Sean Spicer’s angry, waste invulnerability of Trump’s wiretapping claim, annotated

March 17, 2017 - Finding Carter


Things got really quarrelsome in a White House lecture room Thursday afternoon, as press secretary Sean Spicer was confronted with the bipartisan doubts of congressional leaders about Trump’s claims that President Barack Obama wiretapped him.

At one point, Spicer spent several mins reading by a list of reports that he felt bolstered Trump’s claim. Journalists, meanwhile, pushed behind on a justification Spicer provided, none of that addressed Trump’s executive explain that Obama was behind a purported notice of Trump Tower, and some of that came from indeterminate and/or ideologically kaleidoscopic sources such as Sean Hannity.

Below is a transcript, with a annotations. To see an annotation, click on a yellow, highlighted text.

We’ll collect things adult right after Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney seemed to pronounce over a budget, and concentration on usually a tools about wiretapping.

SPICER: Jonathan Karl?

QUESTION: So, Sean, a day before yesterday, we pronounced we were intensely assured that a House and Senate Intelligence Committees would eventually absolve a president’s claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped. As I’m certain we have now seen, a Senate Intelligence Committee has pronounced they see no indications Trump Tower was a theme of surveillance. That seems to be a flattering sweeping statement. What’s your reaction?

SPICER: Well, we consider there are several things, we would also — it’s — a engaging to me that we know, usually as a — as a prove of seductiveness that when — when one entity says one thing that — that proves, that claims one thing, we guys cover it ad nauseam.

When Devin Nunes came out and said, ‘I consider it’s really possible,’ yesterday, there was crickets from we guys. When Devin Nunes came out and pronounced there was no tie that he saw to Russia, crickets. When Tom Cotton pronounced a same, we don’t wanna cover this things — no, no, reason on…


QUESTION: …on no evidence…


SPICER: No, actually…


QUESTION: …now you’ve had a House Intelligence Committee and a Senate Intelligence Committee…


SPICER: No, no, indeed here’s his quote, Jonathan, no here’s a approach quote, “I consider it’s really possible,” finish quote. That’s what he pronounced when he pronounced a president’s communications could’ve been swept adult in collection.

So again, I…

QUESTION: He pronounced there was no — we saw no denote of a handle tap…

(CROSSTALK) SPICER: we know that, and we consider — and we consider a president’s been really transparent when talks about this, and he talked about it final night. So we talked about handle tapping, he meant notice and that there have been incidents that have occurred. Devin Nunes couldn’t have settled it some-more beautifully.

But we name not to cover that part. You chose not to cover when Tom Cotton went out, when Richard Burr went out, when others, Chairman Nunes and others and pronounced that there was no — reason on…


QUESTION: …Intelligence Committee take…


SPICER: Yeah we — no, we know that, Jonathan. And where was your passion and where was your regard when they all pronounced that there was no — no tie to Russia? Where was it then? You — crickets, from we guys, since during a finish of a day, when — no, no, no, no, no, reason on, reason on, I’m — reason on, reason on…


QUESTION: …tower?

SPICER: I’m creation a point. The prove is this, series one, that it’s engaging how when justification comes out and people who have been briefed on a Russia tie come out and contend that there was 0 that they have seen that proves a connection, we name not to cover that, we don’t stop a narrative.

You continue to continue a fake narrative. When he came out yesterday and pronounced quote, “I see no justification that this happened.” When he pronounced quote, “I consider it’s really possible,” like we said, we should know — we don’t cover that part.

You usually cover a partial — nonetheless let’s go by what we do know, okay? Hold on, reason on, let me — and I’m perplexing to answer your question, Jonathan, if we can ease down.

If we demeanour during [inaudible] on Jan 20 — 12th, 2017, they pronounced quote, “In a final days, a Obama administration has stretched a energy of a National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with a government’s 16 other comprehension agencies before requesting remoteness protections. The new manners significantly relax long-standing boundary on what a NSA competence do with a information collected by a many absolute notice operation, that are mostly unregulated by handle drumming laws.”

When Sarah Carter reported that by a start of a New Year, brought with it astonishing politicizing of a comprehension collected in secret. Separately, a Obama administration nice a long-standing executive order, permitting information intercepted by FISA warrants or by a National Security Agency to be common by a wider assembly and 16 supervision agencies as Obama was withdrawal offices.

Intelligence routinely indifferent for usually a handful of comprehension leaders was widespread via briefings, of — to scores of workers and soon, leaks began appearing in news media organizations, mostly in stories lacking context of how inhabitant confidence investigations are indeed concluded. On Mar 3rd, Fox News arch anchor Bret Baier pronounced a following, quote, “There was a news in Jun 2016, a FISA ask by a Obama administration forwarding comprehension notice justice to guard communications involving Donald Trump and several other debate officials. Then they got incited down, afterwards in October, afterwards they renewed it into a start adult handle daub during Trump Tower with some mechanism and Russian banks.”

Baier continues, “A Jun FISA ask that unfamiliar comprehension notice courts get shot down. A decider says,” — hold, Jonathan, I’m gonna — we can ask, we can follow-up. “A decider says no go to monitoring Trump Tower, they go behind in October, they do get a FISA granted. This is handle daub going on in a monitoring of computers that has some ties they trust to Russian counts.

By all accounts, they don’t come adult with anything in a investigation, nonetheless a review continues and we don’t know it.”

On Nov 11th, 2016, days after a election, Heat Street reported, quote, “Two apart sources with links to a opposite comprehension village had reliable to Heat Street that a FBI saw and was postulated a FISA aver in October, giving opposite notice comprehension accede to inspect a activities of U.S. persons and Donald Trump’s debate with ties to Russia.

“The initial requests, that sources contend named Trump, was denied behind in June. But a second was drawn some-more narrowly and postulated in Oct after justification was presented of a server, presumably associated to a Trump debate and a purported links to dual banks, SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank.

“Sources suggest, that a FISA aver was postulated to demeanour during a full context of associated papers that regard U.S. person. Two apart sources with links to a opposite comprehension village have reliable that a FBI saw it and was postulated a FISA aver in October, giving opposite comprehension accede to inspect a activity of U.S. persons and Donald Trump’s debate with ties to Russia.”

They go on: “The FISA aver was postulated in tie with a review of suspected activities, between a server and dual banks. However, it is suspicion that a comprehension village that a aver covers any U.S. authority connected to this U.N. investigation. And so covers Donald Trump and during slightest 3 serve men, who have possibly shaped partial of his debate or acted as evident surrogates.”

On Jan 19th, a New York Times reported a following, “American law coercion and comprehension agencies are examining intercepted communication and financial exchange as partial of a extended review into probable leaks between Russian officials and associates of president-elect Donald J. Trump.

One central said, “Intelligence reports formed on some of a wiretapped communications have been supposing to a White House. It is misleading what Russian central is underneath review or what sold conversations held a courtesy of American eavesdroppers. The authorised customary for opening these review is low.”

Andy McCarthy, essay in National Review suggested quote, “From 3 reports from The Guardian, Heat Street and a New York Times, it appears a FBI has concerns about a private server in Trump Tower that was connected to one or dual Russian banks.”

Heat Street describes these concerns as centering on quote “possible financial — and banking offenses.” we — this is his quote — “I italicized a word offenses since it denotes crimes. Ordinarily when crimes are suspected, there is a rapist investigation, not a inhabitant confidence investigation.”

We go on. Sara Carter from a Circa reporting, “Intelligence professionals tell Circa News they were endangered that some of a Russian comprehension was widespread by organisation briefings to a most incomparable than common assembly behind in January. This would have happened during a final days of a Obama Administration, when it stretched Executive Order 12333, that allows and plays with a quote ‘need to know’ and serve unobstructed entrance to extended information stowed by a NSA.

“The new manners concede a NSA to share — quote — ‘raw signals comprehension information, including a names of those concerned in phone conversations and emails. The enlargement of a sequence creates it formidable to slight on a leaks and, frankly, it allows too many people entrance to a tender data, that usually used to be accessible to a name few,’ pronounced a U.S. central who spoke on a condition of anonymity and was not postulated to be pronounce on a authority.”

Numerous outlets including a New York Times have reported on a FBI review into Mr. Trump’s advisers, BBC and Lynn McCarthy suggested a existence of a multi-agency operative organisation to coordinate investigations opposite a thing.

On Feb 14th, a New York Times again refers to phone annals and intercepted calls — let me quote them, “American law coercion comprehension group intercepted a communications around a same time they were anticipating a justification that Russia was perplexing to interrupt a presidential choosing by hacking into a Democratic National Committee, 3 officials said.” “The intelligence” Russia — “the comprehension agencies afterwards suspicion to learn either a Trump debate was colluding with a Russians on hacking or on other efforts to change a election. The officials interviewed in new weeks pronounced that so far, they’ve seen no justification of such cooperation.”

“The central pronounced that a intercepted communications were not singular to Trump debate officials and other associates of Mr. Trump.” “The call logs and intercepted communications are partial of a incomparable trove of information that a FBI is sifting through.”

Days later, a New York Times afterwards reports, quote “In a Obama administration’s final days, some White House officials scrambled to widespread information about Russian efforts to criticise a presidential choosing of Donald Trump, connectors between a president-elect and Russians opposite a government.”

But a increasingly tough to shun finish that in a supervision that — people in a supervision were instead perplexing to criticise a new boss by observant quote — this is a New York Times again — “At comprehension agencies, there was a pull to routine as most tender comprehension into probable research to keep a news during comparatively low sequence levels, to safeguard a widespread care opposite a government.” And in some cases — quote — “among them European allies. This authorised a upload of as most information — comprehension that was probable to Intellipedia, a tip wiki used by American research to share information.”

Sean Hannity went on Fox to say, quote, “But protections that are famous as minimization procedures have been put in place to strengthen Americans that are not underneath warrant,” American adults that are held adult in a surveillance. And quote, “By a way, their identities are protected. Their inherent rights — are to be protected. Now of course, this was not a box with Lieutenant General Flynn, since we know a twin of this call was combined and afterwards given to comprehension officials, who afterwards leaked this information, that is a felony, to a press that printed it,” finish quote.

Last on Fox News, on Mar 14th, Judge Andrew Napolitano finished a following statement, quote, “Three comprehension sources have sensitive Fox News that President Obama went outward a sequence of command. He didn’t use a NSA, he didn’t use a CIA, he didn’t use a FBI and he didn’t use a Department of Justice. He used GCHQ. What is that? It’s a initials for a British comprehension anticipating agency. So, simply by carrying dual people observant to them boss needs transcripts of conversations involving claimant Trump’s conversations, involving president-elect Trump, he’s means to get it and there’s no American fingerprints on this. Putting a published accounts and common-sense together, this leads to a lot.”

QUESTION: So Sean, are we saying…

SPICER: So, John…

QUESTION: …that notwithstanding a findings, a bipartisan explanation of a Senate Intelligence Committee —

SPICER: No, they’re not findings. They’re dual — there’s a matter out today. They have not begun this. As we know, yesterday or dual days ago, a Department of Justice asked for an additional week. So they — a matter clearly says that during this time, that they don’t trust that. They have nonetheless to go by a information. The Department of Justice, as we know, has not granted this.

But we usually review off to we — it’s interesting. When a New York Times reports…


SPICER: Hold on, reason on.


QUESTION: … that whole prolonged answer…

SPICER: Thank you. Appreciate it.

QUESTION: okay. So, are we observant that a boss still stands by his claim that President Obama systematic wiretapping or notice of Trump Tower notwithstanding a fact that a Senate Intelligence Committee says they see no denote that it happened?



QUESTION: Does a boss still mount by a allegation?

SPICER: First of all, he stands by it, nonetheless again, you’re mischaracterizing what happened today. The Senate…


SPICER: we know that. And during a same time, they acknowledge that they have not been in hit with a Department of Justice. So — nonetheless again, we go behind to what we pronounced during a beginning. It’s interesting…


SPICER: Hold on, reason on. It’s engaging how during a same time, where were we entrance to a invulnerability of that same Intelligence Committee and those members when they pronounced there was no tie to Russia? You didn’t seem to news it then. There was no — no, no…


SPICER: … so we wish — we wish a criticism and we wish to continue a fake account when…


QUESTION: … news that Clapper pronounced that. I…


SPICER: But when those people have left out time and time again; when Chairman Nunes has said, series one, that there was no information that he’s wakeful of that that existed, that got 0 reporting.

Number two, when he went out yesterday and said, quote, “I consider it’s really possible,” we don’t embody that in a doubt mark.

The bottom line is that a boss pronounced final night that he would be providing — that there would be additional information entrance forward. He’s — there’s a ton of media reports out there that prove that something was going on during a 2016 election.

And we consider it’s interesting, where was a doubt of a New York Times or these other outlets when that was going on? Where was a questioning…


SPICER: we trust he will.


QUESTION: Yeah, we were usually quoting Sean Hannity there. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are quoting…


SPICER: we also quote — we get you’re going to cherry pick…


QUESTION: … a FBI director. You’re citing Sean Hannity…

SPICER: No, no, no. okay. You also demeanour over — we also tend to disremember all of a other sources, since we know we wish to cherry collect it. But — no, no… (CROSSTALK)

SPICER: … nonetheless — nonetheless we do. But where was your regard about a New York Times report? You didn’t seem to have a regard with that.

QUESTION: We have finished — I’ve finished copiousness of observant on all of this…


SPICER: No, no, nonetheless we wish to cherry collect one…


QUESTION: … these connectors between the…


SPICER: … one explanation — one square of commentary.

QUESTION: … associates of a boss to a Russians. That has all been looked during and…

SPICER: No, nonetheless how do we know all this? The — a — how do we seem to be such an consultant on this?

QUESTION: I’m observant that this has been looked at, Sean…


SPICER: How do we know it’s been looked at?


SPICER: Hold on, reason on. Where is — I’m contemptible — I’m fearful — to know — where — can we tell me how we know that all of this has, quote, “been looked at”?

QUESTION: You’re seeking me either or not…

SPICER: You finished a statement. You said, quote, “all of this has been looked at.”

QUESTION: … other outlets have reported…


SPICER: No, no. So, okay, so we’re — so when your opening says it’s all been looked at…


QUESTION: … to a boss and a Russians during a 2016 campaign. It sounds like during a context of that investigation, there competence have been some intercepted communications. The House Intelligence Committee authority did discuss that. And we have reported that. Others have reported that — [inaudible] and several publications.

But Sean, what we are refusing to answer — a doubt that we are refusing to answer is either or not a boss still believes what he believes…

SPICER: No, I’m not. we usually pronounced it to Jonathan. we didn’t exclude to answer that.


QUESTION: … we have a Senate and House Intelligence Committee both leaders from both parties on both of those panels observant that they don’t see any justification of any wiretapping. So how can a boss go on and continue to…

SPICER: Because that’s not — since you’re mischaracterizing what Chairman Nunes said. He said, quote, “I consider it’s possible” — he is following adult on this. So to advise that…


SPICER: And you’re observant unquestionably that we somehow…


QUESTION: … literally, we pronounced if you…


SPICER: Right. And we consider that we’ve already privileged that up. And he pronounced accurately that. But a boss has already pronounced clearly, when he referred to wiretapping, he was referring to surveillance. So that’s…


SPICER: So that’s…


QUESTION: … sounds like, though, Sean, that we and a boss are observant now, “Well, we don’t need wiretapping anymore; that’s not loyal anymore…


SPICER: No, no…


QUESTION: So now we’re going to [inaudible] other forms of surveillance. What’s it going to be next?

SPICER: No, no, that’s not — Jim, we consider that’s cute, nonetheless during a finish of a day, we’re talked about this for 3 or 4 days. What a boss had to, quote, “wiretapping,” in quotes, he was referring to extended surveillance. And now you’re fundamentally going back. We talked about this several days ago.

The bottom line is that a review by a House and a Senate has not been supposing all of a information. And when it does — nonetheless where was a concern…


SPICER: … reason on. we just…


QUESTION: … not evidence…


SPICER: No, no. What we — we consider a boss addressed that final night, pronounced there’s some-more to come. These are merely indicating out that we consider there’s widespread observant that via a 2016 election, there was notice that was finished on a accumulation of people. That came up…


QUESTION: … review going on as to either there was hit between a president’s debate and a Russians…


SPICER: Jim, we find it engaging that we — we somehow trust that you…


QUESTION: … of course, they’re going to be looking during these various…


SPICER: okay. okay. we get it. Somehow, we seem to trust that we have all of this information. You’ve been review in on all of these things, that we find really interesting.

QUESTION: we haven’t [inaudible] by a FBI…


SPICER: Well, no, you’re entrance to some critical conclusions for a man that has 0 intelligence…




QUESTION: Well, give me some credit…

SPICER: I’ll give we some…


QUESTION: … a small comprehension maybe. But no…

SPICER: Clearance. we wasn’t done. Clearance.

QUESTION: …those dual — those dual panels…

SPICER: Maybe both.

QUESTION: Well, come on.


QUESTION: Those dual panels have oral with a FBI executive and we was…

SPICER: we — we know that…

QUESTION: …told there’s no justification of this.

SPICER: fine we — we consider this question’s has been asked and answered…


QUESTION: … usually have a boss contend he was wrong.

SPICER: It’s engaging how we burst to all of these conclusions about what they have, what they don’t have and we seem to know all a answers. But during a finish of a day, there was clearly a ton of reporting…

QUESTION: A week from now…


SPICER: Hold on, Jim, let me answer — no, we — we consider that there’s been a — a immeasurable volume of observant that we usually detailed, about activity that was going on in a 2016 election. There was no doubt that there was notice techniques used via this.

I consider by — by a accumulation of outlets that have reported this activity concluded. So and we consider when we indeed ask those dual people either or not and as Chairman Nunes pronounced yesterday, when we take it literally in wire-tapping, a president’s already been really transparent that he didn’t meant privately handle tapping, he had it in quotes.

So we consider to tumble behind on that is a fake — is a fake premise, that’s not what he said. He was really transparent about that when he talked about it yesterday, major.


QUESTION: fine Sean, so usually to be clear, you’re good and a president’s good with stories that have unknown sources in them?

SPICER: No, it’s interesting, we consider when it comes to a Russia story and a on-the-record sources who have been briefed by a FBI continue to interpretation that there’s 0 there. You guys continue to tumble behind on these unknown sources and continue a fake narrative.

And yet, when it comes to us articulate about all these reports in there, we afterwards impugn unknown sources. No, it’s usually interesting, this — this arrange of — a double customary that exists when it comes to us citing stories when it comes to — and afterwards how we intend to use them.

QUESTION: So let me ask we what — what a boss pronounced final night. He was asked by Tucker Carlson, you’re in assign of a several comprehension apparatus that news to you…

SPICER: Right.

QUESTION: …you can ask them…


SPICER: You can, he would be getting…


QUESTION: …can we ask my question?


QUESTION: He pronounced he was demure to do that.

SPICER: Right.

QUESTION: So lemme usually put dual things together. Earlier this week, we told us when asked, has a boss destined a Justice Department to collect and discharge information to a several applicable congressional committees? If we remember your answer correctly, it was…

SPICER: That’s right.

QUESTION: …no we hadn’t given that specific directions. Has that changed, has he now destined a Justice Department…


QUESTION: …and is he seeking himself, or a comprehension agencies that news to him, to yield him specific answers to these underlying questions that are apart from a reportages… SPICER: No.

QUESTION: …you’re citing?


QUESTION: Why not?

SPICER: Because we consider we’ve lonesome this before, we consider that gets into interfering this and we consider that a suitable routine is to concede a House and a Senate to do it so that it doesn’t seem as nonetheless we’re interfering — we know that.

But as I’ve — we mentioned to we this a other day, Major, if we go during them afterwards you’re gonna spin around and contend we guys interfered with something and we pressured them. It’s a catch-22 for us, and a bottom line is, is that we consider a boss finished a transparent dual Sundays ago that he wanted a House and a Senate Intelligence Committee to work with these agencies to collect a information and make a report.

That’s what we’re doing. In — in sequence to make certain that there’s a subdivision from us, so that we can’t spin around and afterwards credit us of — of forcing or pressuring an group to furnish a document. We’re seeking them to go by a routine of — of this subdivision of powers and indeed going to those opposite entities, a Department of Justice pronounced yesterday they wish an additional week. And we’re permitting that routine to play through.



SPICER: Got it, Abby?


QUESTION: Sean, we got a follow-up…

QUESTION: Did a boss make any statements formed on personal information?

SPICER: I’m not gonna get into what a — how a boss creates a decision. we consider that what we consider is transparent though, is by a observant that we usually review is if there’s clearly widespread open-source element indicating to notice that was conducted during a 2016 election.


QUESTION: …information is accessible to members of a House and a Senate is public, as we noted. They are looking during [inaudible] information…


SPICER: No, no, no, they have — no, no, that’s not true.


QUESTION: …evidence to behind adult a president’s claims. So if there is other information, because won’t a boss release…

SPICER: Again, I’m not gonna get into that yet. we consider a boss discussed that final night on — on his talk and we’ll let a routine play out. we know what he discussed, we consider they have — they have — they have clearances in a House and a Senate comprehension committees. They’re means to control this.


QUESTION: Sean, I’d like to ask we about dual topics, nonetheless can we assistance us all by job on Peter right now?


SPICER: No I’m gonna — we know — we indeed call a question. Alexis, if we don’t an answer to your question, we can call on somebody else.


SPICER: No, appreciate you.


QUESTION: You keep going behind to a fact that a boss used wiretap in quotes, and final night he pronounced it was really critical that it was in quotes. But out of a 4 tweets where he accuses Barack Obama of wiretapping him, he usually used quotes in dual of them. In dual of them he privately pronounced that he tapped his phones. He didn’t use a tenure wiretapping.

And usually mins ago we pronounced it was communications being swept up. So can we definitively contend that he still feels like Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower? Or does he feel like it was broadly surveilled? Which is it?

SPICER: Look, he was really transparent about this final night. He talked about it as we said.

QUESTION: He wasn’t transparent about it …

SPICER: Yeah, he was. He pronounced that he meant it, he put it in quotes, it was really broad, and so that’s what he meant by a use of a term.

QUESTION: So was it phone tapping?

SPICER: No, it was notice and we consider we’ve lonesome this like 10 times.

QUESTION: But it hasn’t — there’s no specific answer what it was. What President Obama do…

SPICER: …I know that nonetheless that’s a prove of them looking into this, Caitlyn. we consider a thought is to demeanour into this, have a House and Senate Intelligence Committees demeanour into this and news back.

QUESTION: So we wish to follow adult on that. If all of this comes out and there’s no explanation that President Obama had any purpose in any wiretapping, that there was no wiretapping, will President Trump afterwards offer an apology?

SPICER: I’ve had this like 3 times this week and we consider a answer is, we’re not going to prejudge where a — where this — where a outcome of this is. We’ve got to let a routine work a will and afterwards when there’s a news that comes out decisive from there, afterwards we’ll be means to comment. But to burst forward of this routine during this prove would be inappropriate.

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