It was a moment the political community has been waiting for for quite some time now. Politicians, media pundits, and the American public have been awaiting official confirmation on some of the most pressing stories surrounding the Trump administration. Trump’s allegations that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower and the fact that the FBI might be conducting a full-scale investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government as part of its search into Russian election intervention have both dominated the news cycle over the past two weeks. It was not until this morning, however, when FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee, that substantial answers to the myriad questions brought about with these two stories would finally receive answers.
Let’s first dig into the wiretapping situation. When Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him throughout the election, the American people were faced with two fairly terrible scenarios. The first was that the President of the United States is such a conspiratorial, paranoid individual that he was convinced by a Breitbart article that he was being surveyed by the former president. The other scenario was that Obama had, in fact, worked with the FBI to arrange a wiretap on the campaign headquarters, which would toss a massive wrench into the public’s trust of the political system. Now that Comey has spoken, it appears that the former, for better or for worse, is the actual outcome. "With respect to the President's tweets ... I have no information that supports these tweets," said Comey. "And we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for DOJ and all its components. The Department has no information that supports those tweets."
This, of course, has the potential to throw Trump’s credibility into oblivion. He had claimed in an interview with Fox News that there would be information supporting his claims coming to the forefront in the next few weeks, however this commanding statement by the FBI indicates that Trump had simply been fooled by right-wing conspiracy theories. What this means for international diplomacy concerns will also be an important question to answer in coming weeks, as Trump could very easily send troops marching and markets crashing with a tweet that hinders relations with a foreign power as a result of a phony article.
Moving over to the FBI’s investigation into Russian intervention in the election, it appears that Trump’s credibility will also be significantly reduced by the announcements made on this issue. "I have been authorized by the DOJ to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election – and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government. And whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed."
It does not get any clearer than that: the FBI has reasons to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to the Kremlin, which certainly does not bode well for the administration. Trump has repeatedly tried to dismiss any claims that he was tied up with Putin and his gang of cronies throughout the election season. The more we learn about this administration, however, the more we realize that he has been fooling us. Democratic Representative Adam Schiff issued a moving statement this morning, in which he explained all of the shady incidents surrounding Russia and Trump associates and indicated that it is inevitable that they are part of a larger plan. He spoke about Jeff Session’s two meetings with the same Russian ambassador that Michael Flynn had spoken with about U.S. sanctions on Russia – the conversations that cost Flynn his job as National Security Advisor. He spoke about the way the Kremlin had hacked into Democratic servers to steal compromising information to ultimately give Trump an advantage and how the Russians inevitably have equally harmful information on the Republicans that they intend to use as political leverage down the road.
The fact that it has now been confirmed that the FBI is looking into those ties and that Trump had lied about the wiretaps suggests that the White House will have a challenging week ahead. While Trump has already tried to dismiss the new information as fake news, these are serious claims from Comey, and the administration will not be able to dodge them with such ease.
What do you think about these new findings?