Trump Tower wiretapping allegations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

On March 4, 2017, Donald Trump wrote a series of posts on his Twitter account that accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones at his Trump Tower office late in the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump called for a congressional investigation into the matter, and the Trump administration cited news reports to defend these accusations. His initial claims were based on an article on Breitbart News, which cited speculations made by conspiracy theorist Louise Mensch. By June 2020, no evidence had surfaced to support the claim, which had been refuted by the Justice Department (DOJ).[1]

Representative Devin Nunes, the then-chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he would investigate the claim. At a committee open hearing on March 20, 2017, FBI Director James Comey stated that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department possessed any information to support Donald Trump's wiretapping allegations. Nunes stated on March 23 that the Trump administration's communications might have been legally monitored during the transition period as part of an "incidental collection".[2] Intelligence Committee leaders later said they found no evidence to support the claim.[1]

The DOJ declared in a September 1, 2017 court filing that "both the FBI and NSD confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets",[3][4] and confirmed this in another court filing of October 19, 2018.[5] On September 19, 2017 CNN reported that the FBI wiretapped Paul Manafort before and after the presidential election, extending into early 2017, although the report did not make clear whether Manafort was monitored during his tenure with the Trump campaign from March through August 2016. The CNN report also stated that the Manafort surveillance began after he became the subject of an FBI investigation in 2014. Some commentators cited this report as vindication for Trump's claims, while others noted that it did not confirm the accuracy of Trump's original tweets, and that it is still unknown whether any surveillance of Manafort took place at Trump Tower.[6][7][8] Manafort owned a condominium in Trump Tower from 2006 until its seizure by federal authorities following his 2018 convictions.[9][10]

On April 25, 2019, Trump said that his original allegation of "wires tapped" was not literal, and that he really meant: "surveillance, spying you can sort of say whatever you want". Trump also said that his allegations were made "just on a little bit of a hunch and a little bit of wisdom maybe", and that he thought his allegations were "pretty insignificant" when he made them.[11] In a July 2019 interview with C-SPAN, when asked whether he regretted any of his tweets, Trump said "Not much, honestly not much...I sent the one about the wiretapping...and that turned out to be true."[12]


On November 7, 2016, conspiracy theorist Louise Mensch reported[13] in the right-leaning[14] Heat Street, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had twice sought Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants in connection with its investigation of the Trump campaign's links to Russia. According to Mensch, the first request for a warrant which "named Trump" was denied in June 2016 and, a second, more "narrowly drawn" request was granted in October 2016. Mensch wrote that this warrant gave "counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of 'U.S. persons' in Donald Trump's campaign with ties to Russia", and to "look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons". Mensch further claimed that the October warrant was granted in "connection with the investigation of suspected activity between the server [in Trump Tower] and two banks, SVB Bank and Alfa Bank", and that "it is thought in the intelligence community that the warrant covers any 'US person' connected to this investigation, and thus covers Donald Trump and at least three further men". Mensch's article cited reports from two anonymous "sources with links to the counter-intelligence community".[13] Mensch's original article only discussed e-mail exchanges and did not use the term "wiretap".[14]

On January 19, 2017, The New York Times published an article which used two headlines,[15] with the print headline reading "Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides"[16][a][17] and the article published online with the title "Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates".[15] The article stated that "American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted [Russian] communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."[15] The article also noted the uncertainty regarding the scope of the communications, stating: "It is not clear whether the intercepted [Russian] communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump's campaign, or Mr. Trump himself."[16]

On March 3, Breitbart News, a far-right[18] website known to publish conspiracy theories,[19][20] ran an article by Joel Pollak headlined "Mark Levin to Congress: Investigate Obama's 'Silent Coup' vs. Trump." On the previous day, right-wing radio personality Mark Levin alleged that Obama and his allies were conducting a "silent coup" against Trump, and asked: "How many phone calls of Donald Trump, if any, have been intercepted by the administration and recorded by the Obama administration?"[21][22] The claims were labeled conspiracy theories by CNN and The Los Angeles Times.[21][22] The Breitbart article alleged that "the Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services".[21] Citing Mensch's November article, Breitbart claimed the existence of a June FISA request "to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers", and of an October FISA warrant "focused on a computer server in Trump Tower". Breitbart cited a January 11 National Review article,[23] which speculated about alleged "wiretaps" of the Trump campaign and their legal ramifications. Like the Breitbart article,[24] the National Review article had also extensively relied on Mensch's piece.[14]

Both McClatchy and BBC reported on the existence of an October FISA warrant, as did Mensch. However, these accounts differed substantially from Mensch's story with respect to the scope and purpose of the warrant. They alleged that the October warrant authorized to monitor financial transactions related to Russia — not communications.[14] Unlike the derivative accounts in National Review and Breitbart,[24][14] Mensch's original article did not use the term "wiretap" (implying voice telephone calls), but only made claims about e-mail exchanged with SVB Bank and the Russian Alfa-Bank.[14] While Mensch did claim the e-mail server was located in Trump Tower, it was likely located in Lititz, Pennsylvania, as Trump outsourced e-mail to Listrak, which operates out of a data center there.[25] Furthermore, The New York Times reported on October 31 that the FBI had concluded that the server traffic could have been explained by marketing emails or spam. Contrary to The Times, Mensch claimed that the server's activity remained suspicious enough to lead the FBI to request the FISA warrant.[14][26]

The Breitbart article was subsequently circulated among White House staffers, and was reportedly given to Trump on the following day, together with his morning newspapers and printouts.[21][14][27][28]


Initial claim[edit]

Donald J. Trump Twitter

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

4 Mar 2017[b]

Trump responded to the conspiracy theories in a succession of tweets on March 4, 2017,[b] stating he had "just found out" that former president Barack Obama had wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower during the last month of the 2016 election.[29] He did not reveal he had received his information from Breitbart News and offered no evidence to support his claims.[30] Trump compared the alleged intrusion to McCarthyism and Watergate. Anonymous White House officials told The Washington Post that Trump did not appear to coordinate his comments with other White House officials.[29]


The White House claimed that reports "from BBC, Heat Street, New York Times, Fox News, among others" established the president's wiretapping allegation, providing links of these to The Washington Post.[26]

In a statement issued through press secretary Sean Spicer on March 5, Trump asked congressional intelligence committees to "determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016" as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the election.[31] In response, Representative Devin Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, stated that the committee "will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party's campaign officials or surrogates".[32] Senator Lindsey Graham stated his willingness to use subpoena powers to find out whether Trump was investigated and what the cause for such an investigation was, if it did occur.[33] On March 15, Nunes reported that the House Intelligence Committee had not found any evidence supporting the wiretapping claim.[34]

White House officials gave discordant responses to initial media inquiries about Trump's accusations. Spicer banned cameras in the briefing room at a press conference the following day. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News's Fox & Friends that the president had "information and intelligence that the rest of us do not", although Spicer later said Conway was not qualified to make that claim.[35]

Extension of claim[edit]

During an interview on March 12, Conway told The Record's Mike Kelly that the surveillance could have potentially used hacked electronic devices: "You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways." She also suggested that Trump could have been monitored with "microwaves that turn into cameras".[36] Conway later retracted the claim, stating that "I'm not Inspector Gadget, I don't believe that people are using the microwave to spy on the Trump campaign."[37]

At a March 13 press briefing, Spicer claimed that Trump was referring to general surveillance rather than direct wiretapping.[38] Spicer also said that the White House believed that the Obama administration was responsible for the surveillance, not Obama himself, said Trump's tweet which specifically named the former president.[39]

In a March 15 interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Trump supported his claims of wiretapping by citing a March 3 interview with Paul Ryan on an episode of Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News and the January 19 New York Times article.[40] While The New York Times article[16] mentioned "wiretapping" and reported that the FBI was "examining intercepted communications and financial transactions", it stipulated neither the targeting of American citizens for surveillance, nor any involvement in such surveillance by the Obama administration. Trump's March 15 assertion that the Times' article supported his allegations about wiretapping was deemed "false" by PolitiFact.[14][40] On Special Report Brett Baier alleged that the FBI got a FISA warrant in October to "start a wiretap at Trump Tower with some computer and Russian banks and it doesn't show up anything [referring to the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russian election meddling], by reporting", and asked Ryan: "Have you heard that?" Ryan responded: "Well, again, like I said, none of us in Congress or anybody I know in Congress has been presented with anything to the contrary of what you just said." However, there may have been a misunderstanding between Baier and Ryan throughout the interview, with Baier asking about undue surveillance of the Trump campaign, and Ryan responding that intelligence gathering had produced no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump. Ryan stated, in response to a question about Trump's March 15 comments, that he had been unaware of any wiretapping allegations prior to his interview with Baier, and that "the intelligence committees ... have determined ... that no such wiretap existed."[41]

Allegation of British involvement[edit]

If the telephone rang in GCHQ from the White House, that in itself would be unheard of. The director [GCHQ's chief] would then ring his US counterpart, the director of the NSA—there's a hotline on his desk—to ask if it was a hoax. The next person he would ring would be the [UK] foreign secretary to say we've had this amazing request. Nothing would happen without a warrant from the top of government and that would just never be granted in these circumstances.

-- David Omand (former GCHQ director), Financial Times[42]

During a March 14 Fox & Friends interview, Andrew Napolitano said that "Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command", using the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to implement surveillance to avoid leaving "American fingerprints".[43] Napolitano accused Robert Hannigan, who resigned from the GCHQ on January 23, of ordering the wiretap. Hannigan reportedly resigned for personal reasons.[44] Fox News anchor Bret Baier later stated that "the Fox News division was never able to back up [Napolitano's] claims".[45] Napolitano was reportedly temporarily taken off air by Fox due to the allegations.[46] One of Napolitano's sources was former intelligence officer Larry C. Johnson, who later told CNN that Napolitano had misrepresented the statements he made on an online discussion board. Johnson, citing two anonymous sources, claimed that the GCHQ was passing information on the Trump campaign to US intelligence through a "back-channel", but stressed that the GCHQ did not "wiretap" Trump or his associates and that alleged information sharing by the GCHQ was not done at the direction of the Obama administration.[47][48]

On March 16, Spicer repeated Napolitano's claim at a White House press briefing. The following day, GCHQ responded with a rare public statement: "Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct 'wiretapping' against the then president-elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored."[49] A British government source said the allegation was "totally untrue and quite frankly absurd".[50] Admiral Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), said he has seen nothing to suggest that there was "any such activity" nor any request to do so.[51] Former GCHQ director David Omand told Financial Times that "The suggestion that [Barack Obama] asked GCHQ to spy on Trump is just completely barking — that would be evident to anyone who knew the system."[42]

The claim started a diplomatic dispute with Britain. Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader in Britain, said "Trump is compromising the vital UK-US security relationship to try to cover his own embarrassment. This harms our and US security."[50] The Telegraph said that two U.S. officials had personally apologized for the allegation.[50] The British government also said that the U.S. government promised not to repeat these claims.[52][42] The White House denied reports that it had apologized to the British government, saying Spicer was merely "pointing to public reports" without endorsing them.[53][50]

On April 12, 2017, The Guardian reported that GCHQ (and other European intelligence agencies) had intercepted communications between members of the Trump campaign team and Russian officials, and shared the intelligence with their US counterparts. The communications were obtained through "incidental collection" as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets, not from a targeted operation against Trump or his campaign.[54][55]

Shortly after FBI James Comey publicly announced the counterintelligence investigation into Russian collusion, Robert Hannigan flew to Washington, D.C., according to The New Yorker: "Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.'s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.'s director, John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump's team and Moscow that had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.)" [56]

Surveillance of Trump associates[edit]


On January 11, 2017, The Guardian reported[57] that the FBI initially applied for a FISA warrant in June 2016, requesting to "monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials". This initial request was denied. A source told The Guardian that the FBI then submitted a more narrowly focused request in October, "but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation". The Guardian article was not cited by the White House in connection with Trump's wiretapping claim.[14]

The day after The Guardian report, BBC journalist Paul Wood separately reported that, in response to an April 2016 tip from a foreign intelligence agency to the CIA about "money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign", a joint task force had been established including representatives of the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the NSA; and in June 2016 lawyers from the FBI had applied to the FISA court for "permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks". The BBC alleged that the investigation was prompted in April 2016 by a "tip" from an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. According to Wood, this application was rejected, as was a more narrowly focused request in July, and the order was finally granted by a different FISA judge on October 15, three weeks before the presidential election. According to the article, the warrant did not name Trump or his associates.[58]

On January 18, McClatchy separately[14] reported[59] that "the FBI had obtained a warrant on Oct. 15 from the highly secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing investigators access to bank records and other documents about potential payments and money transfers related to Russia". The McClatchy article was not cited by the White House in connection with Trump's wiretapping claim.[14]

In April 2017, The Washington Post initially reported that the FBI secured a FISA warrant to monitor Trump campaign associate Carter Page in the summer of 2016 — later corrected to October 2016, one month after Page had left the Trump campaign. The warrant was reportedly based on the possibility that Page was acting as an agent of a foreign government, i.e., Russia.[60][61]

On September 18, 2017, CNN reported that the FBI wiretapped Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, from as early as 2014 through an unspecified time before the 2016 election, and also after the election through early 2017, pursuant to two separate FISA court orders. It has not been confirmed whether Trump's conversations with Manafort were intercepted as part of this surveillance. CNN acknowledged that prior to this disclosure, "speculation has run rampant about whether Manafort or others associated with Trump were under surveillance". The CNN report noted that it was unclear if Manafort was under FBI surveillance while he resided in Trump Tower.[6]

On May 16, 2018, The New York Times reported that "The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months...[including]...Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos."[62]


In its March 5 analysis of the reporting that preceded Trump's allegations, The Washington Post stated that "the articles all suggest that the FISA requests—if they happened—were done by the intelligence agencies and the FBI", and not by the Obama administration. According to The Post, Mensch's article was the only one to have alleged any surveillance of Trump Tower. No major news organizations have been able to confirm Mensch's account,[22] despite prolonged efforts by The New York Times and The Washington Post. This absence of verification, combined with Mensch's reliance on "vague"[24] and anonymous sourcing to individuals "with links to the counter-intelligence community", lead The Times and The Post to urge skepticism about the veracity of her account.[24][14]

Some Trump supporters cited the Manafort wiretap report as vindicating Trump's March 2017 tweets.[7] However, David A. Graham of The Atlantic responded: "This is not true—Trump claimed he had been the subject of Obama-ordered, politically motivated surveillance, for which there remains no evidence." While acknowledging that "it does make for a more complicated picture than previously known", Graham argued "there are reasons to doubt" that Trump was even aware of the Manafort wiretap at the time he made his unsupported allegations against Obama. Graham concluded: "Insofar as there are parallels between what Pollak, Levin, and Napolitano said and the new story, it looks like luck."[8] Aaron Blake of The Washington Post noted that, according to CNN, lawyers for both Trump and Manafort convinced the two men to discontinue their phone conversations some time after Trump took office: "If Trump's lawyers somehow knew about and fought back against the Manafort wiretap, it stands to reason that Trump himself might have been aware of it. ... While we don't know the exact timing of all of this, perhaps this is what Trump was referring to and he, as he is wont to do, exaggerated it."[63]

2019 clarification[edit]

On April 25, 2019, Trump said that his original allegation of "wires tapped" was not literal as he had used quotation marks, saying that he really meant: "surveillance, spying you can sort of say whatever you want". Trump also said that his allegations were made "just on a little bit of a hunch and a little bit of wisdom maybe". Trump elaborated that he thought his allegations were "pretty insignificant" when he made them.[11]


There has been criticism of Trump's claim as simply being a "dead cat", a false allegation against Obama intended to direct media and public interest away from Trump and his team's alleged connections with Russia.[64] According to an April 2019 Politico/Morning Consult poll, 38% of American voters believed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was spied on during the 2016 election, with 57% agreement by Republicans and 24% by Democrats.[65]

From politicians[edit]

Most Republicans in Congress distanced themselves from the claim and refused to comment on it, although members of both the Senate and House of Representatives vowed to investigate the matter.[66]

Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis repudiated the claim in a statement later that day saying: "A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice."[29] The Wall Street Journal described Obama as "livid" when he heard about the allegations personally,[67] though other sources said he "rolled his eyes" and remained more concerned about Trump's conservative and nationalist agenda.[68] When the Obama administration's former press secretary Josh Earnest was asked by ABC News's Martha Raddatz if he could deny that the Obama Justice Department had sought and obtained a FISA court-ordered wiretap of the Trump campaign, he responded, "I don't know ... The president was not giving marching orders to the FBI about how to conduct their investigations."[69][70]

On March 23, Devin Nunes stated that communications to and from Trump's presidential transition team may have been intercepted as part of incidental collection.[71] In response, officials in the Obama administration refuted any claims that it had been monitoring the Trump team. Nunes said the surveillance was unrelated to the Russia investigation and "suggested the contents may have been inappropriately disseminated in intelligence reports ... for political reasons".[72] Later the same day, Nunes said that he did not know "for sure" whether intelligence committees had actually monitored the Trump team's communications.[73] In September, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice stated that a December 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump transition officials and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) raised suspicions because the UAE allegedly failed to give the Obama administration advance notice of Zayed's visit to the U.S., as is customary. Therefore, to better understand the intent of the meeting, she "requested the names of the Americans mentioned in the classified report be revealed internally" (or "unmasked"). According to CNN's Manu Raju, while Nunes implied that such unmasking may have been improper—an allegation that the Trump administration used to deflect from Trump's original wiretap claim—Rice's "explanation appears to have satisfied some influential Republicans on the committee, undercutting both Nunes and Trump". Republican Representative Mike Conaway affirmed: "She was a good witness, answered all our questions. I'm not aware of any reason to bring her back."[74] In May, attorney general Bill Barr appointed federal prosecutor John Bash to examine unmasking conducted by the Obama administration.[75] The inquiry concluded in October with no findings of substantive wrongdoing.[76]

Republican Senator Rand Paul pointed out that a backdoor intercept of Trump's communications was possible.[77] Elizabeth Goitein, a surveillance law expert at New York University, pointed out that backdoor searches of incidental records collected on Americans overseas were allowed by U.S. law.[78] Republican Representative Frank LoBiondo, a senior member on the House Intelligence Committee, speculated on March 20, after Comey's testimony to the Committee, that it was possible there was incidental collection that occurred due to targeting Russian communications, but expressed doubt that there was any evidence that there was such a wiretap.[79] Incidental collection—also called backdoor collection by politicians such as Democratic Senator Ron Wyden[80]—has been publicly acknowledged by the intelligence community for years.[81][82]

From U.S. government agencies[edit]

On March 4, FBI director James Comey asked the Justice Department to issue a statement refuting Trump's claims.[31] Speaking to NBC's Meet the Press, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said "For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign."[83]

At a House Intelligence Committee open hearing on March 20, 2017, Comey stated that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department possessed any information to support Trump's wiretapping allegations.[84]

On September 1, 2017, a DOJ court filing stated that "both the FBI and NSD [United States Department of Justice National Security Division] confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets". Furthermore, it said that the Department of Justice and the FBI "do not confirm or deny the existence" of any other records that are responsive to American Oversight's FOIA request, which was broader than the alleged wiretaps of Trump Tower.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The article states: "A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: 'Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.'"[16]
  2. ^ a b The original tweets, in chronological order, are:


  1. ^ a b "From birtherism to 'treason': Trump's false allegations against Obama". Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2020.
  2. ^ "Spying claim by Intel chair renews fight over Russia probe". Associated Press. March 22, 2017. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Walsh, Deirdre (September 2, 2017). "Justice Department: No evidence Trump Tower was wiretapped". CNN. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Burleigh, Nina (September 2, 2017). "Trump's Claim That Obama Wiretapped His Campaign Is False: U.S. Department of Justice". Newsweek. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "Trump Admin Says There is No Evidence Obama Wiretapped Trump". Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Perez, Evan; Prokupecz, Shimon; Brown, Pamela (September 18, 2017). "Exclusive: US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman". CNN. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Trump vindicated? Manafort wiretapping report lends credence to claim". Fox News. September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Graham, David A. (September 19, 2017). "Is Trump's 'Wiretap' Claim Vindicated?". The Atlantic. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  9. ^ Wilkie, Christina (November 6, 2017). "Paul Manafort's Trump Tower condo becomes the latest sticking point for prosecutors". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "Feds Move To Take Paul Manafort's Trump Tower Condo". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Samuels, Brett. "Trump: Claim of Obama wiretapping based 'on a little bit of a hunch'". The Hill. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  12. ^ Bowden, John (July 30, 2019). "Trump says some of his retweets can be a 'problem'". TheHill.
  13. ^ a b "EXCLUSIVE: FBI 'Granted FISA Warrant' Covering Trump Camp's Ties To Russia". HeatStreet. Archived from the original on November 8, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kessler, Glenn (March 5, 2017). "Trump's 'evidence' for Obama wiretap claims relies on sketchy, anonymously sourced reports". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  15. ^ a b c McCarthy, Andrew C. (March 9, 2017). "My Error: The New York Times Did Not Change Its Headline – There Were Two Headlines from the Start". National Review. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  16. ^ a b c d Michael S. Schmidt; Matthew Rosenberg; Adam Goldman; Matt Apuzzo (January 19, 2017). "Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  17. ^ Carroll, Lauren (March 16, 2017). "Trump says his Obama wiretap claim came from New York Times". PolitiFact. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b c d Stelter, Brian (March 6, 2017). "Trump's wiretap claim: How a conspiracy theory got its start". CNNMoney. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  22. ^ a b c Finnegan, Michael; Barabak, Mark Z. (March 22, 2017). "How the phony conspiracy theory over wiretapping caught fire". The Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  23. ^ McCarthy, Andrew C. (January 11, 2017). "FISA and the Trump Team". National Review. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  24. ^ a b c d Savage, Charlie (March 5, 2017). "What Can Be Gleaned From Trump's Allegations of Wiretapping". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  25. ^ Dexter Filkins. "Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers". Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  26. ^ a b Adam, Karla (March 6, 2017). "This former British lawmaker is at the heart of the Trump wiretap allegations". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  27. ^ "Media the enemy? Trump sure is an insatiable consumer". AP News. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  28. ^ "Trump's Twitter frenzy on wiretapping came after an aide placed an explosive Breitbart story in his reading pile". Business Insider. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  29. ^ a b c Philip Rucker; Ellen Nakashima; Robert Costa (March 4, 2017). "Trump, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of 'Nixon/Watergate' plot to wiretap Trump Tower". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  30. ^ Allison Graves (March 5, 2017). "Why the White House defense of Trump wiretap accusation is misleading". Politifact.
  31. ^ a b Michael S. Schmidt; Michael D. Shear (March 5, 2017). "Trump, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of 'Nixon/Watergate' plot to wiretap Trump Tower". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  32. ^ "Congress to investigate Trump's wiretapping claim". PBS Newshour. March 6, 2017.
  33. ^ Raju, Manu (March 9, 2017). "Graham ready to subpoena for Trump wiretap information". CNN.
  34. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (March 15, 2017). "'Clearly the president is wrong': House intel committee says it's seen 'no evidence' that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower". Business Insider. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  35. ^ Ashley Parker; Jenna Johnson (March 6, 2017). "White House aides struggle to defend Trump wiretap claims". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  36. ^ "Kellyanne Conway alludes to even wider surveillance of Trump campaign". North Jersey. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  37. ^ "'I'm not Inspector Gadget': Kellyanne Conway refutes claims that she suggested Trump's team may have been spied on with microwaves". Business Insider. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  38. ^ Keneally, Meghan (March 13, 2017). "Trump was talking about general surveillance in wiretapping claims, Spicer says". ABC News. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  39. ^ "Sean Spicer says Trump 'doesn't really think' Obama 'personally' wiretapped Trump". Business Insider. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  40. ^ a b Levy, Gabrielle. "Trump Says NYT, Fox News Sources for Wiretapping Claims". U.S. News & World Report. US News. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  41. ^ "Trump suggests little-noticed interview between Fox News host and Paul Ryan helped fuel his explosive wiretap claims". Business Insider. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  42. ^ a b c Weaver; Jones (March 17, 2017). "White House reassures UK it will not repeat Trump spying claim". Financial Times.
  43. ^ "Judge Nap: Obama 'Went Outside Chain of Command,' Used British Spy Agency to Surveil Trump". Fox News. March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  44. ^ Haddad, Tareq (March 15, 2017). "GCHQ did not spy on Donald Trump, security official confirms". International Business Times. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  45. ^ Stelter, Brian (March 17, 2017). "Reporting or commentary? Napolitano claim shows Fox's blurry line". CNNMoney. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  46. ^ Bauder, David (March 20, 2017). "Fox pulls Napolitano from air after Trump report". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  47. ^ Master, Cyra (March 19, 2017). "Ex-intelligence official: Napolitano's British wiretapping claim 'didn't get it right'". TheHill. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  48. ^ Disis, Jill (March 19, 2017). "Consultant says he wasn't "knowingly" source for Napolitano report". CNNMoney. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  49. ^ Gambino, Lauren; Rawlinson, Kevin. "GCHQ dismisses 'utterly ridiculous' claim it helped wiretap Trump". The Guardian. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  50. ^ a b c d Swinford, Steven (March 18, 2017). "Donald Trump fuels diplomatic row with Britain after apology from US officials over GCHQ wiretapping claims". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  51. ^ Shane, Scott (March 20, 2017). "Highlights From the House Hearing on Russian Interference in the U.S. Election". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  52. ^ Adam, Karla (March 17, 2017). "Britain: White House says it won't repeat claims that a British agency wiretapped Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  53. ^ Westcott, Ben; Merica, Dan; Sciutto, Jim (March 17, 2017). "White House: No apology to British government over spying claims". CNN. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  54. ^ Harding, Luke; Kirchgaessner, Stephanie; Hopkins, Nick (April 13, 2017). "British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  55. ^ Jim Sciutto; Pamela Brown; Eric Bradner. "British intelligence passed Trump associates' communications with Russians on to US counterparts". CNN. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  56. ^ "Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier". Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  57. ^ Borger, Julian (January 11, 2017). "John McCain passes dossier alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts to FBI". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  58. ^ Paul Wood (January 12, 2017). "Trump 'compromising' claims: How and why did we get here?". BBC. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  59. ^ "FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump". mcclatchydc. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  60. ^ Nakashima, Ellen; Barrett, Devlin; Entous, Adam (April 11, 2017). "FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  61. ^ Green, Miranda (April 12, 2017). "FBI monitored former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on Russia". CNN. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  62. ^ Apuzzo, Matt; Goldman, Adam; Fandos, Nicholas (May 16, 2018). "Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  63. ^ Blake, Aaron (September 19, 2017). "CNN says Manafort was wiretapped. Does that vindicate Trump's Obama-spied-on-me claims?". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  64. ^ "Trump and the media – Is it war or love?". BBC. March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  65. ^ Nolan D. McCaskill Poll: Nearly 4 in 10 voters believe Trump’s campaign was spied on 04/17/2019
  66. ^ Sabrina Siddiqui, David Smith (March 8, 2017). "Top Republicans refuse to back up Trump's unproven wiretapping claim". The Guardian.
  67. ^ Brian Logan (March 8, 2017). "Obama is reportedly 'furious' over Trump's unsubstantiated wiretapping allegations". Business Insider.
  68. ^ Rebecca Savransky (March 8, 2017). "Obama 'rolled his eyes' at Trump's wiretap accusation". The Hill.
  69. ^ "'This Week' Transcript 3-5-17: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Josh Earnest, and Sen. Al Franken". ABC News. March 5, 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  70. ^ Dukakis, Ali (March 5, 2017). "Former Obama spokesman: Trump 'working very hard' to distract from 'growing scandal'". ABC News. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  71. ^ Rosenberg, Matthew; Goldman, Adam; Huetteman, Emmarie (March 20, 2017). "Monitoring May Have 'Incidentally' Picked Up Trump Aides, House Member Says". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  72. ^ "Spying claim by Intel chair renews fight over Russia probe". Associated Press. March 22, 2017. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  73. ^ Cloud, David S.; Willman, David (March 23, 2017). "House Intelligence chair partially backs off claim about surveillance of Trump transition team". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  74. ^ Raju, Manu (September 18, 2017). "Exclusive: Rice told House investigators why she unmasked senior Trump officials". CNN. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  75. ^ David Shortell. "Attorney general launches new 'unmasking' investigation around 2016 election". CNN.
  76. ^ Zapotosky, Matt; Harris, Shane. "'Unmasking' probe commissioned by Barr quietly concludes without charges or any public report" – via
  77. ^ Nelson, Steven. "Authorities Intercepted 1,227 Obama Calls, Rand Paul Says, Misreading Report to Explain Trump". U.S. News & World Report.
  78. ^ Nelson, Steven (March 7, 2017). "Will Trump's Wiretap Claim Prove True?". U.S. News & World Report.
  79. ^ LoBiondo, David (March 20, 2017). "House Committee Hosts Public Hearing Into Russia Election Interference" (Interview). Interviewed by David Greene. NPR. There is no evidence demonstrating that there was a wiretap. What – now, was there something incidental that there was some listening on the Russians that somehow touched on that? …it's possible… I don't think there's any evidence anything went on.
  80. ^ Ball, James; Ackerman, Spencer (August 9, 2013). "NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls". The Guardian.
  81. ^ Savage, Charlie (April 1, 2014). "Letter Tells of U.S. Searches for Emails and Calls". The New York Times.
  82. ^ Clapper, James (March 28, 2017). "Letter to Senators Wyden". The New York Times. Director of National Intelligence – via Charlie Savage.
  83. ^ Diamond, Jeremy (March 5, 2017). "Clapper: 'No such wiretap activity mounted' on Trump". CNN. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  84. ^ Rosenberg, Matthew; Huetteman, Emmarie; Schmidt, Michael (March 20, 2017). "Comey Confirms F.B.I. Investigation of Russian Election Interference, Links to Trump Campaign". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2017.