brainer (and it would certainly be perceived as one if this happened to Obama or Clinton people). If there is no credible investigation, I shall again be inclined to think the worst of the Republicans in general and the Trumplicans in particular.
The Trump administration needs to walk the talk on a lot of stuff. And we’re less than 50 days into the next four years.
Obviously, Mark ‘The Great One’ Levin is skilled at blowing smoke from his motor mouth. But how stupid – whoops… I’m talking Trump supports so I answer my own question – do you have to be to not see through it?
The 800 pound guerrilla in the room is we know federal agencies were investigating Russia’s interference into our election and the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russians. So why is it so sensationally presented here like it’s a new thing? As Newshounds points out, Levin was allowed by the “Fox & Friends” bobble-heads to rant on and on about this common knowledge like only ‘The Great One’ can figure this out in some comprehensive manner.
When Obama became aware of any of this is irrelevant since his White House’s policy is not to interfere in independent investigations. It’s pretty obvious – except to partisans – Obama didn’t order any surveillance. Nor is it to reasonable to assume he’d call a halt to any.
While it’s true, a president can order a wiretap under FISA law without a court order for up to 1 year, ‘The Great One’ is building a case twice investigators went through a FISA court and their request was granted the 2nd time. This point is crucial because it proves Levin’s claim these are “police state tactics” is bulls—t. There was independent judicial review.
Since FISA courts overwhelmingly grant applications for wiretaps, I think it is safe to assume the reason for a denial was the court took into account the sensitive nature of the request because it involved a political campaign in an election cycle.
I’m no fan of FISA, to be frank, but it’s a wet dream of right-wingers – as long as it abuses the rights of non-whites and non-Republicans. Would there be a “Fox & Friends” circle jerk of outrage if FISA was used against the Clinton Foundation or Clinton campaign?
I’ll suggest the conversion would go along the lines of ‘We seriously need to lock Hillary up because even the Obama administration realized what a security risk she was.’
I do find it intriguing to note that – instead of being in the drivers seat as the potential boss, President Trump is in a position very similar to that of his erstwhile victims: i.e. that of a newcomer to the job. Had any of his own victims done so badly in living up to expectations of the position to which they aspired, he’d have fired them after the very first mistake.
My take on the wire-tapping silliness: yet another example of a time-honored diversion tactic: throw some mud (or other stuff) against the wall and see if any of it sticks. I keep reminding myself that the faithful do not represent more than about a third of the adults in the USA, and I trust that their numbers will decline very rapidly, indeed.
I love how he is not even questioned by the three imbeciles. Not one interruption. If a liberal mentions Russia in the first three words of their point, they are immediately talked over by the host. A la Pirro, Klannity, McCallum, etc.
Slanthead is on at 3 pm tomorrow, Levin at 6 pm here on Long Island. Should be fun hearing the derangement at their show openings.